**Just a note – I’m now also a guest blogger on Positivity in Pain – it’s a wonderful place for folks with various chronic illnesses to surround themselves with like-minded people, and we try to put a positive spin on things…even when things really suck. This post was actually posted over there in the wee hours of the morning before I was supposed to have surgery.**
It’s almost 2:00 AM and I’m hunkered down trying not to disturb my husband with the light from my iPad as I type this. I’m sure you’re familiar with that rare uncomfortable time of waiting for your pain meds to kick in 🙂
Some of you may recall from my first post that I was supposed to have surgery tomorrow…well, actually it would have been today (Monday)…but after my blood work my doctor informed me that with a hemoglobin level of 7.9 I am too anemic to have surgery right now. (Apologies for that horribly long run-on sentence!)
I was pretty put off by that news…I had myself psyched up for the surgery, and promised to make the most out of the recovery as possible. I had family and friends cheering me on, and it was getting me over that hump of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. But then I had a few good days…like, really good, pain-free days. And I started thinking about the surgery…if I waited this long (several years), why couldn’t I wait longer? Did I really need to have surgery at all? I mean, my symptoms aren’t that bad compared to others who deal with endometriosis and ovarian cysts…
And now as I sit here squirming in pain and discomfort I’m reminded that we cannot compare our pain and symptoms to others. Just because we may have more good days than bad, it doesn’t make our condition – our personal experience with chronic pain and illness – any less than the next person.
Those of us Spoonies who are kind of on the bubble – we’re still in the diagnostic stages of our chronic illness, or maybe we feel we don’t fit the textbook case if we don’t have every symptom listed, or our symptoms aren’t as severe as the next Spoonie – we’re still struggling to cope, just on a different playing field. We cannot belittle our feelings, or feel guilty for identifying as a Spoonie…we can’t fall into the mindset of thinking we’re ‘not as sick as’ the next Spoonie.
Life is like a delicate flower – we have to be good to ourselves and respect our feelings, otherwise we’ll wilt and fade, just like the summer’s last blooms. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others…remember your feelings are validated the moment you even sense them, and you are allowed to express them.
I’m 3 weeks into my new iron treatment, and I have no idea if it’s working yet. I do know it’s been a lot more gentle on my stomach, which I’m thankful for! And I’ve switched it up to take it at night, so I don’t have to worry about any foods or drinks interfering with absorption. I just wish I new if it was actually being absorbed!! My hair hasn’t been shedding quite as much, which I think is good (and there are other visible signs, which I won’t mention here). I still get winded very easily, though, but that could just be lack of cardio exercise in my life. (Yes, I know, that needs to change…trust me, it’s on the list…it’s just hard to exercise when you’re either fighting the pain or extremely fatigued.)
At any rate…I don’t know when I’ll be having surgery…I will find out in a couple weeks I think what my hemoglobin levels are – please keep your fingers/toes/paws crossed that it’s where it needs to be!!