Here's to the most painful year...

1 September 2016

Today I write a very personal post. Its as personal as my relationships, my marriage, the cherished things I keep off social media but I want to let this one go. Today I celebrate one year of Chronic Back pain. Today was the day it all started. Today was the day the worst year of my life started. There are far more nasty things happening in the world right now. There is war, there is destruction. I cry for you but this is what that rocks my world. This is what affects me personally.

Here’s to one year of pain
Here’s to countless physio, Chiro, Acupuncture and massage treatments
Here’s to thousands of $$ spent
Here’s to an year of no sitting
Here’s to an year of always standing (in movies, at dinner tables, concerts, work and everywhere)
Here’s to the missed travel
Here’s to the missed opportunities
Here’s to paying for days after 5 minutes of gardening
Here’s to that dreaded sensation that numbs my leg
Here’s to the hundreds of Brufen that I've tucked in
Here’s to an year of restless sleeping
Here’s to an year of fighting a disease you can’t see
Here’s to an year of broken promises
& mostly here’s to the silent tears…
Here’s to the tears that no one saw.
Here’s to the pain that no one saw
Here’s to the relief that I never saw

Chronic Pain is a disease. It is a disease far worse than many but mostly it is a disease that no one can see. There are no hospital admissions, there are no specific drugs to cure, and there is no specific diagnosis. It’s all hazy. The only thing that is real is PAIN. The pain that strikes you anywhere, often when you are out and about. Often when there’s people around you. Often when everyone else can do something so trivial like enjoying a meal at a café. The little things no one thinks about. The little things people take for granted. You wonder..Why? Why you? There is no answer because….
I know there are people suffering from diseases that are incurable. I know all that! It is in-fact my only solace. Chronic Pain is not going to kill me.
But what it does to you mentally is so damaging that you wonder if you’ll ever be the same again. At this moment, I’ll give away anything to be the Nishu of 31st August. Anything! The same healthy, pain free, bubbly me. I’m still the same when you see me but I’m not the same inside. I pretend to be enjoying that burger while I’m sitting with you at our favorite café but the only sensation I feel is in my Back and the numbness that is ensuing in my legs. I want to get up but I don’t because I want to enjoy the food like you do. I hold on for a few minutes. I act stubborn. I tell myself I deserve to be in the moment like you are. But I can’t. I have to get up because if I don’t I’ll pay for it that whole day, maybe that whole week.

I’m a very private person. Disease and pain are very personal affairs to me. They are like my undergarments. I’d hate you if you mention my back pain to anyone in the group. I’ll cry out loud when home if you do. Because to me it is a sign of weakness. Perhaps I have still not accepted it. Perhaps I have.
But when I’m with you…just let me be. Let me fight with my inner self. Let me sit, stand and be restless. Let me go fetch water for you. Let me take your photo because there is nothing more I can do than stand. When there's nothing more I want than SIT. Sit patiently for a few moments without being aware of my back or anything else. Ahh the bliss! I wait for that day. But I know that day might never come. I know I’m in this for a long run.
It’s testing times. It's testing times for my patience (which I had an abundance of!). It’s testing times for my positivism and will power.
It’s not an easy ride. I give up every day. I pick up the shards and start from the beginning every day. Back pain is the first thought when I get up in the morning and the last one before I doze off at night. It consumes me. I try to fight it back but it takes over my life. It stifles my dreams. It stifles the life in me.

Chronic pain changed my relationships. With friends, family and acquaintances. There is a lot of times I said NO to your plans. I’m sorry. Please know it was always done with a very heavy heart.

 If I’m still a sane mind today, I owe it to you, My husband. What a gem! You lose your cool at anything and everything in life (even a strand of hair on floor!) but found your patience in me.
Dear Sunshine, I know it kills you inside to see me in pain. I know you will give away anything to have me back. I know you sacrifice a lot of your time and energy on me. I know the times you said no to travel & movies because of me. You didn't let me make that decision. You sorted it before it got to me. You didn't let me have the guilt of screwing it up for everybody. You got me home to lie down from events that drained me physically. There is no way I could pay you for your kindness & love in this lifetime. I feel your helplessness. Trust me, you are reason that I’m fighting this with all my might. You are the reason I dream of a pain free day. You give me hope. You give me sanity. You are that whisper of positivity when I’m swimming in negative emotions. You give me life.

Despite the pain, the frustration, the anguish, I am still thankful. I thank for the country I live & breathe in safely. I thank for the beautiful home we saved our asses for. I thank for the nutritious food we eat. I thank for the most amazing parents & siblings. I thank for this pain for it keeps me grounded. It teaches me to appreciate health, to appreciate every pain-free moment, to appreciate the mere act of sitting. I thank for the joys of life.

I do not write this to gain your sympathy. I do not want your pity. If you come and ask me next moment, I’ll say I’m fine. Because pain is personal. It’s my own. But all I ask for is kindness. A lil kindness to anyone around you that suffers from disease, from constant pain, from health issues. It might be your mom who keeps complaining of sore back but you never paid any heed to it. It might be the forever whiny granny with knees that wouldn't cooperate. Or it may be a 29 year old friend that has so much to live for but cannot see their potential. Help them see through these dark times. Be their light!

To my fellow sufferer. It’s hard. I know it’s hard. I’m with you. I shed a tear for you as I type. You will never know why you were the chosen one. But you do not give up on life. You live, for there are countless other things that you are capable for. Try to see through this haze of negativity. Take baby steps. Feed your soul with good food. Take those bledy pills that you hate. Thank every day for this won’t kill you physically but fight hard so this won’t kill you mentally. There is more to this life than this pain- your constant companion.

To myself, as my phone’s display says “Be Kind to Yourself” 


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