Pain

IMG_0146So, I had originally planned to write a post at least once a week, but I wasn’t able to the past two weeks. Truth is I have been in a lot of pain, more so then the every day pain, and it kept me from even doing daily functions like getting out of bed a joining the rest of the living world.

You know what I hate most about pain? I hate that it steals moments of your life away. Instead of getting to enjoy something that you love, you end up focusing on the pain that is there.

Sure, there are ways to cope or even work through the pain but it’s still there. It nags and haunts you as you do try to do everyday life. And I’m not just talking about chronic physical pain; I’m talking mental and emotional pain too.

Pain can trap us and make us feel helpless, vulnerable and incapable. These are just my real honest thoughts.

But in the last two and a half years that I have been dealing with my chronic pain I have watched as moments have passed me by. Moments with friends and family. Moments of just enjoying the things I once loved to do. Moments of just enjoying life as it is. I can’t do that as much anymore because my uninvited guest, pain, is always hanging around.

I’ve had to readjust my world to a life of pain. And because I’ve had to deal with the physical pain for so long it wasn’t long before the mental and emotional pain followed. It’s not easy dealing with all three at once. It can make it feel like a vacuum sucking you away from what once was.

Pain is a thief. And I hate it. And trust me I have spent a lot of time working through it, trying to get better, not focusing on it, trying to not be on meds and tell myself it’s all in my head and all sorts of other things. But at the end of the day it’s still there. Haunting me.

I can’t stand that I am not the person I once was. That I spend most of my time lying in a bed wishing I was able to do more. I miss my life. I miss living on my own, going and hanging with friends, having a job that brought me joy because I was being productive  and getting to just enjoy the every day of things.

Now, I live each day being conscientious on if something I will do will cause me pain or not. Then, there are also those moments where I choose to do something even though I know it will, because I am tired of missing out on life. And yet, there are even others that I can’t participate in at all because I am in severe pain as it is and it will just make matters ten times worse.

I don’t plan to always talk about my pain and health. But it has been on my mind a lot the past two weeks since it has been more severe then normal. It’s a reality I have to face on a constant. And it is so hard to stay in a positive mindset when it feels like you have no options and don’t seem to be getting any better.

Believe me when I say I hate the lifestyle I have had to accommodate to and I hate the person I have now become. I miss the old me. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. I don’t remember how to be her anymore because I’ve had to focus on how to work around the pain (all areas). And I feel stuck, most days, to figure out a way around it and back to myself.

To add to it all, last week I had to officially resign from my job back in Tampa because of the prognosis I was given. I was holding onto hope that I would get better soon and be able to go back to my life once again. Because of this situation, as my body has been fighting off the physical pain I’ve been experiencing, my mind has had to work through the mental emotional pain of loss.

I’ve spent the past week trying to figure out what’s next, how do I move on and will things ever be different from how they are now? I don’t know how to answer them because all I can think about is the damn pain…

I know I am not supposed to focus on the thing that I don’t want but it’s hard not to when you constantly experience it and it feels like it’s taunting you. Again, I am just being real. I wish I had answers, I wish I had solutions and dear God do I wish I could get back to “real” life.

I want to believe that this won’t be a forever thing, but when it still is happening after two and a half years and then you get added bonuses like all over body hives, for no apparent reason, it is hard to believe that things will be different. I just have to keep praying and keep my hope, some how.

I promise to make my next post more light hearted. But this was fresh on my mind as I am still not fully feeling like I can even semi-function and thought I’d share some honest thoughts and feelings.

I just want people to know that it’s okay if things aren’t always rainbows and butterflies. That life is real and life can sometimes suck. My life has not had very many sun-shinning moments the past two years. So, posts I’ve made or conversations I’ve had have not been what they used to be, but I am not going to fake how I feel or what I am experiencing. I’m going to be real and honest. And I hope that brings encouragement to someone.

I’m not going to give up until I see things change and I will keep being honest about the tough moments. And that is just how I am going to keep moving forward at the moment. Because that is all I know what to do, for now.

I hope you all are well and have a wonderful week! Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.

 

Love,

Alisa

Moving On

IMG_3811Okay. Now that you know about my health issues here come the thoughts that I have on a constant about all of it.

Recently I was given the prognosis that my healing would not be a quick fix, but that in fact it would probably take years for me to get better and even then I wouldn’t be 100%. The good news was, yes, that after a few years I would be function-able, but it’s still hard to hear that I will never be the same.

I have known for a while now that my healing would not be a quick fix but I’ve been in denial about it for months.

I have spent over two years trying to figure out how to get better and what exactly is wrong with me, with no luck. But I have refused to give up on the hope that I might get better quickly.

I mean I’m only 26 years old. This should not be how I live my life, feeling like an old woman who can’t take care of herself and function properly on a day-to-day basis because of pain and unexplained dizziness.

But, since moving back to Texas my thoughts lately have been; when do you finally “throw in the towel”, say enough is enough and figure out how to, I guess, reshape your life to a new normal?

I have tried to fight so hard to not have to be a person that has to revolve her life around chronic pain. I knew for a season I would have to change things around, until I got better. But now, now it feels like I’m finally having to say “this is my life” and having to adjust my course to a life with chronic pain.

Insert very long pause here with a heavy sigh….

I have purposefully ignored thinking about the possible reality of this outcome because I didn’t want it to be real. I didn’t want it to be my reality. But it seems the inevitable has finally happened and I’m having a hard time facing this new path I’m on.

A year and a half ago, when all of this was still new and my hope was still high, I had this amazing epiphany about “the process” and it had to do with roads and road blocks and how each process you go through takes you to different destinations but isn’t the end all in life (I will this whole thought process in another post). And I thought it was the most brilliant thing I’d ever come up with. But now, now it’s a hard reality to swallow when the road your going down looks real bad and doesn’t look like it’s headed in a good direction.

The truth is, my hope has lessened and I’ve not wanted to listen to my own words and thoughts. In doing so I’ve been trying to change courses and move on for so long that it’s quiet possible I’ve gotten myself lost in the process. Making moving on hard to do.

I guess it’s time to get my map back out and figure out where I’m headed and try to figure out how to make the most of this road until I am able to get on a new one.

Moving on is never easy and it will probably never look like the way we want it to. But usually the destination is worth it. Even though getting there may suck, a lot…

God bless you in your process.

Alisa

My Un-healthy Story

So, for my first non introduction post I thought I would go public on my health journey. Or rather my declining health journey.

I have yet to tell all of social media the background story behind my now chronic pain issues. So, here goes nothing.

It all started a little over two years ago. Me, for the most part a healthy 24 year old, was getting dressed on a Saturday morning and while I was pulling my pants up (doing the “pull your pants up jig”) when all of the sudden I felt an awful pop in my back and I hit the floor in pain

I had no clue what happened. All I could think was how in the heck does a 24 year old seemingly throw her back out? Isn’t that what happens to 60 year old women? How on earth does that happen???

Well, I went about my day but in severe pain. The pain lasted for a couple weeks so I finally did something about it. I got some massage therapy done on it and the pain, for the most part, subsided and for the next few months and I went on life as usual.

Fast forward to March for 2016. My family comes for a visit to go to Disney World/Universal. So, I drive the hour and a half to Kissimmee to go spend a couple days with them.

Well, that short drive there sent my back into pain again. But I ignored it, wanting to enjoy the fun of the visit.

We then ended up going to Universal and my brother and I went on a couple of roller coasters, because roller coasters are the best! Little did I know that was going to cause more back pain.

By the time I got back to Tampa, a couple of days later, my back was in excruciating pain. To the point I could barley move or get off the couch. So, I finally gave in and went to the doctor.

After x-rays and an MRI and what felt like a million doctors visits later I found out that I had had a previous fracture in my mid back (thoracic spine) that had healed funky, as well as degenerative discs.

So, for the next several months I spent going to a ton of different doctors including physical therapy, pain management, ortho specialists, spine specialist, rheumatologist and the list goes on. I did all of this but was not seeing any improvement in my pain. I was going day to day living in pain but not living life as I once had.

In fact, when all of this first happened I was supposed to go on a missions trip to Scotland but was unable to attend because of my pain and not knowing what was happening. And that is just one instance where I was held back from living life as usual. This issue was running and ruining my life on a daily basis.

So, then comes November 1st, 2016. It’s seven in the morning and I am on my way to go see my second pain management specialist. I’m in stop and go traffic, when we start to pick up and all of the sudden people begin to slam on their breaks. The person in front of me swerves to the side of the road making it so I don’t hit into the back of their car, to which I am forever grateful for. In that split second that I’m deciding if I should do the same, it’s too late, and the person behind me slams into the back of me.

I instantly have pain in the back of my head and all my thoughts begin going a million miles an hour.

I don’t go to the ER right away because I “just” have head pain and what obviously feels like whip lash. But I schedule an appointment to see a doctor to get assessed since I already have issues and didn’t know if the accident had caused further damage.

The next week and a half are hell. I am in a excruciating pain and am getting a million tests done. After a couple days I have dizziness that gets so bad I am spinning while lying in bed. So, that’s when I finally go to the ER.

The doctor that orders all my MRI’s and x-rays informs me that basically the accident just added insult to injury. I now have new issues to my back with added issues to my neck. And the ER doctor informs me I had a mild traumatic brain injury.

All this to say began an even longer journey of figuring out what the heck to do about fixing myself so I can go back to living life normally.

Over the past year plus I have spent my time going to doctor after doctor; receiving physical therapy, vestibular therapy, test after test, several non-invasive procedures, not being heard by doctors, being on all kinds of different medications to help the pain and spending many hours in tears grieving the life I once had. But needless to say my life has forever been altered.

That is the shorter version of my story. There is so much more that has gone on in between. But this has become a long post and I don’t want to drag it out. There honestly is so much more I could say and go into.

I wanted to share though because the reason I am doing this blog is because of these circumstances that have shaped my current life. I want this to be an outlet to process some of the things I’ve gone through. To share some of my thoughts and the things I’ve learned through this. And to share the hard stuff and be real and vulnerable at this not so pretty process.

Like I said in my last post I want this to be a place that maybe someone else can know they aren’t alone in the struggle, no matter if your dealing with chronic pain or just a real life pain.

I want everyone to know that no matter the struggle or pain they are going through it’s real and deserves to be acknowledged. And everyone needs to know they aren’t alone.

Hope you guys will still stick with me after this long post. Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Alisa

(If any one has questions about my journey please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me. )

Why I blog

Hey there!

Some of you may know me and others may not. My name is Alisa Paul, I currently am 26 years old and living in Texas. This is not my first blog, but because of certain circumstances in my life I have decided to try a new one.

I have had this site for a couple of months now but haven’t written a post yet. I mean how do you honestly go about writing your first blog post? Do you start with an introduction page? Do you just write whatever is on you mind and heart? Do you tell a story? I have no clue how to start this thing. All I know is I want to start this and share. Some posts will be about my thoughts and feelings and others may just be about randomness. I will just see how it goes.

Honestly, usually when I go about trying to write these things I start out with one idea and then change to another because my thoughts just go all over the place. Which is part of why I haven’t started this yet. Because I can never just stay on one topic, since when I start typing, all of the thoughts just start flowing out of me. So, some of these posts may be all over the place, but usually they all will circle into the same thought pattern.

I know that I do hope that maybe some of what I say will help someone else who maybe dealing with things that I am. I know that over the past couple of years, with all the health issues I have had and some other personal things it has been hard to have hope and comfort in some areas. And I wish that I could have had more people who relate to what I am going through. So, I hope that this will be helpful to someone.

I am really bad about reading other peoples blogs, I am honestly more of a picture person, when it comes to relating. But, I usually get a lot out of writing things. So, even if no one reads this I am hoping it will at least be a good outlet for me to work through some things.

So, there are my blog thoughts. I will write another one soon, with some actual deep thoughts or maybe just a story of my life. I am excited to get this started, because I am actually hoping to write a book and am probably going to take some of my post thoughts into the books I write.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Until next time! 🙂

Alisa Paul