I've been in a lot of pain these past few weeks.
And although I've got my eyes on the calendar, waiting for surgery, some days that doesn't make it any easier.
When I wake up feeling well (which doesn't happen often) my instinct is to take advantage and live a little. So often my choices for the day are couch or bed. When the pain eases, there are so many more possibilities. Things that I really miss doing. Simple things : Dancing to my favorite song. Walking at a normal pace. Shopping at a store rather than online. Going out to dinner with friends.
The problem with my "seize the day" attitude is that no good day goes unpunished. No enjoyment of life ends without me curled up somewhere, hurting, trying to decide if it was worth those few minutes or hours of enjoyment to spend the next few days once again deciding between the couch and my bed.
My body punished me for wedding dress shopping. It was a lot of walking and standing, so for the next three days, I could hardly move. I missed work, I missed out on plans I'd had for weeks… I just hurt. And all I could do to not cry was look at the pictures I'd taken during that wonderful afternoon and try to relive it again each day until I felt well enough to participate in life again.
On one of those endo days, I watched the movie Cake. It's about a woman living with chronic pain and how she tries to survive that emotional and physical battle. In one scene, she and a woman from her chronic pain support group discuss a question that had been presented to them at one of their meetings : What would your dream be if you didn't have chronic pain? And one of the answers that was "sickeningly sincere" was a mother who said she dreamed of making her son a birthday cake from scratch.
It's one of those simple things that most people wouldn't think twice about, but for someone with chronic pain, it's a mountain to climb. It's reaching up high and crouching down low to get bowls and utensils and ingredients. It's standing for an extended amount of time. Lifting bags of flour. It's bending over to set the pans into the oven. More standing to frost the cake. It's more physically demanding than it probably seems.
On the 4th of July, I woke up feeling minimal pain and decided I wanted to make a dessert as my contribution to Weston's family barbecue. So I used a simple, gluten-free, cake recipe and spent the morning baking. It was so much fun getting to whip everything together and watch my vision become a delicious reality!
For me, pain is one of those things that can creep up slowly throughout the day, or just appear out of nowhere. But for the rest of the day, I felt well! Weston and I made it to both of the parties we wanted to go to, I sat by the pool, we ate delicious food and everyone enjoyed my cake. :) When it came time for fireworks, we had to walk quite a bit to get to our viewing spot, but I kept assuring my concerned family that I really felt fine to keep walking! After the fireworks, we came home and turned on The Sandlot, to watch while we slowly grew tired enough to sleep.
And that's when it appeared out of nowhere. Worse than any pain I'd had these past few weeks.
It made me sick. I sat in the bathtub at 1:00 am, crying. I crawled into bed with painkillers on my nightstand once again, and a heating pad clutched against my stomach. And I paid the price for my baking and my fun and my walking and my holiday for the rest of the night.
And friends - I'm so tired. I feel like I've been fighting an uphill battle for years. And don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the good days and the things that I'm able to do for those hours that I feel well, but I can't imagine always having to pay the price every time I try to live my life.
So I keep praying. I keep praying that this surgery will be the thing I've been waiting for. The answer to all of my cries to God for help and comfort and healing. The final chapter in this painful season of my life that has lasted far too long.
I'm just really ready to fully live again.
One month to go.
Please, Lord, let this fix me.