Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thus far, I have written everything myself on my blog. However, I came upon this article entitled: "Five Simple Words to Keep Chronic Illness at Bay" written by Madeleine Parish, and liked it so much that I would love the readers of my blog to see it. I also loved the graphic above, those with chronic illness will recognize some if not all of the insensitive things people say to those with a chronic illness.
Be back soon,
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I have been invited to submit a letter to my thyroid via this funny and interesting site.
My "Dear Thyroid" letter can now be found here.
(Ok, my dear readers, so I know that was silly...but I do really miss my thyroid
Can you tell?)
Be back soon,
Monday, June 15, 2009
I read a statistic recently that stated the divorce rate is 75% where a chronic illness is present in either the husband or wife. This statistic originates from the National Health Interview Survey and is found all over the internet and beyond. Frankly, those results scare the hell out of me! Clearly, when "in sickness and in health" turns into just sickness, the stress on the marriage is enormous.
Of course, when we marry, we are bleary eyed and naive and never think about things like that. We will always be blissfully in love and nothing will ever change that...then in roars chronic illness. At that point, the chronic nature of the illness rewrites the script of your relationship. Roles change and plans for the future fall by the wayside. Every aspect of your marriage is effected: work and finances, chores, social life and sex are all different. Nothing looks the way it started out and the stress upon the marriage becomes overwhelming.
I met my husband while on vacation in Jamaica, several months after the suicide of my 1st husband. The last thing I was looking for was a relationship. But...I fell hard and fast, I was so madly in love and knew immediately that I had just met the man of my dreams, the person that I would spend many happy years with. There were several wonderful years, and then everything changed. Don't get me wrong, my husband still loves me dearly, as I do him, however, the stress on our marriage can no longer be hidden. We never fought, not ever, and people would jokingly state that our marriage made them "sick" as we were always lovingly gazing at each other and never would a cruel word leave our lips.
My husband states that he understands, and always bends over backward to try and help me with absolutely everything. The problem is however, his entire focus is me and doing all that he can for me, all the time. This approach has simply just worn him ragged, he is beyond exhausted in every way and I feel guilty...very guilty. I tell him very often that he should leave and find someone else to spend his life with, someone healthy. My intent is not a cruel one, simply that I love him and want him to live a normal life, one without all this extra stress and heartache. He gets very angry when I say that. I simply just feel that he did not "sign on for this" and being stuck with a sick wife is just not fair.
My husband has been coping fairly well, up until recently that is. Now, his stress level has peaked to the point where we are at risk for ending up as part of that 75% divorce rate statistic. He has tried to do it all, taking up the slack for me and he simply can not do it anymore. There needs to be better coping strategies put in place so that he can continue to cope and I can find a way to not feel so guilty for the extra stress put upon him. I have searched long and hard for methods to cope and have found a couple of things so far. This article and this one.
Above and beyond that--I think perhaps couples counselling may be helpful too. I have a hard time accepting and coping myself, but for my husband, he needs just as much, if not more support than I do. Here's to all the loving caregivers out there that do their very best to be supportive spouses to their ill partners!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Clearly from a couple of my recent posts, it is apparent that I had reached a very bad place. A very dark place where all hope was gone and surely to never return. Losing hope is a very dangerous place to be...however yesterday, I came to realize that there is still reason to hope.
I saw a new doctor, who is an MD/Chiropractor. Before even speaking with him, I noticed a large poster in his waiting room that jumped right out at me. It was divided into 3 parts. The 1st: a picture of someone holding an enormous handful of pills, the 2nd: a picture of a surgeon holding a scalpel, and 3rd: a picture of a doctor providing a treatment that states: "I won't prescribe meds to mask symptoms,I won't do surgery that can worsen your condition, MY GOAL IS TO FIND THE PROBLEM AND FIX IT." Imagine that, someone that wants to try and FIX the problem, what a novel idea...
He did a scan of my entire back, muscles, nerves, spinal cord/vertebrae etc. This initally had the potential to devastate me even further, as the results were bad! Really bad, even worse than he or I had initially thought. I did at least derive a better understanding of why my pain is so horrid and uncontrolled, and as he explained it all to me, I was fighting back the tears yet again...
I have been so emotionally fragile lately, bordering on suicidal that I was profoundly scared to hear anymore bad news. However, I struggled to get one sentence out. "Can you help me and fix it?" He said YES!!! Now, I am not so gullible to not recognize that he could possibly just be telling me what exactly what I wanted to hear, however what he explained next is what gave me my hope back.
He explained of course that he would do his very best which is always a nice thing to hear. He stated that he has seen several people with scans almost exactly like mine. All of them had a significant decrease in their pain after his treatment. While I may be somewhat unrealistic in wanting to be 100% pain-free, he assured me that he would be able to make a very noticeable decrease in my suffering. The pain has been so horrific that any decrease in pain would be wonderful, and so I have kicked my negativity and giving-up mindset to the curb and am positively focused on whatever amount of recovery I can obtain.
Where the hope snuck back in was in the fact that I have only gotten worse over the past year or so, with no improvement whatsoever and nothing but bad news over and over again. Now, no matter the percentage of improvement, I know that it will result in a decrease of some amount of my suffering. I'd love 100% recovery, even 50%however, 5%, 10% or whatever it may end up being, it is at least a measure of improvement rather than continuing to go downhill.
It does unfortunately mean a one hour drive there and another hour back, but I would go to the ends of the earth for any amount of relief. I will continue to post updates about my treatment and recovery that may offer hope to someone else going through the same thing and in the meantime it sure is great to say: HELLO AGAIN HOPE, I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE COME BACK...