the reason i can’t stop smiling
I have written and rewritten this post over and over, but each time I give the draft a final read I delete the whole thing because my words are horrendously inadequate. How am I supposed to describe an opportunity that holds the potential to change the course of my entire life and not sound completely cliché in the process? And to think that I owe this chance to a small but mighty group of people – my family – who not only put this bug in my ear but also helped me get everything together to make it happen…and then will take on extra responsibilities in my absence! I have gone over each detail a number of times and still cannot appreciate the magnitude of what it all means, much less explain everything in a single post.
Regardless of whether I can do it poetic justice or not, two weeks from today I will travel to a hospital with a residential chronic pain treatment program. It’s a place where I won’t be the medical anomaly I’m used to being. For example, when I told the Program Director I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome he didn’t take the time to Google what that means, but rather stated confidently, “Oh yeah, we know lots about EDS around here!”
I will start treatment by detoxing from all of my pain medications. Once I accomplish that beast of a task and I’m medically stable I’ll move on to working with doctors, physical therapists, and mental health practitioners to tackle my pain from every direction. No intervention, treatment, or therapy is outside the realm of possibility. For over a month my days will be focused on nothing other than getting healthy so that when I return home I’ll be able to maintain a lower level of pain that is manageable without the use of narcotics.
During my time away I’m shirking all other responsibilities so that I can limit distractions, and that includes this blog and the 29 / 92 Instagram account. I cannot wait to share my experiences after I return, but I hope you can hold out and continue to stick with me until March. I promise that it’ll be worth the wait!
I know that this path is not one that would work for everyone; I don’t judge anyone for how they decide to care for their body. I only know that the medicines aren’t working for me, and I’m confident that I’ll be better off without them. Although I followed my physician’s orders exactly, these pills are only meant for short-term use, and I have been taking them far too long. Once they clear my system my pain should go down enough for me to start moving and begin strengthening the muscles that surround my messed up joints. And once I get that going there will be no stopping me!
After I’m discharged I’ll still have EDS and my scans and x-rays will still look the same. Those are things I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to change. I will still have some bad days and need to say no to activities I can’t manage. But I’m hoping that my pain and the time I spend in it will be markedly less and that I can begin to live a life that is not dictated by my health.
I told you 2017 was going to be my year…