I haven’t written on here for a long while, and honestly, that’s a good thing. The fact that I have been too busy actually living life to make an update is, when you stop to think about it, pretty damn amazing. Since having surgery on one of my kidneys this past summer, my quality of life improved immensely. I started really doing things. I moved out of my parent’s house, started working, and going to school. I even went on trips. Lots of them! This would have been nearly impossible just a year ago. When I reflect on all of this, I feel proud of where I am and what I am doing.
However, I’m writing this post to address some of the not so great aspects of my life right now because they do still exist. The grand improvement in my health left me riding a high that has recently started to dwindle. I’ve noticed declines in my health and I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment and shock that the good streak of health could end. The dull pain in my kidneys has once again become an everyday occurrence, sleep has become fleeting without he aid of a sedative, pain exists throughout my body, and the constant nausea and discomfort when eating anything has returned.
Let me just say, it sucks to watch your own health decline. It fucking sucks. I guess I assumed that it would get easier each time simply because I’ve been through it before. It doesn’t. It’s a loss and it deserves to be grieved over. After almost eight years of suffering debilitating pain and cramps with my period every month, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe endometriosis. What stage it is in exactly will be determined by a laparoscopic surgery, but for now I’ll try different treatment options ranging from birth control to chemo. In other news, my urologist and I have been discussing the pros and cons of a bladder reconstruction surgery, my gastroenterologist has suggested that we may have to return to the mostly or all liquid diet that I was happily able to avoid for the past six months, and increasing pain levels may force me back into needing the daily aid of pain medicine and I am not the best or even a good version of myself on pain medication. And to top it all off, I have begun an intensive trauma therapy program that requires me to revisit and recount extremely difficult and traumatic events in my life leaving me feeling vulnerable, on edge, and very anxious.
While all of this is hard stuff to go through, the most difficult thing about it lies in my tendency to compare myself with those who are healthy. Even though I am working, going to school, and living on my own, I often think I am not doing enough. When I compare myself to others, I forget about how hard I worked to get where I am right now and how hard I work to get through each day. But if I compare my current self to my past selves, it becomes difficult to deny how much progress I have made. I have grown so much through my almost three years of living with disease, and I want to be more intentional about not only acknowledging, but celebrating that fact too. I’d like to cut myself some slack when I don’t meet expectations, whether they are other’s or my own. I guess I just want to remind myself and others that life is hard and some days seem impossible, and that’s okay. But even in the pain and the suffering and the despair, there is always the hope of a new day.
Today is an absolutely shitty day, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s okay to feel no matter what it is you’re feeling. Feelings are fleeting and temporary, and so is the pain and suffering that created the feeling. But the same goes for the good and positive feelings, so cultivating gratitude for all things and all feelings is necessary. Maybe not always in the moment, but eventually. So even though I’ve spent the majority of my day in tears and unable to move, I am grateful for being and for God and for the good friends and family who support me through the most difficult times.