There are some authors who strike a chord deep within their reader and for me, C.S. Lewis has always been that author, both with his impeccably written fantasy but mostly when he somehow tapped into reality and wrote little gems like this one, “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”
After three years of fighting, fuming and fumbling my way through the painful cluster of issues that made up my Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), I was (rather unexpectedly) told that I was in remission. Naturally, I was elated.
The last three years were the most painful experience of my life and I would never wish this vile disease on anyone. I tried every remedy, recommendation and passing comment to try and rid myself of this horrible illness. It had been a constant battle often with conflicting information from different sources. There were times when my Doctors made recommendations, my OT team wanted me to do something else and people in the support groups insisted neither of these professionally trained medical professionals knew what they were doing.
It took me a long time to learn to trust my gut. I had an amazing Rheumatologist who not only diagnosed me but never complained when I contacted her and always had time to squeeze me in when I had an emergency. She researched and then did more research until she was satisfied that she knew all the latest breakthroughs and details regarding CRPS. She even took it upon herself to communicate with both my psychologist and Occupational Therapists (both therapies I looked into because of her insistence that they would help). And she even went beyond medicine and encouraged me to cut down my medication when I told her I was seeing a homeopath and it was helping me with some of the symptoms. She was a true pillar of strength through this storm.
My occupational therapy team and psychologist were flawless. I saw them at least once a week every week for the first two years. We experimented and tried every possible course of treatment and pain management until we found what worked for me. My psychologist even taught me to identify my triggers and how to avoid them becoming a constant issue.
I met some amazing people in the support groups. Two amazing ladies, fighting their own battle but willing to chat with me and share their knowledge of the disease. They gave me tips and tricks to deal with splints and casts that you only learn when you’re stuck in one. They also gave me life saving diet tips which completely changed the way my body reacted to pain and flares. I will forever be indebted to them.
Then my parents, family and loving husband. My parents lived this horror with me and I can never imagine how painful it must have been for them to watch me suffer and be unable to do anything about it. My parents stood by every crazy idea we came up with in therapy, every mood swing, medication reaction and weeks of sleep. My sisters and grandparents never failed to distract me from the pain and remind me what normal felt like. They loved me and protected me and reminded me every day that God was with me.
My husband, was actually my best friend when I got diagnosed. He phoned me every day after campus to give me company while I waited to go home and made sure I laughed at least once a day. Three years later, I still tell him that he’s the reason I still remember how to smile today.
These people were the light in my nightmare and looking back, I was blessed with amazing people.
They gave me the courage to push through the pain and find myself. To stay strong and work towards the elusive remission. And now as I stand here, practically pain free, trying to contemplate my next step in life, they’re standing behind me pushing me forward and lending me the strength to let go and move forward.
Contemplating my monkey bars,