The Little Things
“You’ve got to have appreciation for the little things in life. Like a good cup of coffee, a fresh smelling flower, or smiles from strangers on the street. The world can be a scary beast; frightening, discouraging but in small doses it is the most beautiful thing you will ever discover.”
This picture was taken on my thirty-second birthday: June 7th. This was a day of both grief and joy. I had my second miscarriage on my birthday two years ago and I was heartbroken. So, how was this one of the greatest birthday’s of my lifetime? It was the day I decided to go back to managing pain naturally and stop looking for a cure or a medication to relieve the pain. Yes, it is true I “relapsed” the year my daughter was born as I was going through a very tough yet amazing time but I started to focus more and more on pain and stopped using the tools I need to live a happy life despite chronic pain. On this very date I was very saddened by my miscarriage as any woman (many of you have been there) are. However, and do not ask me why I decided to go back to the life I was leading when I loved myself. The life without pain medication or doctor’s appointments for pain. I had an appointment with my pain specialist for June 9th and I had a mental battle of whether I should cancel the appointment or go: I went back and forth for hours until I stumbled upon a quote that made my decision a no brainer: “A year from now you will wish you started today.” Immediately after reading that I called and cancelled my appointment. They asked if I wanted to re-schedule and I said no: “I am going to start managing pain naturally again and will not longer need Dr.____.” For many people with an invisible illness, such as chronic pain it is difficult to get doctor’s to believe you really are in pain as you look healthy on the outside so in turn it is difficult to get pain medication. For myself, this was never an issue: one look at my medical file and pain doctors, orthopedics, primary care doctors would write me a script for pain medication and actually encourage me to take something. They see the word: Brain Surgery and my encyclopedia of various treatments/surgeries and medications and the proof I have chronic pain is quite obvious despite my outer appearance. After I cancelled the appointment I got scared: my hormones were off the charts as it was as I had just miscarried. However, I knew I did the right thing and made my first inspiration board with quotes that helped me. That poster board is still in our bedroom and the quote that continues to stand out is: “A year from now you will wish you started today.” I had the tools I needed and had been taught how to manage pain naturally but it was still frightening. I was scared I would not be a good mom or pain would interfere too much with my life. Hours later, my best friend Lindsay and a few family members came over and although I was having a miscarriage and on the couch in pajamas it was a very magical day. A few weeks following my thirty-second birthday is when I began to write this blog and kept my word to myself that I would never ever search for a cure again or take pain medication. I do not miss sitting in waiting rooms one little bit. I do not miss worrying when my prescription of Percocet will run out or cancelling plans to go to my doctor. And, I am a much better mom living the lifestyle I must in order to manage chronic pain naturally.
Two things taught me to appreciate the little things: chronic pain and being a mother. I have written this before but my biggest fear in the world was that I would never be able to have kids due to chronic pain. I refused to have children if I was the mess I was for ten plus years searching for a cure. As it turns out motherhood has truly helped me with managing chronic pain. I appreciate the things I never even noticed prior to Kayci being born. I have always hated birds. Random, I know. My dad and Pop Pop loved birds and my dad always drove me nuts telling me about a random bird he saw as running around our lake. Kayci loves birds and all animals for that matter. We now have about ten bird feeders outside and I love feeding them with Kayci and enjoying the outdoors exploring nature with her. We live on a lake and there are a lot of random creatures out there: turtles, hawks, groundhogs, ducks, geese, cormorants, raccoons, squirrels, fish, you get the idea. Pre K (Pre Kayci) I would have ignored all the little things surrounding our home, now I see the world through her eyes and love watching her interact with animals like Sophia from “Sophia the First.” She will say: “Mommy, that is a sin. It is so hot out and the geese won’t go in the water. We need to get them to the lake but I won’t let them poop on your car.” She is a trip. I enjoy the silliest, most simple things because of my tragedies and blessings. Kayci and I drove into Philadelphia (bridge is five minutes from our home) and yet I never go as I despise driving in the city and really hate the crowds and traffic and noise. Well, now I love the city because Kayci sees it all so differently. While crossing the Ben Franklin bridge all I heard from the back seat was: “Wow Mommy, this is a real bridge. It is beautiful.” I have driven over that bridge thousands of times and not once thought about beauty. While in the city I noticed things I had never noticed before Kayci. My fear of the city and driving in the city diminished and I loved walking around Franklin Square with my little toddler. She has not only brought out my inner child but I now see the world in a totally different light.
I have been going to the same pool on and off for fifteen years and never went in the splash pool. I would go to get a tan, swim and read. Now, I cannot go in the big pool as children must be five or older so I am in the splash pool many days of the week. We got to the pool yesterday and I was not in a good mood for reasons out of my control but I felt like crap. I used to be able to go to the pool with just a bathing suit, towel and book now I bring everything but the kitchen sink. A bag for food, a bag for toys, inner tubes, a tent, towels, blankets, and a stroller. It is a job in itself just walking from the car to the pool entrance and setting up. Yesterday after I parked and got my daughter out I began the process of moving: it really appears as if we are about to go camping for a week when we are just going to the pool for the day. I got everything out was sweating like I have menopause and crankier than my toddler. Kayci pointed out that a lady behind us could not park. I realized she did not have enough room and offered to move my car a few inches hoping she would pass and just park somewhere else. However, she said: “Please, thank you so much.” Augh. I strapped Kayci into her stroller and moved everything out-of-the-way, got my car keys and moved my car a couple of inches up. An elderly man walking by said: “You must be a very nice person to move your car with all that. My God, there are a million places that woman could place her car.” That simple, little comment went a long way and my mood started to switch.
I know most of you are in the thorns of hell in your journey with chronic pain and this may be the most un-useful post I have written to date but I just want to express how important it is not to give up. I do not judge, clearly I was/am in your shoes and I would never tell you what to do or my way of managing chronic pain is the “right” way. I only want you to take one day at a time and maybe one day you will follow my lead or maybe you will not. Either way, do not lose hope because chronic pain can become a blessing and dreams do come true with chronic pain. Magic. June 7th, 2013 I lost something I will never get back but I re-gained my life.
If you have questions or need advice or want me to write about something email me. I need/want to know what you need right now at this moment. Your feedback not only helps you but everyone else who reads No One Gets Flowers For Chronic Pain. One day you will see life so differently and the things you once took for granted will be some of the things you love the most.