Today was a tough day. Actually a lot of my days have been tough days lately. It’s been just over a month since my surgery and let’s just say things haven’t gone quite as I had hoped they would.
When last I updated you, it has only been a couple of weeks, and my hand was still all wrapped up and in the soft cast. It was still pretty early days, and I still had pretty high hopes that it would start to settle down soon. Nerve pain is tough, and if you have never experienced it, let me start off by saying you lucky you are and that I hope you never do. For me, it is hot, burning hot, and freezing cold and it shoots and zaps and rips its way through not only my hand, but my whole arm. I found out the hard way that wearing anything with sleeves that touch my arm causes electrical pain to zing its way up my arm into my shoulder. Just from a sleeve. My mom actually bought me a shirt-sleeved cape poncho thingy so that I can try to stay a bit warmer but it’s not quite the same as a sweater or jacket on a cool day.
After I got my cast off, we all marvelled at how it looked better than we thought it would. Well, I thought it looked pretty bad, but everyone else, including my mom, were pleased with how “good” it looked. Sadly, within a couple of days, it blistered up and looked alarmingly gross. I will spare you a photo, though I do have them, haha. The last of my scabs came off only two days ago, believe it or not. Although I am thrilled to be able to look upon the new skin and scars on my hand, it is so tender now on top of everything else. I’m working on desensitization, which is tough. Who knew that cotton could feel so scratchy and unpleasant?
Today was a tough day. My hand is raw and weak and simply doesn’t work the way I want it to. I need help with pretty much everything, from dressing myself (seriously, someone else gets to do my bra for me), to buckling and unbuckling my seatbelt, and cutting up my food. I have a really hard time asking for help, so to boot, my pride hurts a bit. I am not able to drive, and feel like I spend pretty much all my time going from appointment to appointment. I feel whiny and frustrated and tired and oh, did I mention frustrated?
I want to feel self-reliant and like I can be useful. I want to leave my house when I want to, take my dude on fun, Spring Break adventures, to get up and head off to the movies, or lunch or a trampoline park or playground. I hate feeling stuck and that has probably been the hardest thing for me.
My doctors have told me that my lesson in this is going to be patience. Patience with myself. Patience with the process. Patience with my body. They tell me to learn to meditate, to breathe, to try to be at peace with where I’m at. It sounds so easy. Patience.
You know what? Patience sucks. Patience can bite me. I am tired of being patient. I feel like I have been patient for so long and I have had enough. But still, I will suck it up and keep trying. What else can I do? I will try to put a smile on my face every morning when I get up and do my best to keep it there till I go to bed. I will try to be the best mum and wife, daughter, and friend that I can be. I will try to lend my ear and shoulder, love and support to those I can and I will wait. There is a lesson here for me, I know there is. I need to learn to extend myself the same patience and kindness that I would to anyone else, but damn, it is hard.
My pain specialist has told me that my job over the next three months is to try to keep myself as stress-free and positive as I can to try and keep my CRPS from getting worse and I try to stay as positive as I can, but some days are more difficult than others. I know in my heart that this is my now, not my forever, but it’s hard.
Why am I sharing this? I’m not quite sure, except that my goal is always to be real and authentic, and not pretend that our lives are all sunshine and roses. I want you to know that if you are struggling, you are not alone and remind myself that neither am I.
Today was a tough day but tomorrow will be better. It has to be.