All I Want for Christmas is a Pain-Free Life

The holiday season has become an uncomfortable time of year for me since my daughter’s birth. She was due on Christmas and then came two weeks late, along with all of the complications. Now each year as this time approaches, along with her birthday, I’m always reminded about how awful the past four years have been and how far I still have to go in my recovery.

I was making some progress this time last year, and last summer I felt some hope. But then I made a decision to try and bump my recovery speed up with those awful nerve block injections that backfired and made my situation worse. Now I’m stuck with worse nerve volatility than I’ve had since maybe ever, or at least since Julia’s first year, and I’m not sure where to turn. My stomach’s torn up from medications, I’m sick of side effects, and I really hate all of these unnatural treatments. Unfortunately I may have to fight fire with fire in order to make more progress.

The next year could be rough – at least the first few months – since it looks like we’ll have to sell our house, pack up and move. We haven’t been able to refinance due to the tightening the banks have done and our weakened financial situation from all of the medical and childcare expenses, and as I mentioned previously, my work options are limited because I need a flexible position that pays well and I want to spend as much time with my daughter as possible in her last year and a half of preschool.

I’ve been feeling rather glum lately also due to the gray skies. Seasonal affective disorder does not help my condition, especially since chronic pain and depression are so closely tied. My nerves need a vacation. Big time. Like nobody has ever taken before. But alas, I can’t see that happening any time soon.

Some days are better than others. This week has been particularly difficult – the injured nerves have just been extra irritated. I originally intended to take the entire month of December off, but when some work projects came to me, I felt I had to take them in order to make much needed money. Unfortunately that meant my stress levels went up and I’ve had less time to relax and plan for important family activities. Now I’m finally getting caught-up, but I’m fried.

My husband’s cousin took our daughter for a night last night, the first night she’s been away from the two of us (while we’ve stayed home) since she was born. It was weird, but I took the time to rest and watch sappy romantic comedies. It was much needed time to regroup, but I found myself getting more depressed. Serendipity is all about fate bringing people together, and I felt nostalgia for days long past in my relationship with my husband. And I felt angry. Angry that life makes no sense and upset that this has all happened to me.

I know it’s all a part of the whole acceptance process that goes on when a person is faced with a disability, but I’m still laying a lot of blame on myself. I could have found better doctors. I could have made smarter decisions. I could have prevented this. Hindsight is 20/20 and we never really know. But if this is my destiny so far, all I can say is something good better come out of it as a result.

I feel lucky, blessed, etc. to have my family, my friends and my writing. But that doesn’t mean I won’t still wish upon the North Star for a pain-free life for Christmas. It may not get me anywhere, but at least wishing doesn’t come with side-effects like nausea. I try to find a silver lining even if clouds block my lucky star.

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2 responses to “All I Want for Christmas is a Pain-Free Life

  1. I can relate to the “pain anniversary” aspect of a child’s birthday; I look at my daughter’s first birthday pictures and I see despair on my face, because of the pain I was still in. It’s like a re-traumatizing, emotionally.

    I’m so sorry about the loss of the house. I really am. I know you tried so hard to rally and keep it. Your child is going to be happy anywhere that you are together, so hold on to that.

    Keep us posted on what is next for you.

  2. I just found your blog and have been back-tracking through the entries. Thank you for writing about your pain and disability with such an honest voice.

    I also am currently suffering through increased pain after choosing to try nerve blocks. It is so frustrating to try a treatment and then have it backfire.

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