Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blessings Behind the Pain

Even Lola's tired of taking care of me.
If there's one person I would never, ever live with, it would be...me. Well, maybe half of who I am, because I am a helluva' cook and I'm very nurturing, but the other half is one. pain. in. the. ass. Half the time, I'm up with insomnia or just in excruciating pain. As you know, I'm no stranger to doctors' offices, emergency rooms and hospitals. I'm one hot mess lately. Usually it requires some sort of assistance, like helping me out to the car to rush off to the ER or helping me even make it to the loo. Those are the extreme days. But, we married in health and in sickness. Somewhere right now, my wife is twitching. But I'm not so bad. I make Madelene laugh, I'm silly and immature as hell. I think that's what saves our relationship: laughter. Or maybe it's the dog. In any case, it's the little things in life that bring us joy. God, now I'm starting to sound like a Hallmark card. My point is, when one person in the relationship or marriage is either sick or in excruciating pain, the other mate suffers greatly too. I totally realize that. I witnessed my mother fatigued and overwhelmed by my father's battle with cancer. I'm in no way comparing my ailments or struggle to his --I compare it to the constant pain and anxiety. (His much higher of course.) I'm relating this to the struggle that the one partner has trying to be a caregiver and doing all that they can possibly do in their will to help their loved one. My family has been a great source of comfort for me. Whether they have spent time with me, made me laugh, shared a dinner with me or even just called me to see how I was doing, I love every single one of them. We've always been a close-knit family, and lately, it seems like we've become much more closer after having been through the roughest storms. I'd be lost without them. They're my world...my heart...my everything.

Wiping tear...


Back to poor ol' Mad. What a trooper. I could wake up at 2am screaming in pain and she'll grab her glasses on the nightstand with one eye open, and say, "Okay, want me to bring you to the ER?" And although I usually don't take her up on it (such a liar) it's just her willingness to do anything she could do in order to give me comfort. Sometimes, I'm up all night watching television just because the pain won't let up. I don't know what happened at the age of thirty-nine, but I feel like my body screamed, "I give up!" And well, that's because I gave up on my body, which brings me to my next venture: Paleo. I knocked two chihuahuas off my back (16 lbs) and still trying to knock a few more down. I no longer have knee pain, ankle pain or typical joint pain that is caused my access weight, even though I have a long ways to go. I do have generalized body aches from the lower back pain, especially my sciatica. When I walk, Madelene laughs at me, and for good reason. Every time I take a step with my left leg, she hears this...  "Thump...Eye-yi-yi-yi!!!...Thump...Eye-yi-yi-yi-yo mama!!!" She gets hysterical over it. She never knows what Tourette-like outburst comes flying out of my mouth with each 'left' step. The Percocet no longer helps me. It's now a nerve issue, which is quite impossible to relieve. So tonight I'm going to physical therapy and trying some light yoga and stretching. There is nothing else I can do. But I have to say, I've been feeling better as far as "constant" pain. Now it's just literally walking on a nerve kind of pain. I've also quit drinking....for now. I haven't touched a drink in quite some time, like maybe a week? Yes, this is a longgggg time for me folks. While staying at the hospital, the nurse even asked me if I would be going through withdrawals during my stay. I just shot her a look like, "Wow, am I that bad?" And I admit, I would have somewhere between one and three drinks per evening. If it's on a weekend, possibly five. So, I'm tapering off and moderating my (God this hurts) drinking. This is another huge step in the right direction for me as far as health.

My reasoning? I'm so fucking sick of being the victim. I'm so sick of being the patient. I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm so frustrated that I can't help out more than I want to. I break my back trying to do the littlest of tasks. But not anymore. I am on the mend, I am starting to feel better, lighter and healthier. I want to be healthy in my forties, fifties, sixties and so on. I want to be a healthy ninety-five year old. I'm so tired of neglecting my own health just to "have fun" or because I think "I deserve it" --- I deserve much better. I'm done with the pain killers, done with the NSAIDs, done with all the poisons I've been pumping into my system. And don't get me wrong, I will still enjoy my wine and occasional martini --- but not in excess. The other night, my brother-in-law said something pretty significant to me, to where I kind of brushed it off like, "Yeah, easier said than done."  He said, "Do you have a lot of stress?" And of course the answer was YES. He said, "Just get it out of your mind. Throw it away. Don't think about it." I'm like, yeah okay. But then I thought, this is coming from someone who has also had stomach ulcers and stress-related ailments too. He did it, so out of experience, he seems to be pretty content with "pushing the stress out of his mind".  Maybe our mind is the battlefield and it's just a matter of time to retrain and reprogram our entire thinking. For instance, it took me some time to learn that sugar, pasta and breads are POISON to my system. I actually have a phobia over these things. I won't touch them. My once favorite foods have become my greatest fear. While having dinner with my family, my mother made my favorite rice. It's this cheesy, sodium loaded rice from a box, but it is soooooo good. I stuck with the ribs and veggies. Mom said, "You're not having any? You can't eat rice either?" Although rice is "okay" to eat, it's the packaged up goods that destroy me. Corn on the cob was on the table too. God help me when I resist that at a BBQ. But my fear (a healthy fear) overtook my cravings. And that, is GOOD.

I just want to thank Madelene, my mother, my sisters and my brother-in-law for helping me in ways they probably didn't know they have. My sister Carla gave me a ring the other day. She stopped in mid-sentence while talking with me and said, "I don't know what happened, I feel like Dad told me to give this to you." So she took off her ring and gave it to me. It has a cross and the Hail Mary prayer engraved on it. She said it's to keep me safe. I never take it off. The sentimental value of it is absolutely priceless. My father used to joke around with us and say, "How can I soar like an eagle when I'm surrounded by a buncha' turkeys?" And I say, "I can soar like an eagle because I'm surrounded by a bunch of angels." I'm so grateful. I truly believe there are blessings behind our pain and suffering.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!