Doing my Best

The last few months have really put me through the wringer, emotionally and physically. It has been incredibly difficult to go from an able-bodied, overzealous DO-er, to someone who has to accept help from others, and be satisfied with myself when I accomplish less than my usual best.

My mother has dealt with chronic pain for nearly 17 years, over half of my life. When she wasn’t able to do all that she needed to, I stepped in. I spent most of my teenage years being a nurturer, a teacher, a chauffeur, a cook, and serving my family whenever necessary. It was frustrating and overwhelming at times, but I was happy that I was able to serve. Although I never really understood my mother’s physical pain, I trusted that she was doing the best she could. I knew I had the ability to help…and I did. And still do.

Since I injured my back in December, my life has been like a parallel universe. I have little endurance and mobility. I am dependent on several medications to function AT ALL. I keep ice packs, heating pads, and “granny pillows” at hand. I go to physical therapy 3 times a week. The entire office staff at my doctor’s office know me by name. I’m on the phone sorting out bills with my insurance, hospitals, urgent care clinics, imaging centers, and medical supply companies nearly every day. I deal with symptoms that sometimes cripple my mobility, such as limb numbness from hip to toe, for hours at a time. I got my first bedsore this week. Sometimes I lose bladder/bowel function. Sometimes the cerebrospinal fluid pressure changes from the cysts in my back cause mindblowing headaches. Some days, I barely make it out of bed at all.

And this life does not suit me. At all.

I pray daily for the patience to endure my pain. I pray for the patience of my friends and family members, who are affected by my illnesses. I pray for the understanding of others, that although they may not know the particulars…they don’t judge me harshly for the things I’m not able to do. I pray that my husband doesn’t give up on me, and understands that I’m truly doing my best.

Did you hear that, world? I’M DOING MY BEST.

Please don’t give up on me. Please be patient with me. Please do not judge me for the things you don’t understand. And I’ll do the same for you.

  • You’re in my thoughts and prayers. No judging here. Most of us are doing our best and it doesn’t help anyone to judge. I’m not giving up on you!

  • Just keep doing your best, and the Lord will take care of the rest. Good luck honey!

  • Pain sucks. Especially when you have to explain it.

    Oh, Nicole. I hope you are able to get better soon. I’ll add my prayers to the others.

  • Nobody is to judge anybody. We’re supposed to love everyone just the way they are, and it really hurts when we feel the need to explain our weaknesses, it becomes really stinky. I pray you get better.

  • Thank you for all of your kind words. They have helped me through a very dark moment.

    Unfortunately, the person who sparked this entry will probably never read it.

  • That is sad that your FIL was so harsh, but don’t take it too personally. He probably didn’t take into account that you were feeling so bad. I’m a big believer in positive thinking. When I have tough times like these (and I have had my share of them) I get a lot of comfort in reading books by Zig Ziglar, Dale Carngie, and DVD’s like The Secret. It gets you focused on the things you CAN control and takes your mind off the things you CAN’T control – like your grouchy FIL!

  • I know what it’s like to be sick and not know what’s going on. It sucks! I hope your friends and family become more supportive!

  • Even if the person never reads this, it’s good to get it out – kind of therapeutic.

    I’m sorry for all the junk you’re going through…as if you haven’t been through enough in a lifetime.

  • Ixy

    While we have different medical issues, I understand what you’re going through. The first several months after I took a turn for the worse were difficult, and they still are, in some respects. Losing the ability to be independent takes a long time to adjust to – I’ve needed help with more and more things for the past two years, and there are still days I stop and freak out about not being able to do things that I once could. I slowly stopped listening to most music because I cannot dance much anymore, and music only reminds me that I once was an amazing dancer.

    I can tell you that you do adjust, even if it does take a lot of time. I’m no longer quite ashamed to ask mom or Tony to open a bottle for me, or make the bed, or go downstairs for me when I can’t. The being poor part is hard to get used to, but hopefully that will be over soon…disability takes forever to get, sadly.

    You find other things to do. I can’t sit at the computer for as long anymore, so I’ll lay on the couch and play console games, or on the bed and read a book since I can sit and lay down as I need to. Watch movies, things like that.

    People who matter, who really are your friends, will understand what your new limits are. Mom didn’t at first, but the last few months of my time trying to stay working, she began to realise exactly how far past my limits I was pushing myself and how it wasn’t going to be able to keep at it. Tony has been rather understanding from the moment he learned about it all. My friends here and abroad get that I can’t do the same things I could before, and most are more than willing to help.

    If people won’t understand, then maybe they aren’t really people you need in your life. It’s harsh, yes, but in the long run, people like that will only make you worse. You can drag yourself down enough without their words, and even if you try to ignore them, it can still leave a mark in you self esteem.

    Do what you can, when you can. When you can’t, rest. Rushing is never going to make you suddenly be able to do what you could before, in fact it will only make it worse.

    As for the bill collectors and what not who won’t work with you, there comes a point in time where you just have to let go and either let someone else handle it, or file bankruptcy. Sometimes, even dealing with the ones who will can be too much, so maybe Taylor can help out with that when he is home. The stress from dealing with them is only going to make it worse if you’re not careful.

    I hope you continue to heal, and that things get easier. <3

  • Amy

    I’m not a judger and i think you are handling yourself with grace and love and hope and dignity. Hang in there.

  • b.

    I am so sorry…back pain and all that goes with it really really sucks.
    People can be so judgmental when you are seemingly normal on the outside, but are enduring hell on the inside – both physically and emotionally.

    I pray you are able to find some relief soon!

  • I wish you the strength to share what you did when times are back to normal for you again. Because, when we share, we give others hope, strength and wisdom.

    I pray that your suffering is relieved as soon as possible. And remember, God never gives you more than you can handle. When things are back to normal again, you will remember who stood by you. And you will make the decision who to have in your “world” and who not to. Maybe this is why you are going through what you are.

    I wish you strength to endure this, and hope you have a speedy recovery.


  • Oh, hang in there! I believe that you ARE doing your best. Chronic pain is so frustrating.

  • Super behind on my reader. I hope you are feeling a little better each day. Being in pain is awful.

    Feel better.

  • Love you. Sending you happy thoughts and prayers your way.

    What can I do for you?

  • Hi, i must say fantastic website you have, i stumbled across it in Google. Does you get much traffic?

  • Thinking about you…

  • It’s refreshing to see someone very serious about what they do. If only I had your writing aptitude. I look forward to more updates and will be returning.Thanks!

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