I always maintain that I am stronger than Lupus.
The past week after returning back to a full time job as a Reading Specialist in a school district that encompasses an 8 hour day, excessive walking, standing and sitting (although I was given accomodations to avoid this but is unavoidable), driving 60 miles round trip, and running my business to provide mental health and wellness coaching and workshops before and after school hours, I have learned that I am no match for my diagnosis of Lupus/Inflammatory Arthritis.
The arthritis is in my spine which radiates into my jaw and arms, alongside of a nerve impingement and degenerative disc disease which affects my walking and standing. Oh, and if I sit more than a few minutes, that doesn’t work either.
I have purchased a thick foam pad for underneath my feet, 3 pairs of expensive sneakers that are listed as “the best choice for standing on concrete floors all day,” have been given a standing desk in my office, and I sit with a heating pad on my back for relief most of the day. Motrin does not get to the pain. I will not take pain medication because I am dedicated to my recovery from prescription drug addiction now in my 10th year of recovery.
I am not stronger than my challenges, however…
I am doing my best every day to remain positive, and to look for a deeper meaning…
A SPIRITUAL MEANING to my challenges.
My body needs a gentle flow, rest, love and daily physical therapy to maintain my wellness. It needs nourishment body, mind and spirit.
Instead my body is swollen, it feels heavy, and the pain is systemic. The severity of the pain affects my thinking. Yesterday was the worst. I had complete brain fog just 30 minutes into my day. NO RELIEF. The pain literally takes my breath away. Recently a doctor shrugged at me and said, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.” WOW.
Instead of giving myself what I know that my body needs to thrive…
I work to live.
Many of us have no choice.
At 64 years old and living with these challenges in addition to no financial resources, I am forced to do my PT at home at 4am, in excruciating pain and through a few tears, limp into the bathroom to take a shower, put on my makeup as I brace my body up against the sink to take the pressure off of my spine, sit with heat on my back for a few minutes, carry my briefcase, lunch bag and books to the car, drive to work, (thankful for the heated seats and lumbar support seat) carry everything into my building, and by the time I get there, my poor body is reeling in pain, spasms, and exhaustion. This even after the doctor said, “Do not carry anything heavier than a fork.” But, I cannot pull one of those suitcases on wheels, and there is nobody to assist me when I arrive at work.
And, because I have no choice other than to “work to live,” I have now had to agree to take a medication that I have said no to for years that treats Lupus/Arthritis. It is a drug that is normally used for depression, but in a very small dose (10mg) I am told it treats this type of pain. “Nortriptyline works by increasing the amount of specific nerve transmitters in the nervous system, reducing pain messages arriving in the brain.”
So it is NOT treating or curing my disease, it is just a band-aid. And it is screwing with my very healthy brain…one I have prided myself in taking special care of these last 10 years of my recovery from prescription drug addiction.
Spiritual meaning??? Hmmmm…
A couple of days ago as my specialist looked at the severe swelling in my knees, she said all I can do is ice, and elevate.
And, she said I need to “increase the Nortriptyline to 20mg for more effective pain management.” So that I can go to work…
I’ve had cortisone injections, 2 epidurals, and exercise every day walking at least 2 miles, PT, drink plenty of water, eat very “clean” with no sugar, gluten, dairy or processed foods, and only organic foods are in my diet in order to avoid inflammation, and have used every concoction of holistic supplements to try to reduce my inflammation. I have tried massages, and acupuncture. Nothing is long lasting for this type of pain.
I KNOW my body and I am expericing systemic inflammation ongoing. Physical and mental stress keeps our bodies in a state of inflammation.
I work to serve our global community in mental health and wellness which is my passion. I use my lived and field experience, as well as my book Write Pray Recover:A Journey To Wellness Through Spiritual Solutions and Self Care to offer solutions to achieve wellness. This brings me joy.
My children and grandchildren bring me joy.
However, the pain and every symptom that I am experiencing zaps my energy.
I work to live.
I go to work, and come home to go to bed.
Yet, I am still “going deeper” to find the spiritual meaning of what seems to be a life lesson.
I’m not there yet…
To be continued…
Love and blessings,