Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Relapse of Sorts

My father told me more than once that no one really want to hear about all of our aches and pains.  In so many ways, he was absolutely right.  On the other hand, those words and the idea that we must always put our best face forward can be a trap that can ensnare us and keep us from being authentic.  Authenticity is important if one is to be a writer and if one is to be true to one's self.

I've had a relapse that has shocked me and caused me to take stock all over again about how devastating the loss of my daughter has been to me.  My therapist, yes, I've been seeing one for help with my loss, said she was not surprised at my new feelings of loss and sorrow.  I was doing too well she said not for her to expect it.

And so, Christmas set me back, way back.  Along with the waves of sorrow, I've also suffered physical pain.  Since about December 21, I have had excruciating pain in my upper left quadrant of my back.  I've been under the care of my doctor, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, and a massage therapist.  I am going for my fifth massage in the past three weeks in just a few minutes.  Massage and heat help me the most.  Hopefully, we will soon find out what is causing this terrible pain.  Fibromyalgia has been suggested, but there is no diagnosis.  I am schedule to have MRI tests next week.

I hesitate to post this because of those old voices in the head about keeping our pain to ourselves, but if I am to record this journey that I am on honestly, I need to write about what trials I am going through.  Sympathy is not what one in my situation needs.  Support is what is needed.  I know that I have that, and for that I am grateful.

19 comments:

Joanne said...

You dont have to post i know its long--I am not surprised that you are going through all that pain.I can't imagine how much it hurts. Sorrow, deep sorrow like yours seems to have an form of its own i beleive. and sometimes it's so huge that it invades our body not in outward expression but in our physical being. When I was sick I asked God "This is too much for me to bear Lord, I need for you to take over this burden because its too heavy for me." Almost instantly I would feel a relief and a real knowing that he was there with me carrying me. I could concentrate on getting well knowing that he was there holding my fears, sorrow, pain. I pictured him as kind of like a farmer clearing a path for me to walk on.Your pain is deeper, and unrelenting. You seem like the kind of person people go to for strength. Now you need them. But somehow I picture you and all those people who love you. (Knowing now that you are in this physical pain) praying and lifting it giving it to God to carry for you. Im sorry if I went on and on. You are in my prayers. Blessings, Joanne

Linda Reeder said...

The holidays can certainly do that to folks who have suffered a loss such as yours. And I know for a fact that depression can cause back pain. I hope through all of your various treatments you find relief, in every way.

#1Nana said...

I can't begin to understand your loss...I don't want to imagine it. Every mother who reads your posts fears learning what you know. I wish there was something I could do to help ease the pain. I hope that being able to write honestly about your feelings helps. I'm glad you're seeing a therapist...WTF, try anything you think will help. The invisible force field of support, your cyber friends, are here for you.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so sorry the holidays brought your grief into sharper focus. I am glad though that you are seeing a therapist.
You seem to be doing everything right about the back pain. Have you thought of acupuncture?
Hope the MRI gives you a clue.

Linda said...

I can't begin to imagine what a death such as your daughter's does to a mother's body, physically and mentally. I would have expected the first Christmas to be very hard. I do hope you'll find relief soon for your back pain.

Linda Myers said...

I think honesty is best, even with the "ailments" issue. We're all in this together, after all, regardless of our particular path.

I also think it's good that you're allowing yourself to work actively through your grief. It means your healing will happen in a healthy way - as if grief can be healthy. I do hope the physical pain will resolve quickly.

Lynilu said...

Keeping it to oneself is way, way over rated! After all, we need friends to support us through the rough times. It's just fine. Now, going on and on about it is another thing, but you're not doing that.

I have fibromyalgia, and I get it. There are times when it is awful, but most of the time, I can endure it. I hope you find a path to relief soon.

Retired English Teacher said...

I can't begin to tell my blogging friends how much your comments have meant to me. I love my cyber friends. You give me courage and allow to grow. You give me inspiration. Best of all, your blogs make me laugh and remember that life has its ups and down but living and loving life enough to write about it and laugh about it makes it all the more special. A shared joy and a shared grief lightens the load.

Janna Qualman said...

Goodness! I am wishing you (and your team of caregivers) the best. Take care.

Maggie May said...

I think that Christmas, Birthdays and anniversaries can cause the most excruciating mental torment when you've lost a loved one .... and the loss of a child must be devastating.

I think it is not healthy to keep it to yourself. Therapy is all about sharing and being honest about your feelings. It is much more of a man thing to keep the stiff upper lip of silence, but I think even that is changing.

Hopefully you will soon find out what is wrong with you *back* and get the treatment you need.
I go to a chiropractor every 3 months to keep severe (sometimes) pain at bay. Seems to work for me. Do what works for you.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Cape Cod Kitty said...

A very heartfelt post and I can relate to severe body pain coming after a long period of grief. I've just emerged from it after 2 years. You are on the right path with the therapies you've chosen. Acupuncture, massage, talk and chiropractic brought me back, too. It will happen for you. I had to come to look at the periods of deep emotional pain as part of the very important process.
I wish relief for you. The honesty in your writing can only be healing.

Olga said...

You have supportive thoughts although I only "know" you from your words. I also thank you for sharing this most painfully tender journey. In doing that you are also giving more support than you know.

Kay said...

I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could offer you. I had a family who lost their daughter when she was a third grader. They always remembered her at ALL the holidays. However, eventually they were able to move on, but they never left her memory behind. I remember the mother telling me that she was hurt and angry everytime somebody told her she needed to try to forget. Everybody has to deal with loss in their own way. I don't think there's ever a right way.

KathyA said...

I think you are one courageous woman to have suffered a loss of a child and be able to talk about it and to go on with your life. Sublimating/denying your grief is just WRONG on so many levels. You're doing all the right things in taking care of yourself. I wouldn't be surprised if your physical pain was the grief manifesting itself. My thoughts -- very positive ones - and prayers are with you. Kathy

Terri Tiffany said...

I stopped by from another blog. I know the holidays remind me of my loss in my life and I find myself wishing the days past. I hope your doctors discover your pain quickly!

Mare said...

The holidays are very difficult for many people myself included. I hope that writing about your path helps you. Though we don't know you personally, we [cyber friends] want to be there for you. My motto: Been better...been worse.
Hope you are on a path of recovery however slow you may think it may be. You are not alone.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm so glad you're sharing, that you've been willing to share this whole time. Because of your openness, when my daughter died, I knew I wasn't alone, and I still find comfort in that. Sending prayers and light to you during this next phase of grieving. May your pain ease soon.

Jeanie said...

Hello, Sally,

First I want to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. This is my first visit to your blog, as you know, and so this is new. You visited me at The Marmelade Gypsy, and I'm so glad you did. Something you probably don't know from that blog is that for ten years I worked as a grief support group facilitator at a children's grief center. The parents also attended our center while their children were with us. I worked with middle school and young teens.

What you say about the loss coming back right now -- Oh, yes. It will come back for a long while, perhaps a little less harshly in time, but often unexpectedly in grief bursts. I have experienced these as well, and while I used to fear them, I now have come to accept them as profound feeling for those I have loved. I honor those moments, grieve, and then go on -- more often than not now, peacefully and happily. They're fewer and further between in time, I can promise you this.

In the three years I have been blogging, I have found great comfort in the support of the blogging community and I can see you have this as well. It is so important for us all to have a spot where we feel safe to share, and sometimes, sharing with many who are strangers is indeed safe.

The Marmelade Gypsy is the blog I write on most frequently, but I do have another called Chopsticks and Strings -- mostly book thoughts, longform writing. A year ago at the holidays I did several posts on grieving, pulling from some of the materials I worked with. I believe they're listed on the sidebar as "grief" or "grieving" if you want to look at them. And you may well not need to. They may well not say anything new. I just wanted you to know they are there.

Wishing you peace and healing, jeanie

KleinsteMotte said...

Sharing pain will help in the healing process. Thank you for sharing.