It is a challenge to always be aware of what is happening right now, without wishing it were different. However, that is the basis of mindfulness, and it does help when you live a life full of chronic illness and pain. Sometimes I just can’t do it, sometimes I wish things were different. It’s not that bad right now. Yes, I’ve wished it were different at times, but I haven’t been too worried about it. I know things will change, and I one very big thing I have learned, even when I can’t be mindful enough to be aware of what is happening in my life right now, without wishing it were different, I can be non-judgmental of myself. That’s a big thing for me.
Traveling back and forth between Charlotte and Durham over and over again during this move has worn my body a little bit. My hip left started to protest a little over a month ago. We came back from Durham and I wasn’t walking very well. I rested it and after about a week and a half I it was acting more normal. Then we went back to Durham. When we got back, I was much worse. This time it didn’t settle down.
I ended up going to the orthopedic urgent care on the evening of August 29th, yes they have a special urgent care here just for hip and knee orthopedic, isn’t that amazing? I was shocked at how wonderful this place was. I didn’t have to wait long. They didn’t rush me in and out, the doctor took his time with me, they all worked hard to make sure I understood what was being said after they learned I was hearing challenged. (nice way of saying, one of my Cochlear Implants was broken so I was really not hearing much of anything!) The x-rays showed that everything looks good. He thinks the labrum is catching, but really we aren’t exactly sure. I’ve had trouble with the other hip too. Could just be in my genes. My father has trouble with his hips (well he had trouble, now he has new hips) and my aunt has trouble with her hips. It could be arthritis starting, just not to the point of showing up on an x-ray yet, or I’m just wearing out. The doctor wanted to give me steroids to get the inflammation to go down. He said when inflammation starts it is very hard to get it to stop, it just kind of get out of control. I explained to him that I am very afraid to take steroids because they often cause me to have severe vertigo attacks. He respected that and said he didn’t blame me. He suggested getting a shot in the joint. I agreed. Then we realized the holiday was coming up. I was in a lot of pain and told him to write the prescription for a very low dose of steroids and I would take them. We filled them on the way home and then I chickened out. I couldn’t do it. I’d rather hurt, a lot.
I had a follow-up appointment scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. I was awakened on Tuesday morning by a Meniere’s attack. Full blown vertigo! There is no way for me to prepare for that, couldn’t center myself and get calm, all I could do was grab the trash can! I was totally unprepared! Stuart had just left for work. My phone was across the room being charged, this is strange, I normally charge it on my night stand, for some reason I plugged up across the room. My emergency kit was in the living room. I was really unprepared. I started to panic. Then I stopped. I took a deep breath and said, “NO”. “Calm Down” “Feel the Night Stand under my hand, it is not moving. I’m not moving. Look at the bottle on the night stand. It is not moving. Focus. Calm Down. You are safe.” It was very hard because I was SO HOT! I had no way to cool down. That was making me very sick. I did get in a Valium and Phenergan. I was calming down but the heat was still making me sick. I started to control the spinning but was still throwing up because of the heat. I was able to lunge for the phone and text Stuart…”vertigo help” all of this had happened so fast. He had just parked at work and gotten out of the car, he turned around and got back in the car and came home. (I found out it did take him longer to get to work that day because he stopped to get gas, so it didn’t happen as fast as I thought.) He came home and got me an ice pack and cooled me down. Then I could really make peace with everything. I did a good job handling things. I will say, I did want things to be different. I’m not that great at that part of mindfulness all the time yet. In that instance, if nothing else, I wanted me to be more prepared. I haven’t had anything like that happen in so long, I got lazy. I can accept the fact it happened. It is the nature of the beast. It happens. I was very upset that I was not prepared.
Then I started to worry. What if I am on my way to feeling bad again. I had a reprieve of a little over 4 months before, and it all feel apart. What if….. What if…. My mind grabbed a hold of that and it kept going back to it. I would think I needed to stop thinking about the future I can’t control it, but I wasn’t really able to stop my mind from going there. Finally I was able to let it go. No I don’t want to end up getting that sick again, but if I do, it’s not the end of the world. I will make the most of it. I learned a lot, heck, if it happens again, I think I could handle it a lot better this time. I can’t control what happens. I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not going to think about it. I’m staying right here in the now. I’m living in this day, and I like it.
My appointment with the hip orthopedist was rescheduled for September 4th. I still felt a bit hung over from my attack on Tuesday and my hearing sounded a bit off, but I was able to make the appointment, no problem. I saw a different doctor. She was also very nice. The entire office is very understanding about my hearing, and try very hard to remember to look at me when they speak. (I did have both my Cochlear Implants in working order at this time, but it is still always a challenge.) My doctor forgot a couple of times and I gently reminded her that I need for her to look at me, she was so apologetic, you could tell she was trying so very hard. She is just so used to speaking to both people in the room, and also speaking when she takes notes. She was a lovely woman who explained things very well, and gave a thorough exam, that HURT! haha She agreed with everything the doctor said in Urgent Care. I will be getting a shot on the 11th. I will go back to see her about 4 weeks after that. She told me to take notice how I felt when I got the shot, if I felt better immediately, when it started to hurt again, if I felt better later….ect.. This is a good diagnostic tool telling them more about what might be wrong, and we will discuss it more when I see her again.
Right now, my hip hurts, but I’ll be getting a shot soon. I’m feeling happy I’m alive to feel it all, and just be. I’m grateful I handled the attack as well as I did even though I wasn’t prepared. I’m grateful my hubby has a flexible job and was able to come home and work from home that day and watch over me….and take the time needed to take me to the doctor. I’m grateful there is a special urgent care for hip and knee orthopedic needs. I’m grateful I had such great doctors at both of my visits, the urgent care doctor and the doctor at my follow-up visit.
I have much to be grateful for during all of this. I will admit there are a lot of challenges. I am not able to do much without pain, so I can’t do things around the house. Stuart is once again having to do most everything. This is taking its toll on my poor husband. I can see it wearing on him. There is still so much to take care of with the house in Durham. So many things to just do. It doesn’t help to worry about it. We can’t change things by worrying. What has happened, happened. We can make plans for the future, but we can’t get too wrapped up in them.
Something we’ve had to learn because of my illness, don’t fret if something happens to mess your plans all up. Change your plans as the day changes. Go with the flow, it’s much easier to float with the current than to fight up-stream. So when things happen to completely go against your plans, change your plans. I sound like a broken record, but this is one of the hardest things for people to understand. Not just chronically ill people, everyone can learn from this. People get really stressed out when things don’t go as planned. This goes for what we expect of others too. Perhaps we should talk more about this at another time….this post is getting a bit long.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~Lao-Tzu