As I put my head on my pillow last night, I felt more alone than I have in months. I knew no one, no matter how close they believe they are to me, understands how the recurring nature of my illness chips away at me.
The aching in my spine made it difficult to get comfortable and drift off to sleep. I didn’t feel like talking, texting or blogging. I didn’t give in to my urge to cry. And, I didn’t drop to my knees to pray. I just clutched my pillow and I talked to God.
“This thing that you’ve given me is again testing my resilience, sapping my finances and hampering my enjoyment of life. I work hard to move forward in life but I end up back at the same point,” I muttered. “I agreed to these six back procedures because I need to be free of daily pain. I want to reduce my use of opioids. I also need to release the guilt, confusion and the sadness associated with living with a chronic illness that’s left me childless, unable to skate or ski, to drive long distances, or buy anything. I’m tired Lord.”
I don’t know if I was heard or just releasing my inner thoughts helped but I felt better in the morning. I put a filter on my sad bedtime image. It instantly went from a depressing shot to a glamorous one.
Hours later, as I put on my gown and grippy socks at the Hospital For Special Surgery for the first procedure, my heart sunk a bit. The nurse asked me for a urine sample to see if I was pregnant and I knew the answer was no.
When I emerged from the bathroom i did something to make myself forget my misery over the test and the upcoming invasion of my spine. I snapped a photo with a filter that took my drab look to fabulous. This reminded me that underneath the hospital wear, my scars, and internal pain, there’s a beautiful, hopeful soul. And, I will continue to thrive as long as I remember the words of Anne Frank, “don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”
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