Discovering you have a chronic illness is exactly the same as experiencing the death of someone close to you. You will mourn the death of the old you, all your hopes, dreams and aspirations will vanish in an instant and this follows the trauma most of us experience while battling the system, the presumptions, and flagrant disregard of our concerns which plague us, bogging us down in a quagmire of toxic emotions.
We can choose to remain in this perpetual state of flux or we can move forward. If we are fortunate this will be something that we will understand we need to do … and … If we’re lucky it’ll happen to us by accident realizing what’s happening and move forward.
But chronic illness is hard to accept and I just cannot, I refuse to accept it. Right? What isn’t understood often times is that it isn’t about the acceptance of the disease. It’s about you. It is about discovering a new you, with new direction, new purpose. I didn’t understand this until I found my direction by complete accident.
My journey started on February 9, 2012, I went from caregiver to care-given in a split second after a fall on the job injured my knee and ultimately triggered my CRPS. See, in my lifetime I have been a mother, a wife, worked as a CNA/RNA, a receptionist in a funeral home, worked with special needs individuals, I’ve always been a caregiver of sorts.
Except once, when I happened into a position working as a graphic designer at my hometown newspaper. The one job where I was being paid to play with art though not formally trained or educated in the field. Because I got paid, it makes me a professional designer. Great! But it just never rang true for me trying to call myself that, neither before or after the onset of my CRPS.
At maximum medical improvement, I was post anything insurance was willing to pay for. I had maxed out the safely allowable dosages on most of my medications, I took nine in total, had exploratory surgery, therapy/rehab, had an injection in my knee, then more therapy, different pills, more pills, and more injections. There was a failed spinal cord stimulator implanted and explanted twenty-seven months later.
I was lost, mentally, physically and spiritually…
As I started to find my faith again, I awoke to me speaking aloud in my sleep. My sub-conscience had awakened and the true depth of how miserable I was fell upon my being… I was finally begging GOD to “Heal Me Indeed!”. What was I asking? What did this mean? I was asking to awake completely healed from my CRPS in the morning. I’ll cut to the chase here, it didn’t happen. Not even a tinny bit of improvement.
This means one of two things to me… Either there is no God or God needed me to heal myself so I could share it with the world as a testimony to the healing powers of this wonderful Earth that we have, the strength of the human spirit and the power of the mind.
In 2015, I read about how my condition was autoimmune related. I knew what an asthma attack was and how you attempt to prevent one environmentally. I equated what was happening to my body as a systemic asthma attack and ran with it. So much so that today I doubt I’d even receive this diagnosis and still, I successfully proved it in a court of law. This was when I discovered how to redefine myself in a role I never imagined possible again, as a caregiver. No, I don’t work as an aide nor could I.
Let me be clear here… I’ve had a miraculous improvement that’s it. I’m not claiming I’m cured or in a remission, I just have an independence about myself once again that I was told was gone forever. Specialists were willing to attest to the depth of the affliction I suffered from both physically and emotionally in a court of law backed up by a nine-inch stack of tests results, reports, other specialists opinions but no more. I hiked 3 miles round trip over rough terrain carrying a 15 lb daypack for the first time in 6 years this year because my symptoms are gone to a level I can deal with it.
It is this very aspect, the very fact that what I discovered by complete and utter accident, this connection, and because I straight up “overreacted” at a “fake” health news article, as mainstream medicine calls alternative health sites, that I redefined myself into a loud mouth blogger trying to share with anyone willing to listening to me.
Generally, doctors just aren’t telling you any of what I am because of it being counterproductive to a lucrative medical business model. There are a few, Dr. Getson is a renowned Complex Regional Pain Syndrome specialist who does. I’ve only ever heard of one other person stating their doctor recommended diet and to tell you the truth, I never did find out who it was that they saw. I promote everything opposite to the corporate giants business model and I certainly do not tow the corporate line of profit and “management”.
My point… it takes time, guidance, and failure to succeed. Don’t give up.