3 Things I Want You to Remember on Bad Days
August 17, 2017 | Posted in: Chronic Life
Just when we think we might be getting a handle on things, our latest diagnosis or setback, we find ourselves reeling. Be it a flare, a concerned call from the doctor, a flagged set of numbers in our weekly blood work, or a day when the pain is seemingly unbearable, it can be hard to remember things might ever be good again. What truths do we hold onto on the particularly bad days? What keeps us grounded? Here are three things I’d like you to remember on the bad days.
1) You are a bad donkey. Seriously. Stay with me. This is a good thing. Not long ago, my son posted a picture of himself in the ER on the first day of his senior year. He laughed about one of the commenter’s notion he was “pretty bad donkey.”
It took me a little bit to realize this was the edited version of “badass.”
You too, are incredibly, “bad donkey” You’ve hardened yourself to overwhelming difficulty, stood up in the face of great pain, and forged a new way, a new you when you could’ve simply spent the rest of your days in mourning. See? Pretty bad donkey, right?
2) You’re made of steel. Like a superhero, wearing an invisible cape, you rescue others as you pull off impossible feats. A couple of years ago, I had a bladder pacemaker implanted. Before they place the actual unit, they do a trial run. During the placement of this trial unit, you are wide-awake. Wheeled into an O.R., given a local anesthetic, a sterile field is created while you lie on your stomach, and then a urologist begins shoving tiny wires into your back and attaching them to your sacral nerve. You have to be awake so you can tell them about the sensations you feel upon placement. Each time the placement is wrong, they pull out and start all over again.
It’s, um, a bit unpleasant. Once they find the proper placement, you wear the unit for a weekend to determine if you’re a candidate for the actual implant. If so, you repeat the entire process, during which, the only time they actually put you to sleep is when they drop a battery pack into your butt cheek. I knew coming out of my trial placement, if I was a candidate for the implant, I was going to be asking for something more than a local anesthetic the next time around.
As they wheeled me out, I watched a woman who looked to be in her late nineties go in for the same procedure after me. I couldn’t fathom how she would bear it. She came out to no one. No loved ones, no friends. The doctor asked her if it had been too painful for her. She replied, “Oh no, it was fine. It was fine.” You are made of steel.
3) You are not alone. I know this one feels like a lie. You’re walking around and it feels like you might as well be a ghost. Does anyone even see you? Does anyone see or even care about the magnitude of your loss? Click To TweetWe do. We see you and we care. There are so many of us out there who are walking a similar journey. The problem with this is, we’re walking a similar journey so it makes meeting up for coffee challenging. But you can find us on the Internet and in Facebook groups. We might even be your neighbor or your boss’s wife, your cousin’s girlfriend, your son’s teacher. Keep looking.
You’re not alone. We see you, and we care. Click To Tweet
What are your tips and tricks? What keeps your grounded on bad days?