I went to go get a 90 minute massage yesterday. Sounds amazing, right? They normally are, but I struggled through the whole thing. I yelped out in pain several times (and no, it wasn’t because of the massage therapist – she is wonderful, I’ve seen her several times). I’m just so used to being in pain that I sometimes forget how much pain I’m actually in until someone hits just the right spot.
The massage therapist said she could tell I was in pain – not just because of my yelping, but because of all of the tense muscles. She said there was lots of resistance, etc. All week I’ve been looking forward to this massage, but instead of leaving happy and relaxed (like I normally do), I left the appointment feeling emotionally jolted and physically sore. I’m not a crier, but I wanted to cry.
Out of habit, I try to sweep the pain and the future possibilities of a fused spine, ruptured Achilles, damaged joints, etc, under a rug and plaster on a smile. If you ask me how I am, chances are I’ll tell you I’m fine. The appointment today was a very raw and real reminder of just how “damaged” my body is.
Today I’m taking it easy. There isn’t a place on my body that isn’t hurting. I’m exhausted, sad, and still dealing with the emotions from yesterday. It is few and far between that I find myself in this “place of depression” because of my autoimmune diseases, but today I’m allowing myself to go there, to grieve, so that I might reconnect with the joy around me so I can move on.
Where’s the “reset” button when I need it?!
I’ve always felt that those of us struggling with autoimmune diseases are stuck in a never ending cycle of grief. We go through all 5 stages of the grieving process only to run up against something new (whether it’s a new diagnosis or medication that’s not working, or a reality check like mine yesterday), and have to start the grieving process over again, or backtrack a step or two in the process itself.
How does that saying go? “I can’t choose my circumstances, but I can choose how I react to them.” I think there’s a lot of truth to that. So today I’m allowing myself to grieve, but tomorrow is a new day and I’m going to choose joy in the morning, despite how much pain I might be in.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
― Joseph Campbell
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To read more about me and my diseases, click here.
This almost made me cry Megan! I feel for you, I really do, especially when you’re trying so hard to heal yourself and wouldn’t it be nice to have a reset button!
There are so many people out there who are finding success with diet, I just suppose you have to keep battling on.
Sending you positive thoughts!
Aww, Vicky… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you tear up. 🙁 Thank you for your support and love from across the miles. It means the world to me. xo
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
Awww, Megan, I’m so sorry. I think that it makes perfect sense that you go through those stages over and over. I just wish you didn’t have to. 🙁 I think you should allow yourself to both grieve and to cry. Crying is really therapeutic and beneficial at times. I just read that Joseph Campbell quote the other day. Amanda of Gluten-Free Maui left it in a comment on Debi’s (Hunter’s Lyonesse) latest post. Debi is also struggling right now. I had so hoped that those latest dietary changes you had made would make a big difference.
Big, big hugs to you, my dear friend,
Momma Shirley… thank you. Some days I really wish crying came easier for me, because there are days that I really need to let it out, but the tears just won’t come. I’m not quite sure why that is…
I’m going to connect with Debi – thank you!
Lots of hugs to you too. xo
Eileen @ Phoenix Helix says
It sounds like your body is telling you to switch over to lighter touch bodywork. I went through that transition myself. When I was younger, I loved deep tissue therapy – the deeper the better. Now my body rebels against any kind of force, and melts under skilled light touch. I don’t know what your options are locally, but here are some great modalities to try in place of massage: lymph drainage therapy, craniosacral therapy, watsu therapy, or reiki. All of them are relaxing and anti-inflammatory. Sometimes it’s surprising to discover that the gentler touch can be more powerfully healing. Sending gentle hugs to you!
Thank you for the suggestions, Eileen!
I do feel like I have grief over and over, and acceptance must be in knowing that any day, things can change in one direction or another. I hate it when I have a reality check like that. I had one recently. went off my prednisone for a week, thinking it wasn’t doing very much, so why am I taking it… OH WAS I WRONG. Now I have had a week of the worst pain I have had in 2 years! I find my Joy in knowing that this life is not the end, and I will live a lot longer in eternity without this painful messed up body. This life is SHORT. And I will be healed- through medical means, through miraculous means or at the moment I leave this world and enter the presence of the one who put those words ” Joy in the morning” in the Bible thousands of years ago. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2030&version=NIV
I’m so sorry to hear that you are in pain. 🙁 I hope it is short lived and you are relatively pain-free soon. I agree, I am looking forward to my heavenly body too. 🙂
Hugs to you,
I think we are in the same boat. I’ve had quite a few wake up calls just since November and it seems never ending. Just when I made the comment about peeling back layers of an onion and we end up just peeling…yeah, I had to peel some more just this last week. Thankfully, the recent wake up calls were’t as bad as the one in November, but at least I’ve learned how to be honest with myself and everyone around me about how I REALLY am. Hugs to you, Megan!
BIG HUGS to you too, Debi!!
Cheryl Harris says
I hope you feel better soon. I’ve certainly been there….being with the parts that hurt, having compassion for yourself, and letting yourself feel what’s there is incredibly hard, brave and completely worth it.
Thank you, Cheryl!
Nancy Holte says
I’m so sorry you are in so much pain. I too, have an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation. I’m currently in the middle of a detox and was told to eliminate dairy, soy, wheat, corn, quinoa, egg whites, romaine and iceberg lettuce, coconut, buckwheat, cucumbers, olives and red wine. (This is just for my particular body and not a suggestion for anyone else. It’s also short term as we continue to test what I can add back in.) AND, I need to limit potatoes, chicken, green beans and carrots. It’s crazy and quite the challenge but I do seem to be on the upswing. Your blog and recipes have been a HUGE help to me. Thank you so much. I’m praying you’ll start to feel better soon.
Oh my goodness that’s quite a list, Nancy! I’m glad to hear it’s short-term, and I hope you are able to pinpoint the problem foods through this process. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! Praying for you too!
Suzanne Perazzini says
My heart goes out to you. However, you seem to have a great attitude – to grieve and then pick yourself up. Love that quote by Joseph Campbell.
I also need a lighter touch now than when I was younger. Heavy massages really hurt and I have to keep telling them to lay off with the heavy stuff.
Good luck with finding your joy again.
Thanks, Suzanne. 😉
Thanks for sharing Megan. I totally relate to what you say. It is a grief process, and a hard adjustment to know we won’t just wake up some day and it will all be gone! I really enjoy your website and facebook page, both what you write and the yummy recipes. God bless and let’s keep finding that joy. 🙂
Thank you for your sweet comments, Stephanie! Hugs to you!!
Stopping by to see how you are doing. I so identify with this entry. Will this grieving never end….? I am in a lot of pain these days and I find myself faced with anger and sadness all over again. I swear, you and I are cut from the same cloth physically with our backs and neck misbehaving now on top of our other similar symptoms.
I finally gave up on the medical massages I was regularly getting. The person was great and taught me a lot about how to stretch my back and neck properly. But I was in so much pain for days after each massage that it no longer felt worth it.
I pray that this finds you and your family well! Still can’t wait to hit the heavenly buffet with you, girlfriend!!
Hey sweet lady! I am sorry to hear you are in a lot of pain. 🙁 And I hear you… we have a date – when we have new bodies we’re gonna run those streets of gold like nobody’s business!
Hugs and love you my dear!
F I N E as an acronym is False Information Negatives Evaded.
Suitable for light conversations. For what it is worth, I learned a long time ago that it is better to give myself 1-2 days to retreat and grieve, for it gave me strength to carry on, and seems to have worked well, as I am rarely ill, and can shoulder a lot, Always have. But best to respect that need to retreat and lick the wounds ever so often. Others might not “get” it, and generally I do set a time limit of about 2 days. If I can’t pull out of a funk or feel better physically to move on, then I will look at things more seriously as needing intervention, but generally it has worked well for me. I’ve rarely lived where I had much family around for support, so it was one of the ways I learned to take care of myself. Blessings!