Have you ever seen those demotivational posters online? While I get a good kick and a few hardy guffaws out of reading them (all of which seem to be well-suited to “disaffected college students,” according to Despair.com), after I’ve had my fun, the reality sinks in that these posters hit a little too close to home sometimes. You catch my drift?
While it would be nice to pretend that my thinking was full of roses and chocolates (and maybe a little romance? hahahaha – yeah right….it’s only been 10 years….), uhm, it’s not.
I think a big hunk of me really does want to move on and encourage positive thinking regarding my legs (and, well, dare I say “healing” from CRPS?), and doing a bunch of exercises and all that hard work I listed a few days ago that I believe I’ll need to do in order to meet some of those needs/desires. Yet there’s this huge weight that feels like it’s hanging around my neck like a a Biblical-sized millstone about to proverbially sink me in the ocean (check out Matthew 18) – how’s that for demotivational? 🙂 We’re feeling better already!
And I’m having the darnedest time trying to identify WHY I am so demotivated to get my butt in gear!
Perhaps I’m more bummed out than I realized that the nerve blocks weren’t incredibly effective. Though the blocks helped with a few issues for a few hours, the positive effects didn’t even last a full 24 hours whereas the backache and hip nerve pain were around for a few days afterwards. So it could be that I’m just “emotionally rebounding” from the realization that nerve blocks aren’t likely to be my answer. I had thought to myself before the blocks, “Gee, it would be nice if this was almost all the more I needed to do to get pain relief and increased mobility!” It worked for a CRPS buddy of mine who was diagnosed comparatively shortly after developing the condition, but I was still hoping I was living in the land of SMP (sympathetically mediated pain) rather than SIP (sympathetically independent pain), which is more “easily” (I use that word cautiously) controlled. No such luck.
Or maybe I’m just worn out from the fight. It’s not like CRPS is my first diagnosis that’s required HUGE amounts of hard work, commitment, determination – begin laundry list of long words that everyone wants to characterize THEMSELVES, whether or not they deserve the title. I’ve fought most of my life for my health. Sick often as a kid, I remember pain from the 4th grade until now. I remember pushing myself hard to walk on deformed and very painful legs, and pushing myself hard to keep up academically despite a learning disability that resulted in 6+ hours of homework nearly every night after school from 4th grade through college, and pushing myself to do therapy after surgeries to reconstruct my legs, and pushing myself to get back on my feet after 25+ fractures, and to work jobs while standing on broken feet because I needed the money, and pushing myself to see yet ONE MORE DOCTOR, and to go gluten free, and pushing myself to not give up hope and not commit suicide when I was tempted beyond what I thought I could bear and the depression didn’t seem it could get any darker, and pushing myself hard to fight the terrifying hallucinations that plagued me day and night for several years (and the resulting insomnia), and pushing myself to try every diet and lifestyle modification under the sun so that I could eat food without searing pain, and pushing myself to research and read and read to figure out what’s wrong with me when I had nobody else fighting for me and no doctors to believe me, and pushing myself just to get chores and necessary tasks done day to day despite pain, and the list just goes on and on. I am TIRED. Tired of fighting for EVERYTHING – or at least that’s what it feels like. Tired of fighting to be happy. Tired of fighting to fight. (Is this the definition of a “pity party”? If so, it’s probably a doozie, eh?)
I DO want it to be EASY. Who wouldn’t?!
I wonder if the 28 years of fighting have just changed me somehow and I don’t have that drive that once was perhaps my most characteristic personality trait. I do know the fight of my life has produced some good fruit and changed me for the better in some ways. It would be nice to say I’m just “no worse for the wear,” but is that TRUE? Pain and hardship change people – we accept this when we think of this applying to others, but we don’t want to apply the same possibility to ourselves. Maybe I’m just becoming a crabby old crotchety pile of BBQ flavored couch potato? (If that’s the case, I’d like to know just where “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” rode off to in the night? Cause I’d really like them to at least TRY putting me back together again…)
It could be that I am physically more exhausted than I tend to give myself credit for and that it won’t be till I get my energy back (did I ever really have all that much to start with?) and my intestines are in better shape that I will feel like fighting for what I say I want. My GI doctor did tell me that feeling like I have energy would be the last thing to return, and I still have a lot of other things to return first it feels like.
Maybe I’m grieving the loss of a few more abilities. I know from experience that can take a real toll. I could be fighting acceptance of a new diagnosis?
Wimpiness. This is my least favorite possibility. After just 5-15 minutes of weight bearing, I’m in much more pain than I was before I put my feet to the ground. What if I’m just being a wimp, however, and I need to suck it up and push through it? Hmmm…you know, that usually doesn’t work well and I’m flat on my back for a few days afterwards. I do something for a few minutes, the burning gets worse, and then I often lose the rest of the day to piddling around because as soon as I get back on my legs to get something else done, the pain is ramped up even higher and I just don’t want to fight with it. Really makes it hard to get stuff done in the kitchen. But what about those folks I read about who have whole-body CRPS? Lord have mercy on them! They still have to get up and move and take care of their business! How do they do it?! I don’t want to be a wimpy one who “just” has CRPS in her legs and STILL isn’t up and pushing through the pain. Seems, by comparison, that there’s simply no acceptable excuse for such irresponsibility. After all, ’tis but a scratch, ’tis flesh wound! I’m invincible – the black knight always triumphs! (Yes, Monty Python – the best scene of the whole stupid movie.)
In short, now that you’ve read all that (humor me and pretend you did), I don’t know why I’m so anti-motivated. I think about doing my desensitization exercises and rubbing my legs with various textures (very painful) and I want to take a nap instead. I know I felt better when I was doing physical therapy in the therapy pool which was warm water and helped my circulation, but every time I think of getting that gym membership set up so I can go, I put it off another day, and want to go take a nap. Every time I think about setting up a daily schedule where I go to sleep and wake up at the same time, I feel utterly overwhelmed (in part because sleep is hard to get when pain is high and sometimes I feel like I just need to crash during the day; a tight schedule to get all the exercises done – up to 3 hours of exercise a day on top of my normal responsibilities – just seems IMPOSSIBLE), and I want to procrastinate on it another day…week…month. I made a commitment to do everything possible to get back to walking, but honestly, at the moment I’m probably failing miserably. I just don’t want to work THAT HARD. Yet I realize the “successful people” do. They work that hard. They may not have all the other health problems I have, but they still work their butts off with several hours of exercise per day.
Does it matter WHY?
Maybe it actually doesn’t matter WHY I feel the way I do. Maybe it only matters what I do about it. Sometimes asking WHY is as pointless as in asking “Why Me?”. The answer isn’t typically going to feel satisfactory on an emotional level, even if it is found. It’s almost as pointless as asking me if my legs are hurting right now…pointless question, not that I’m sure what to do about it even if they are.
Sorry this is such a downer of a post. I’m sure in time God will pick me up by the scruff of the neck and get me going again. He always does, in His own ways and time. I am weak and exhausted and in pain and crabby, but I know His power can be at work in me as I depend upon Him for it. He’s been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful in the present and in the future.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself? Perhaps others go through this as well? I don’t know, and tonight I feel like I’m the only one walking this dark creepy forest even though I know that’s silly and there’s a bunch of folks who live with chronic pain and poor health. Maybe I need to talk to them a bit more. And hopefully my demotivation won’t steal whatever motivation they have to themselves in the process!