Read at your own peril ;)
The Injury From Hell that stopped me in my tracks in March 2011, has not yet healed. In fact, things have just progressed and gotten far worse than I had imagined.
I had to stop working in April 2012 as the chronic and excruciating pain (in my pubic/pelvic region prevented me from sitting for long periods (ie. over 15 minutes), concentrating or sleeping. It had progressed to the point where I was suffering from incontinence. My quality of life felt so bad that I would literally burst into tears at work, or at home - and felt completely hopeless. I thought about blogging about it at that point but didn't think anyone would really want to read about how bleak my life felt... how I couldn't do anything that I wanted to do (yoga, swim, bike, run, walk, hike... or sit and watch a movie) and could not understand how at 46 I was suffering from all of this from what started as an insidious onset of groin pain in March 2011.
I'm a yogini - but I'm not perfect! It's wonderful to focus on gratitude however let's face it - it's not always easy... I lost that focus.
I became a miserable, crying, overreactive and pain-infused thing that couldn't stand to read the posts of others on blogs or Facebook 'I just ran 32km and feel fantastic'; 'I swam 4000m today - woo hoo bring on Ironman'; 'Ironman... Ironman... training, swimming, biking... running..." AAARGH!!!! I ended up not reading anyone's social media posts for months because I would get furious and bitter and then eventually just cry. My poor husband did not know what to do or say. I HATED MY LIFE.
Anyone who's ever dealt with mental health issues (I've battled with them for most of my 47 years)... anyone who's ever dealt with chronic pain... you will understand. It felt like my entire world had imploded.
Most of my 'friends' (not from work - my 'real' friends) - I have not seen. Many I have not heard from. I literally pleaded with some to please come and visit me or meet me for coffee or something because I was so lonely and desperately wanted some company. Did any of them go out of their way to come and see me when I could not drive my car or had no income for 2 months when I stopped working? They did not.
(I should rephrase that... a couple of women friends DID actually demonstrate true friendship and support and I am eternally grateful to them. (these are not the people I practically begged to visit me) The rest ... those 'friends'... have proven themselves not to understand the basic concept of friendship. Wow... eye opener. Checking Facebook to see whether I'm still alive and periodically posting something is not the same as picking up the phone to speak to me or even sending me an email to connect. Our society is more connected electronically than ever before but we have lost connection with one another. Gratitude flows from recognizing those who truly demonstrate friendship and support - and letting go of all others. We are all busy. I repeat... we are ALL busy... but if that prevents us from spending time with those who love us and sharing ourselves and our love - life is not worth living.
As for my workplace, I had thought that after being at the same workplace for 25 years, with many 'friends' there, I would hear from or see those people or feel supported by them. Apparently 'work friends' is a separate category for most. No one has visited. No one has sent a card. Was I bitter about that? Oh yeah... I mean, WTF??!!! I went off work suddenly and have been gone for 8 months and - nothing?? I'm forgotten just like that - I don't matter to them at all? And then I remembered, at the office I am the person who thinks of doing those things... apparently they don't get done when I'm not around. Gratitude emanates from realizing that I don't need to spend so many hours at the office on my own time...I don't need to be the 'perky' girl in the office who takes in fresh baked cakes and cookies and is quick to volunteer for the jobs others don't want.
I came off work thinking I'd be gone a month to relax and focus on rehabilitation and be all better. Not so. I've worked through treatment for a (?) sports hernia, (?) adductor tear, calcific tendonitis of the adductor and now possibly osteitis pubis. I'm no further ahead.
I went to physiotherapy faithfully (those people are my rock(s) - they continue to support me) and then had surgery to repair a (diagnostically unconfirmed) sports hernia on August 1, 2012. Here we are on December 7, 2012 - surgery was not successful. My surgeon wished me well and saw me on my way and that's that. Apparently the surgical site is healed and solid however - I am right back where I started 2 years ago. I'm not exaggerating. My pain has not altered or shifted. It's still chronic. It's still very, very painful. I still cannot participate in any of the physical activities I love. My 'exercises' at physio involve walking in the therapeutic pool... (sigh)
I've had 6 platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections - they did not work. I've had months of physiotherapy to try and stabilize my hypermobile pelvic region. The pain continues. I'm now on crutches to see if non-weight bearing on the left leg helps things along. Crutches SUCK. I'm clumsy. I've tripped an elderly lady, whacked others in the shins and been completely astonished by the obliviousness of the general populace - having doors slammed in my face as I hobble close to them... people looking at me like I'm a huge annoyance for being in their way as I try to shuffle through a shopping mall... Unbelievable. I cannot imagine how, for instance, a person in a wheelchair navigates through life surrounded by our society... another eye opener. Another chance to practice gratitude. I am so grateful that I can walk. I am not bound to a wheelchair or hospital bed. I can see. I can hear. I can feel. I can love.
Next up is a CT scan to see if they can confirm osteitis pubis. I hope so because if so, my fabulous sports specialist says he can treat that. If not, I have no idea what will happen next.
I no longer plan anything physically active for the future. I can't see the future... I have no idea whether I will still be completely sidelined in another 3 months, or 6 months... because this has gone on for so long and so far nothing has cured it. I just want the pain to stop. I really want to be active again.
- I can immerse myself in photography and capture the beauty and the life that surrounds us - and then for a time, I am at peace
- my photography website is now up online www.suesitkiphoto.com - check it out :)
- I've learned which relationships are worth cultivating and nurturing and work at being a good friend to others
- I've observed that most/many people are so self-involved they are missing out on what could be a much richer life experience... and that is sad
** As 2012 comes to a close, so does this long-winded post... Truly, each day I do try and find gratitude in the little things that matter in life and not focus on the things that are not going the way I had hoped or planned. Some days it is very difficult to do that. I am lonely. I miss 'playing' and laughing with others. I am deeply saddened because I feel so left out... however my wonderful hubby and my good friends love me and I love them. And that is what really matters in this life.
May 2013 be a happy new year - for all of us :)