Good morning Steemit, I hope today find you in a good place in your life.
I am struggling at the moment. Not in any serious way mind you, just frustrated in spirit and most definitely in body.
What do you do when your brain is lit up with a million different ideas, creative endeavors, and even just the daily "mom" things, but your body is flat out refusing to cooperate? This is what it is like to live with an invisible illness.
Degenerative Disc Disease, in it's early stages causes minor back pain, occasional muscle weakness, and intermittent nerve tingling/pain. You go through round after round of physical therapy, until either you or the doctors decide that it isn't working anymore and they just stop sending you. In later stages, it affects everything. Your muscles slowly get weaker, you can't stand for more than a few minutes, weakness in your arms and hands, good luck opening your own pickle jars anymore. Daily chores like laundry and doing dishes become excruciating exercises in futility because know you won't be able to finish them. In the very late stages, I've been told, it even starts to affect your "bodily functions" since all of those nerves and muscles are also connected to the sciatic nerve (wonderful news right?).
All the while you have to keep explaining to everyone around you why you can't do thing things that you used to do. But you don't "look sick" so then you start getting met with anger, frustration and down right hostility because your friends and family some how feel that you aren't fighting hard enough, you are giving up, or are just using it as an excuse to be lazy.
It doesn't matter what the doctors say, it doesn't matter what the MRIs and CT scans, and Xrays show, it doesn't matter how many prescriptions for muscle relaxers and pain medications that you have to take just to stay upright some days... All that matters is that you can't do the things for them that you used to.
Never mind the fact that you are struggling with the depression that goes along with having to come to grips with the fact that doctors have told you that eventually you WILL be in a wheelchair. That a person who has spent their entire life (since they were 9 years old) taking care everyone else, sometimes working two or three jobs at a time to do it, has to learn to ask for help, to accept that while the mind is still as sharp as ever, you are trapped, watching your body slowly stop responding when you want to do something because the nerves in your legs are being compressed and will sometimes not even fire, or fire at the wrong times, or in completely stupid ways. Or you have to ask you children to reach things on higher shelves, not because you can't reach, but because you know that if you try to grip something above your head, you will drop and break it.
They call you "anti-social" and label you Agoraphobic because you turn down invitations to go out, or refuse to even go to the grocery store. Not because you don't want to go, or out of some fear of leaving your house, but because you know how much pain you will be in after trying to walk around a huge store for an hour while trying to hide the fact that every step you take causes the pain in you legs and hips to grow exponentially. Until you get cranky and start snapping at people. Then it's your fault for ruining an outing that you didn't want to go on in the first place because you knew it would end up this way.
So, this is where I am at today. I apologize for my "wall o text" and I thank you if you have made it this far.
I know that I am not the only one suffering, and I understand that there are those who are much worse off than me. But I also know that none of that negates my story. We all have a story to tell, so, thank you for listening to mine.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,”-Ian Maclaren