Chronic Illness · Chronic Pain · dark and twisty · depression · fighting depression · gratitude · grief · healing · Illness · Life After Loss · losing hope · Medical Conditions · mental health · moving forward · neurosurgery · Spinal Surgery

lately

As is the case for most people, 2020 has been on hell of a ride. This year has been absolutely bananas for me, for so many reasons. I realize I haven’t written anything since the anniversary of Chelsea’s death back in April, and it’s honestly because life has been an absolute shit show. So I wanted to take the time to catch up on everything, although it may not all fit into one post. There has been a whole lot more loss, surgery, physical health changes, and so much else. So here we go.

At the end of July this year, I went to Mississippi to visit my Dad and family. It was a great trip, and honestly it’s usually more of a vacation considering he lives in a resort town and it’s absolutely beautiful. I even got to extend my trip by a few days because of a hurricane that was making landfall in my home state. During the nine days I was there, I noticed I was in much more pain than I usually am, but I kind of just chalked it up to the fact that I had been doing a lot more than usual. The closer it got to flying home, the more that I noticed numbness in my feet and legs. I do have neuropathy and some nerve damage so when it first began I didn’t panic. Coming home, I had a connecting flight in Charlotte. By the time that I landed in Charlotte, I had lost all feeling and function from the chest down. It was absolutely terrifying. When I landed at home, I went straight to the ER. It turned out I had a spinal cord injury called cauda equina. I had emergency surgery where a three level fusion, decompression and laminectomy were performed. I spent 10 days in the hospital, and then another month at a rehab facility. While I regained most of what I lost, the use and feeling of my left leg never did come back and so I was in a wheelchair. I go to neuro rehab three times a week. I have recently decided to transfer my care to a world renowned spinal cord injury institute that is only about an hour or so away from my house. This entire life change has been extremely difficult, and in the beginning, I was pretty dark and twisty. Not to mention, just a month and a half earlier I had lost yet another very significant person in my life.

But I have adjusted. Things are improving. I have gotten some function and feeling back. I have recently learned that my spinal cord injury puts me at greater risk for all kinds of other things, which is super neat. I have moved back to my hometown. I am happier. I have things and people in my life that push me to be better, happier, more grateful, and more positive. I need to stop assuming that if things are good, that there is bad just around the corner. But unfortunately, that has always been the pattern for me. Sometimes it feels like everyone I love and care about is dying. I know so many people my age that haven’t even lost a pet, let alone a person. I desperately wish that were the case for me. Living with all of this grief is hard. They say that “grief is just love with nowhere to go”, but just how much of that can I continue to carry. Sometimes I get really angry, because I feel like life just isn’t fair. I have seriously questioned my faith and God’s existence. But then something amazing happens, and I wonder if it’s God or if it’s just how life is playing out. I just feel like if there were a God, He wouldn’t be so cruel.

There is so much more to update, but I’ll cover those things in separate posts. So that’s all for now…

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