reflex sympathetic dystrophy continued to spread. I was home-bound, confined to a wheelchair and taking so many prescription medications I lost count; medications for pain, for seizures, muscle relaxers for my constant dystonia and when I got so drugged up I could not longer stay awake even for 5 minutes my doctor prescribed Ritalin to wake me up at least long enough to eat without falling asleep and choking. No more occupational therapy because they said there was no hope of a recovery. My right hand atrophied and died.Fast forward 4 long years. My
I began to wonder about my future; was I destined to be a vegetable the rest of my life? Requiring 24/7 care? Even my ability to communicate was compromised. The stuttering (a side effect from the medications) was so bad I just stopped talking because no one could understand me. My hands did not work so I couldn't even write a note. I was stuck inside a non-functioning body that I had no control over.
Epiphany: I love this word. It is the "uh-huh" moment that most people have at some stage of their life. The day the lightbulb goes on like in the cartoons. My moment came the day I decided I could no longer live like this and I was getting my affairs in order to commit the ultimate selfish act of suicide. I knew how and when but in one last rational moment I decided to try one more thing. NOT what the doctors said; they gave me no hope. NOT more pills or amputation of my limbs. I looked inside myself.
To someone who has never been that desperate, that hopeless this may seem odd. Looking back now 2 years later I wonder myself how I did it. Apparently I was stronger than I had ever imagined. I began talking to GOD again. I had been very angry with him since I got sick. I felt like I had been struck down in my prime and it wasn't fair.
Mentally, I had to get strong again. I slowly weaned myself all the medications over time. The clearer my mind got, the more research I began to do about my condition (RSD), my options and most importantly how powerful our minds are. The power of words; how I reacted to pain. How negativity in my attitude can impact me physically.
It has been a long road back. Am I cured; No. Am I pain free? No. I am physically disabled and still need help.
However, I got my life back. I found the things in life I can still do; I stopped grieving for the past that I lost; the dreams that will never come true. I have new dreams now. A reason to get up in the morning. My spirit is strong and I believe things happen for a reason. It is a daily journey, full of setbacks. Yet, somehow, I feel in control again.
I remembered how to smile again :)