“The deafening screams of pain…all day, all night. No one hears them but me.”
The image above is tough to look at but the visual truly resonates with me the true feeling of chronic pain. I want you to know that I hear your screams. I know what this image feels like: dying from within but looking fine on the outside. When one is in the darkest depths of chronic pain, one feels like he or she is on death row and just waiting and often times wanting to die. Chronic pain can be a living hell. I read your emails or think back to my decade of living as the woman in the image above and truly am shocked at where and who I am now. The memories of the days and nights for ten plus years of severe hell bring huge tears to my eyes. I want to hold that Jessica who was sitting in the snow in Colorado in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt: crying, screaming at God to save me from the pain. I want the Jessica who drank copious amounts of alcohol in some hopes of dying to know her future and that everything works out better than she could ever expected. I want to hold the hand of the Jessica who laid in bed tearing pages out of the books she was dying to read because all she could focus on was physical pain and could not even read one damn page of a book and let her see Kayci and her future family she never thought she would have due to pain. I cannot do any of these things and I cannot go back in time. But I can help the millions of people who are suffering as I once was and share my entire story with all, praying I can shed some light and hope that things get better and chronic pain is not a death sentence. I live with chronic pain every day of my life but it no longer has power over me or my dreams. At times the disease causes me anger and sadness and I want to crawl out of my skin but these times are very rare and they never last more than a day. I swear, if I can live with chronic pain and be happy anyone can.
We spent a lot of time this weekend doing Christmas things and the house smells and looks magical. I love Christmas and more so love sharing it through the eyes of my three year old who is captivated by the lights, parades, Santa, Elf on the Shelf, and the true beauty of Christmas. I have a procedure coming up that my body is preparing for with medications and shots and phew it is a lot but the end result is so worth it. I try and not get caught up in the side effects of all the medications, shots, and side affects and try and manage those symptoms as I do chronic pain. It is a crazy, exciting, emotional, at times painful time but it has oddly added to the miracle of Christmas. Because I have been so busy and at times sick from the medication (nothing to do with pain) I have not been as on top of my emails as I should be and yesterday decided to ‘spring clean’ my email box and thank God I did. Three weeks ago I received an email I never opened and I cannot get the person who wrote this email out of my head. I will not share her email but I will share the first two lines of this email that I could just hit my computer for missing. “Dear Jessica, I have been reading your blog for a year and a half. On July 28th, 2014 you saved my life. I was home alone that whole weekend and my life came to a screeching halt. I thought long and hard about my life and thought I could no longer go on. I decided one more time to search the computer for a support group and son of-a-gun if I didn’t find you…….” The email goes on and this amazing, strong woman began reducing her pain medication the day she came across my writings. She wrote me three weeks ago and I just wrote back yesterday. I never want any of you to think I am ignoring you or am not thinking about you. If I do not write back right away, I beg you to write me again. Yes, I do this for you but this is my calling. I love what I do and aside from the pay it is the best job ever. Yes, I fell off my bike when I was a young teen and had brain surgery and have lived a life of chronic pain since but when I get an email that states I saved a life, I find it difficult to wish that accident away. You are never alone and I hear and at times live the screams you believe are silent.