I read through all of the posts so far, and I was brought to tears. I am so sorry for the suffering each one of you has had to endure. No, I cannot
imagine, but, I can empathize.
I have a lot of health issues, but my main one is severe spinal problems. I have been "legally" disabled for 7 years, and I still try to drag my
butt to work every week. No, I am not suggesting anyone else do that, I am saying I do that. For lots of reasons, financial, and otherwise.
I don't talk a lot about it. Probably the only person who *really* knows what I have gone through is my husband. Sure, some other folks know bits and
pieces, but that's all. For the most part, you are all right. Most people just don't care, they don't want to hear about it, and when they do, they
simply don't know what to say.
So, they say stupid things. I really don't blame them, I am afterall, telling them my problems. One lesson I learned is, when people ask, "How are
you?", they really don't want the truth. I usually don't tell the truth, either. Not because of any care about being Pollyanna or a martyr, or
anything else, but because the emotional drain on ME to go through this discussion is just too draining. It's too much. Sometimes, in my path to
where I am, I would be... what I would call... cruel.
I would look someone straight in the face and tell them the blunt truth. In a way that was unavoidably confrontational, and left them with their jaws
hanging open. I would stand there watching them in their discomfort, and enjoy it, then walk away. I don't even know why I did it. Sometimes, people
say things like, "You really should go to the doctor!", and when I reply with something like, "I did, and all he did was increase my dilaudid to
8mg, and tell me to suck it up, this is your life!", they just don't know what to say. Perhaps a second, third, fifth, opinion? It is what it is. I
really love it when people say, "I couldn't tell by looking at you!" That one has to be tops on most lists.
I did want to say, the comments about the grieving process, so true, and for more than just cancer patients. It has been something I have gone through
maybe 8 times or so. Each stage I reach where I have an unavoidable change in my life direction, I find myself going through it again. The most recent
and hardest was when I realized I was beginning to lose control of my bladder and sometimes my bowels. This was a hard, hard, thing to face. I was in
my 40's, and had to wear protection 24/7. So yep. I learned some ways to control it to a degree, but thankfully, never had an accident in front of
anyone but my husband. That was truly embarrassing enough in itself.
Each time, for me, going through that grieving process, I have to redefine my life, who I am, and accept and learn to cope with new, and permanent,
physical limitations and changes.
I can barely walk. I used to be angry. Then I got jealous. Never did the bargaining thing, I figured out that doesn't work. After finally accepting
it, I sit now, and just look at people walking, how automatic it is for them, and how I took it for granted.
I took a lot for granted. Walking, being able to bend over and pick up dirty clothes, being able to stand and cook, or wash dishes, empty the
dishwasher, and now, even folding clothes from the dryer. If I put my arms over my head for any length of time, I will pass out. What seemed like the
simplest things in life simply exhaust me. It takes a LOT to just take a shower. Haven't been able to sit in a bath in I don't know how long. Can
only sleep one my sides, and then about an hour-hour and a half and I wake from hip pain and must roll over. I haven't slept over 2 hours without
waking in years.
You see, I have a lot to complain about, but I really don't. I keep it to myself so as not to burden others. I have even had people say to me, "No
matter how bad it is, there is someone going through worse."
Yeah. I know this. But ya know what? I have to live my life, not theirs. I have empathy, my sympathy is for the suffering and pain for any man, woman,
or child. When I say I am sorry for your suffering, I mean it from the bottom of ny soul, because no matter how much better, or how much worse it is
than mine, I can only relate from mine. And if it is even 1/10 of mine, I shed real tears for you.
For someone who has never really suffered, they cannot imagine, sympathize, nor really empathize, because they have no experience to base it from.
This is why groups of like people for support are good, because they get it.
Don't fault those that have been lucky to escape any real suffering. If you can, be happy for them, not jealous, or angry, or bitter, it is really
wasted energy. Of course, most people have to learn that the hard way, even though they will eventually find out I am right. Not going to say I told
ya so, only, welcome home, welcome to some peace.
Talk only to those who really love and care for you, because most people cannot be bothered. If anyone read this whole message, now you know why I
make that claim.
I just re-read my message before hitting post, and it seems to come across as bitter, but I am not. Resigned, maybe, but decidedly, I have chosen to
take the path of getting the best I can out of life, though it is quite miserable a lot of the time. I engage in a lot of escapism through art,
reading, and other ways. And, meditation really does help some with the pain. The pain, however, never goes away. Some days are a full bag of marbles,
and others are only one or two marble days. But, I wake each day and see the sun, rain, or snow, and for whatever reason I am here, I just glad I
I have had resignations about posting this, but what the hail. Hate it or love it, agree or disagree, it is my life, and I have to live it. I really
try, even on one marble days, to get the best out of each day that I can.
Here is wishing you all a full bag of marbles day!