I was going along, minding my own business, attending meetings, a family gathering for a final Thanksgiving meal, birthday celebrations for my husband and daughter, and working on a plethora of stuff when, BOOM! Suddenly the world came to a halt.
Getting up from the chair I had sat in to enjoy my beautiful turkey coma sent a stabbing knife through my side that took my breath away. A few more steps, more pain. Not muscular pain like a pulled muscle, or how it feels when you throw your back out, but something deep inside of me. A place that muscles don’t move and I couldn’t put my hand on to ease the sharp pains repeatedly that came wave after wave.
I explained it away for a few hours, as they came and went. I went to bed and tried to relax. I was starting to fall asleep when suddenly I straight up with a pain that was undeniable. I’d had this before. Four times in fact.
“Oh please, God, no. Not this. Please no.” I said aloud as my husband put his hand to my back and wished he could do something. With that began a long battle of kidney stone vs the tiny passageway to my bladder, wherein I would finally rid myself of this beast of a demon rock.
Sorry, “stone” is a sweet round little pebble of a thing. Mine are built like torture devices with wicked barbs that hang off each side, mean and vicious, tearing up my insides the whole way down. I christen them “demon rocks” from here forth.
Thus began the battle that would steal away all my holiday ugly-sweater and white-elephant parties. It would steal away time for work and for doing normal mom things. It would steal away my sanity!
My kids can’t handle seeing me in pain. They worry and stress. Such is the life of a kid who knows their mom has a real health issue that has held her captive in the past. I have an invisible illness stemming from my brain. It is too big for my skull and the squished part herniates into the brainstem. It’s called Chiari Malformation. This can not be fixed or cured. There is a surgery to ease the stress of the “squeeze” but unless you cut off the “extra” brain, it’s a problem. Usually cutting off pieces of the brain is not something you choose to do unless life is unlivable. So around here, the worry crops up in a way maybe other kids would let breeze over them. I made a mental note that no matter how bad it got, I needed to be the mom they needed me to be.
I would not give into a little piece of demon rock. No way.
So I curled up on the couch and took medicine to help ease the pains, watched movies with my son who needed to snuggle because I was in pain. I laughed and chatted with my daughter about her day at school and listened long into the night when there were things that needed to be heard again later. I was on the same big red couch for my oldest daughter to come have a much needed heart to heart. There were times she was in mental pain, dealing with her bipolar, and it made my pain manageable. I wanted to take hers away, and I couldn’t.
It’s hard to put into words, but I somehow felt like bearing this one silently gave me more power, strength, and peace. Life is hard enough around our house without adding to it with physical ailments. No one wants to have me down again. Cant have me down. Those were hard days and the kids really sense them when they come now. That feels good and overwhelmingly bad to me. I hate that they know the hard things so well. I really hate that. I appreciate that they are so intuitive and sensitive and caring kids.
So this literal pain in my side made me feel like I could do it one more day and I dug into it and really rolled with it, and didn’t let it overwhelm me like in times past. It may help that it was passable too! I’ve had surgeries for them when they block vs pass. I focused on the pain being a GOOD thing – a no SURGERY thing. Pain equalled a blessing.
I’m rambling, but I really felt something strong through this unexpected detour. Pain is meant to be felt. It has a message. A story, a purpose. It’s not always a thing to be loathed and avoided. It can build a person, and it can define a person. I refused to allow it to define me.
It was simply passing through. Life would go on. And it did. I even had some quality time with the kids. 🙂