Chronic Haze: The Sad Truth of Chronic Illnesses

For many years I have felt as if I’m living in a haze. A mere shadow of my former self. Not the woman I once was. And surely not the woman I intended to be at 35. Weak is an understatement. Tired doesn’t even begin to describe the level of exhaustion that I face. I want the old me back.

I want to go back to that vibrant and wild eyed woman who would drop everything for life’s next adventure. The girl that was always in the mood to dance with her kids or a perfect stranger if the timing was right. The girl who loved to spend hours in the kitchen baking treats and cooking extravagant meals.

I have become a zombie. A shell of a human. A remnant of the woman I once was. It is unfair. It is cruel. And it is depressing.

It is going to be a long road of recovery, and I am already fully aware of that. I just know that once I climb this mountain, I am going to find her again. Waiting on the other side. Ready to greet me with a cup of hot tea and a million ideas about what we can do next. She’s in there, she’s waiting.

Brain Mush

Hey guys. So I’m like 18 days away from brain surgery and my brain is just a mess. We already know my nerves are bad, hence the reason for the surgery. But lately, between the chronic pain, planning for surgery, and the fear and anxiety that go with it, my brain is total mush.

I get all these ideas of things to write, yet I never actually do it. I have note after note in my phone with ideas for blogs or poems or stories and there they sit, just in the note pad, not going anywhere, not being seen by anyone. Such a sad thought, huh.

So I promised myself today that I would post on my blog. That I would get back into writing, no matter how mundane and repetitive. I intended to keep everyone posted with like daily updates on my journey towards surgery. Obvs, that hasn’t happened. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my school work, the kids’ school work, and the household crap. Ugh.

Anyhow, so surgery is getting closer. I have been working on a plan for who will have the kids and who will help me at home once my hospital stay is over. That isn’t going well. This coming weekend I will be meal prepping probably 40 meals, just in case I am down for a while. Honestly, I thought part of being in a “close-knit” community meant I wouldn’t have to worry about such things during times like this, but it seems I don’t know the right people or something. So I’m just going to plan myself and make sure my kids are covered when I’m not able to cook for them. I mean, this is major surgery. I won’t bounce right back and be in the kitchen like June Cleaver the day after they slice into my skull. Right?

So meal prepping it is. Any ideas are greatly appreciated! You could comment here with suggestions!

For now, I’m going to write as many things as I can and see if I can get my creative juices flowing again through all this messed up crap in my head.

 

Monday Morning Ready!

Good morning all. I know it’s been a while since I posted anything or read any blogs. My health has been my primary focus lately. Brain surgery in 23 days!! But, while I’ve been basically bedridden, I have been doing a lot of thinking.

I have a million ideas for projects, community involvement, books I want to write, and opinion pieces I want to write. However, my brain is total mush!

Any suggestions for organizing my thoughts and getting these projects underway? 🤔

Too Much

I guess I was just too much. Too loving. Too strong. Too resilient. Some people don’t like that. Some people can’t handle that.

I guess I was just too much. Too much woman for a small minded man. Too strong for a weak man. Too much of myself for a man still searching for himself.

I guess I was just too much. Too outspoken. Too opinionated. Too loud. Too bold. Too powerful. Too much.

I guess I was just too much for the man unaware of my offerings. I guess I was just too much for the man too blind to see my beauty. I guess I was just too much for the man too stuck in the past to live in the present moment. I guess I was just too much for the man afraid of the future.

Tests Approaching: Fear Rising!

Later this week I will travel 3 and a half hours for additional testing and another visit to a specialist. This specialist, an ENT, will be able to rule out any potential structural issues inside my ear that could be leading to the pain. The neurosurgeon doesn’t think this is the case, but wants to make sure he rules it out before we move forward.

I will have an additional MRI done with and without contrast. Similar to ones I’ve done in the past, but I don’t recall ever having the contrast. I also haven’t ever had one that will show quite as much detail as this one will. This will show thinner cuts which will allow the neurosurgeon to see more detail of the vascular and nerve systems within that area of the brain. We are hoping this will show what he needs to see that will help determine how involved the surgery will be.

I have decided to take this trip alone. Partly because I don’t want anyone else to have to sit around while I’m in the machine and doctor’s offices all afternoon. But also because I am afraid of what will be found and I honestly would rather take bad news alone than with someone else. I’ve always done it that way, so it seems normal to me. I’ve been alone for every other crappy diagnosis, so why not this one, right?

I have this fear, and I know it is based off of a really slim chance, but it’s still relevant in my opinion. I have a fear the doctor will find a tumor compressing all of the nerves and more than just a simple vascular compression. With this fear, one would think that I wouldn’t want to be alone. But I really feel like I wouldn’t want anyone looking at me during my initial reaction to something like that. I would want to process it alone before telling anyone.

I know that the success rate of this upcoming surgery is very high, but I also know that risks exist. As the appointments get closer, and surgery will be decided, I am more and more nervous of the what ifs. I know this particular post is a bit of a whiny mess of words, not really making much sense.  Please forgive me. Perhaps I will have something a bit more coherent as the time draws closer.

Kristen

When You Love Someone

When you love someone, you will do the most ridiculous things! When they don’t love you back quite the same, or at all, you will reach new levels of ridiculousness. You will look like a fool, to them, to yourself, and at times, to those around you. You will put yourself out there only to have your heart crushed by the inevitable truth that they just don’t love you the same, or at all.

Love them anyway. People who have been hurt in the past may be a little more difficult to love, but no less worthy of your love. So love them anyway. Love them with all that you have. Show them what love should be. Sure, you have to learn at some point when to stop pushing for something that may not be meant to be. And finding that fine line may be difficult. But don’t give up. Love that person anyway. Even if just from a distance. And if you decide that it’s best to walk away, you can still love them. Nobody can make you stop doing that. Love them anyway.

Understand that their inability to receive your love is not a reflection of you, but a reflection of all that they are struggling to overcome. As humans, we inherently crave love. We seek out those that we find can provide us with the comforts of a loving relationship. But some people have been damaged by the toxicity of their pasts. Those people are the ones that deserve a little more love.

I’m not telling you to give so much of yourself and get nothing in return, time after time. I am telling you to be patient and understanding. If the person you love tells you they love you, but they are struggling with demons of whatever kind, be patient with them. That is part of the deal. Learning to be patient, considerate, and compassionate are all difficult things when you feel like it should come as easy for them as it does for you. I get that. Trust me! It just isn’t that easy for some. Not after some of the things people have gone through.

I write these words as a woman that is very difficult to love, or at least I once was. Now, I’m the woman trying so desperately to be patient with the man I love while he figures out how he wants to move forward; scarred from his past. And I think of all the times people gave up on me because I was a little more difficult than they thought I should be. I won’t be that person. I won’t give up on him.

~Kristen

LIFE BEFORE BRAIN SURGERY

Friday I was informed that I am going to need brain surgery. More invasive surgery than previously discussed. And it is a scary, hopeless feeling. What if something goes wrong? What if it doesn’t even fix the issue? Plus a million more questions. Friends have told me to think of the positives. To look for the end result. And to consider that if it’s fixing an issue, then just go for it. But those friends are not able to speak from their own personal experience. They aren’t the ones that will lay on that table while strangers slice them open, remove a piece of their skull, and go digging around extremely close to their brain stem! I don’t know if you realize just how essential the brain stem is; oh ya know, just essential for LIFE!!

And what about recovery? My kids? Work? Life on a regular basis during my recovery? Who will help me? Who will care? The questions are swirling and won’t let me rest. I’ve gone from tears to laughter. Tears because of the fears and laughter because of the stories I will tell a year from now when someone notices my scar that I will be rocking. Shark bite? Nah, too played out. Jumped by a gang of clown ninjas? Maybe!

Thanks for reading my random and scattered rambling. This is the first of many posts as I trudge down this new path. I’m not sure why these cards have been dealt, but I do know that these nerve conditions picked the wrong girl!

 

**Image is my own.