Hey! Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here – almost six months.
Aside from the fact that I’ve been busy diving into a new business, you guys know I only write when I’m feeling inspired or compelled to do so, and that seems to be the case this morning.
But I’d be lying if I said thats the only reason I stopped writing here. Truth is, I really needed a break from this platform and have been sort of “running” from my chronic illness over the last six months. Starting my floral business has been so exciting and joyful for me, but I can’t discount how scary it’s also been and what a giant leap of faith I took to start it. I so desperately want to go one hundred miles an hour, kick some ass and flourish with this new adventure. Thinking about my illness too much or seeing heart wrenching emails from readers was letting feelings of self doubt creep in.
Overall, it has been a positive experience for me and this business has been healing in a sense. Even though I am moving a bit faster and resting less, I still have chronic pain and illness. I am still at the doctors – a lot. I have to remind myself to stop and rest. My symptoms have improved a bit from therapy and treatment over the last six months, but I have also just learned to push a little harder through the pain. And if that means I get to do something that makes me truly happy, its 100% worth it.
You’re probably wondering when the title of this article is going to make sense, so lets move on. I felt compelled to write today after listening to a podcast by Anthony William or “Medical Medium”. I won’t get into the details of his healing protocols and eating recommendations, but I will tell you it has helped me tremendously during the short time I have been doing it. I highly recommend listening to a podcast of his that relates to your symptoms or illness, or getting his first book. This is the first time in my life I’ve believed I can heal. I plan to do a more detailed post on this once I’ve been on the diet for 6 months (I am 1 month in).
The podcast I listened to was about healing from physical injuries. Anthony always has a way of making illness or pain feel validated and encouraging us to be kind to ourselves, despite the myriad of people who have doubted our suffering. So, I wasn’t surprised when the first thing he addressed in this podcast is how difficult it is for someone dealing with chronic illness to go through a physical injury on top of it. When I heard him say this, it immediately brought me back to a dark place I’d once been, and reminded me that although my body is healing I still have a lot of emotional healing to do, too.
Of all the complicated surgeries I have undergone on my organs in the past two years, people are surprised to hear that I struggled most during my hip labrum repair surgery. It’s not that it was more physically painful (although, it was quite limiting), but that it was emotionally traumatizing and isolating. Undergoing a physical injury shortly after a major surgery to treat a chronic illness felt defeating. Finding out that I needed yet another surgery to treat the injury felt like a life sentence.
I remember being one week into my hip surgery and feeling so alone. I was spending most of my days in bed, but I did that during every surgery, so why did it feel so much harder this time around? It finally hit me that I had seen no friends, had no visitors and very few texts or calls that first week. At first I felt sad and a bit angry, but that was soon overcome with feelings of guilt and insecurity: Am I weak? Is this surgery not supposed to be difficult? Am I self-centered for wanting to be around others during this miserable time?
So I distracted myself with an entire season of Big Little Lies and swallowed the pain. A few days later as I got started on one of those adult coloring books, I completely broke down crying. Like, first day of pre-school sobbing.
I later discovered that it wasn’t that people didn’t care, but that they didn’t view that surgery as seriously as my other ones. Physical injuries and repairs are common, and almost everyone has been through it at some degree. It’s an easy equation for healthy people to understand: you’re hurt + we fix it = you will heal. Because of this, it was difficult for the people in my life to understand the magnitude of undergoing such a surgery in midst of chronic illness.
A physical injury or repair often intensifies the symptoms of a chronic illness, weakens your already weak immune system and prevents healing. You know how injuries feel so annoying and unlucky? If you just wouldn’t have stepped on that rock, went for a bike ride that day or been so distracted when handling that cutting knife..
It feels even more so when you have a serious illness that needs your attention, and now you cannot tend to it. Things start to spiral with your health and its a real setback. Not to mention, the domino effect happens and something that might be helping your injury is worsening symptoms of your chronic illness. For example, my anti-inflammatory medication was flaring my interstitial cystitis to the point of agony and my physical therapy exercises for my hip increased the pain from my ovarian cysts. The climb to recovery is inevitably slower and more tedious for those who already live with chronic pain and illness.
I’m not writing this to make anyone feel shameful or guilty. I just feel the world could benefit from talking about this. People are going through it every day and if others can understand how tough that is, it might just make it a little less difficult for the ones in recovery. I’m also writing this to face these old feelings, because I’ve found that’s a huge factor in my healing.
So if you’re dealing with a physical injury in addition to chronic illness (or even just a physical injury) its OK to feel frustrated, depressed and angry! It’s normal to feel lonely. If no one seems to understand or anyone is belittling your situation, I’m sorry you’re going through this. You shouldn’t have to. I hear you, I believe you and I really have felt your pain.