Sunday, February 22, 2015
WEGO Health Awards Judging, Chronic Illnesses, Pain & The Brave People That Find the Strength and Courage to Talk, Blog & Write about it
As I worked on my WEGO Judging over the past couple of weeks, I've found that there are some incredibly strong women (and men) out there living their lives everyday, with one, two, three and more chronic illnesses, syndrome, and pain. They have also been through the HELL of hospitalizations that lasted for months, endless surgeries, transfusions, being not even able to eat and being fed through an IV (as I did in 2010), and some of them like myself, at that time the doctors really DID NOT KNOW what was wrong with me. My own PCP has made the statement since then on several occasions that he was extremely concerned back then I was going to die. Endless numbers of specialists came to see me... most of them were of a foreign decent, and frankly I could not understand what they were saying to me. Many of them at the time, didn't really know what the hell "Lupus" was. They blamed some of my illness on the Lupus, yet, they also were treating me for what they told us later was a "collapsed" bile duct. It was literally leaking poison into my abdominal cavity, rather than it going out of my system and being filtered out by my intestines, and out as it should. I had several "tubes" running outside of my right side. Later I had to even come home with them still in place, and we had to watch the fluid that came out into the bag, to make sure it was becoming more "clear" and not bloody etc. I went through that for several weeks. For at least 6 weeks I never put a drop of food or anything to drink in my mouth. There was a huge bag of "nutrients" that was white, and I was told it was a certain concoction mixed up by the pharmacy for me. I went through nights that I barely knew where I was. In fact, I spent mt 50th birthday having yet another surgery. Jim, my son, and my Mom were there because they had told me to "call my family" in, "just in case".... "Just in Case"???? I had at least 8 or 9 other IV bags hanging and pouring into me, pain medications that I watched the clock for and begged each moment I knew I could have more.... I really have never "told" this entire story, from start to finish, here or on my blog. I have put bits and pieces about it over the years on both, as well as it will be in my book. It took my system weeks to even be able to withstand a regular sip of "Coca-Cola in it. It would put my entire stomach and intestines into a "tailspin" and the next thing I knew nurses had to come in and change my entire bed, put me into the shower (dammit they never warmed it up enough and this was the middle of February and one of the coldest Winters in TX since I had been back).... any thing that was "food" "stunk" to me. Jim would go and try to find something I could stand to even remotely put into my stomach, and even certain kinds of bread smelled so bad to me there was no way I could take even a bite. Why I am telling this now here, I am not sure. Probably due to one of the blogs I read over the past few days, and her own battle with what later was diagnosed properly as Crohn's. But, more than that, it seems each year that February rolls around, which my Dad's birthday was on the 2nd, Ground hogs day, and mine of course just passed on the 15th, almost a Valentine Baby.. and it brings all of those weeks and weeks, and honestly months back into my memory. How ill I really was, and how it truly it is a miracle I am here today to type about this.... so ALL of you... everyone of you that have the stamina, bravery, the "guts" (no pun intended), the wear with all, strength... and many more descriptive words to say how incredible you are to tell "your" story. Whether it be autoimmune in nature, arthritic, FM, MS, and all of the other Chronic Illness and Pain so many of us endure... so WE can go out and tell others "it is okay"... you are still you.... you are not "less than", that life can be full, and fun... you just have to sometimes decide upon a "new kind of normal"... that is what I have to do, and even now... "normal" can change at any given time... I am THANKFUL, to be here this morning and able to tell a portion of my story... and I am thankful for my family, my spouse, kids and Mom, that support and love me, even though I feel like I disappoint them at times... and my true friends here that also love me for me... sick, well, mad, depressed, happy, or whatever I maybe at that moment, those out there know I mean you... that support and love me unconditionally, with Lupus, with Sjogren's, now with dentures and not my teeth, with the joints replaced, and the pain pump hanging from my right side... I am still "me"... and I feel blessed.... thank all of you for accepting me no matter whether brain fog hits, or I find myself on the sofa for the day, or I am up cleaning and doing "normal" things.... I am blessed.