In just an hour and a half I begin my first bout of testing for the cause of these twitchies.

I'm a little nervous, I must confess, as C shared with me that the procedure is, well, painful. His mom went through it. How painful it is exactly, he couldn't say, because he's not the one that went through it, and he claims that it's possible that his mom was being a pansy. Problem is... I'm a pansy, too! lol

I figured it might be best not to take pain killers before the test, so that the readings will be accurate, but I was hurting enough that I needed to. The thing with the pain meds is that they don't get rid of the pain, which is highly annoying. They just take it down to (mostly) bearable levels, if I'm lucky. But my stomach hurts a lot with all of this acetaminophen I've been ingesting. I suppose it's a worthwhile tradeoff. Sorta.


I love the community humor that chronic illness patients have developed. I mean, really... if you can't laugh at this stuff, you'll end up crying about it. And I hate to be droning on about my pain and symptoms all of the time, but... you talk about what's familiar and constant, and this is my life now. C and I were joking about who was going to die first last night. He says that although women generally live longer, with all this stuff wrong with me I've probably lost about 5 years, so that puts us on even footing. He actually thinks he'll come out ahead by a year or two. Could be. I'd rather die first, so I don't have to fight through the grief of losing my mate.

I asked him yesterday about suicide, my suicide. He said that, if I succeeded he'd be very upset, and probably a little angry with me. If I didn't succeed, he'd be very upset and he'd have me committed so that I couldn't hurt myself again. I was feigning offense that he would lock me away and I wouldn't see him anymore, but he assured me that he'd come visit. He also told me that killing myself, or trying, would never ever be doing him a favor. It would never be a good thing for him. I smiled at the assurance that he values my presence in his life, and I assured him that although the thought comes up in moments of desperation, it's never a serious option for me. It's not.

In the depths of my emotional and mental agony and despair, I longed for rest, for a respite from the hurricane of dark forces that ripped through my soul. Now, in the grip of relentless pain, I long for rest and a respite from the endless grinding and battering of burning, choking torment. It's torture, but there is no inquisitioner and no answer that I could give to end the agony.

Despite all that, though... despite the darkness that still rises from time to time to swallow me whole... despite the flames of chronic illness that lap at my naked, defenseless body... there is a solid, shining light that forms a bridge above the darkness, above the flames... and I can crawl to safety. And if I don't have the strength to crawl, at least I can lie on its solid surface and know that the golden pathway remains and will remain. The bridge of light is the meaning and satisfaction that I have found in my life. It is made up of my husband, my work with the Healing Journey, my friends and support system, the simple pleasures of food and tea and good books, the security of my place within my family, and the warm glow of unconditional acceptance from those who have come to love me. It is a bridge that saves me, day after day... a platform to rest upon as I drag myself from the cold burning depths of despair and frustration.

As I contemplate this odd mix of pain and darkness and light and love that is my life, I find myself profoundly grateful and humbled. I have never before in my life had a hope like this to cling to, to save me... and I cherish it. The darkness before was always so chaotic, and I could see no respite but a rock or two to cling to in the midst of the storms. Never before have I had a way out.

I know the pain isn't going anywhere. When I first started getting sick, and for many months afterward, I held on to the hope that this was a passing thing... that it would peak and then recede. I know now, and have accepted, that the pain isn't going anywhere. This is my life now. I fight to diminish it, to overcome it, and to find treatments for what is wrong with me but... this is my future. I don't expect anything else. While that may be considered glum and defeatist by some, I see it as freeing. No longer expending my energy on false hopes, I can focus on walking my shining bridge and beating back the flames that threaten to consume me.

It's an exhausting battle. I won't lie. The darkness still wraps tendrils around me and whispers dark doubts in my mind. But I have something to hang on to now... something that will always pull me back out. And that's why suicide is never really an option.

2 thoughts:

  • Optimistic Existentialist | August 2, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    "despite the flames of chronic illness that lap at my naked, defenseless body... there is a solid, shining light that forms a bridge above the darkness, above the flames... and I can crawl to safety" I LOVED THIS. This line really stood out to me. You're stronger than almost any of us would be.

  • Cassandra | August 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Thank you. I really appreciate that. I'd like to think that I'm very strong, but really... I think I am just doing what anyone would do, given the circumstances. I am strong because I have to be, just as you would be. But yes... I am strong. (Most of the time. lol)

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