I am a redhead (a.k.a ginger). Scientists like to do studies and they did some on Ginger’s. Studies show that we have a higher tolerance to PAIN, anesthesia and other drugs. Whoop-te-doo! I’m tolerant. That doesn’t mean I have to like it!
Pain has been a constant variable in my life for a very long time. From the pain of being an early blossoming, I wore a bra in 3rd grade and was teased on the playground by a bully. Everyone on the playground watched as she popped my bra strap. Later I had my red hair in braids and she got a group of girls together to make fun of me. They called me Pippy Longstockings and sang the song, in front of the whole playground.
The early blossoming brought my period at 12 and endometriosis. Physically debilitating pain that led me to missing school. Heavy periods that made me afraid of being made fun of if I had a leak, that bulky was still there. Then there was the acne. I had to learn how to become a make-up artist.
I did things to make myself feel pretty only to have a guy ask me one day if I thought I was I was beautiful. Down the toilet went the old self image.
So, when depression and anxiety fully blossomed at the impressionable age of 13, pain and I were good friends.
For years, I have been working on the mental pain I have been dealing with, but now that is changing. Things have happened in the last five to ten years that have brought to light some illnesses I have.
Some of these illnesses or symptoms my doctors have not been able to explain away. I have been asked by three or four doctors if I have an autoimmune disorder. The first time it happened, I thought the doctor just didn’t know what to do with me and was looking for an excuse. The second time made me wonder about it.
The biggest pain that dominated my life for over 20 years was my endometriosis. This was addressed and made better, but in the end I had a hysterectomy at the age of 34. Since it was removed I have other pain that’s been coming to the forefront. Trying to find the answers has led to me seeing more doctors and being asked about autoimmune diseases again.
I finally went to my General Practitioner (GP) and spilled my guts to her about everything and how frustrated I am living with my pain.
Pain and I are old friends, but every day pain gets to you and it brings you down. When you’re going to specialists that cannot explain what is causing your pain, or why you’re having the symptoms of a stomach ulcer without one. You get so frustrated.
Chronic pain can cause it’s own special form of depression. Add in the fact that you have been to seven or eight doctors that cannot tell what’s wrong, complicate it with looks from the doctors of concern that they cannot fix you, and it’s just hard.
My GP took my blood and ran some tests to check my rheumatoid levels. The test came back in September with “abnormal” rheumatoid levels, which suggests the presence of an autoimmune disease. The “results” were given to me and the office started trying to get me in with a rheumatologist. Which turned into a nightmare, and I get an appointment in September 2018 for May 19, 2019.
So… here I am waiting. I am trying my hardest to push through the frustration and depression, but some days are harder than others. I talked to a friend that recommended his/her doctor and I made a new appointment in February for April 15th with that doctor.
It’s easy to say, “take it one day at a time.” But when one day is better than another, or worse, it’s so hard to be positive.
Hope Through Pain
I knew a large animal veterinarian that took his/her life. This was the option he/she chose over continuing a life of pain. He/she bred horses and took a particularly bad beating when attempting to keep a mare safe from a stud.
I, also, know a woman who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 17 years old. She hasn’t quit and hasn’t given up. Even when her back became brittle from the medication she was taking and broke, she didn’t quit. She works with the local arthritis foundation and talks to younger, newly diagnosed people and gives them hope.
Hope is something that depression does not want you to find. Sometimes you can find it in stories from other people tell you, your loved ones, or reading the Bible and talking to God.
I remember once a Priest giving a Sunday Homily about Hope. He made a point of saying that you can take away everything, but you will always have Hope. Hope is what God gave us to help us keep going.
Jim Butcher, author, gives Hope and Faith a supernatural power in his Dresden Files series. In one of the later books in the series, a character has enough Faith in the Force that through his Hope and Faith creates a Lightsaber by which he vanquishes a fallen angel.
The point is that Hope through Faith is strong. It’s easy to lose your Hope and Faith when you’re facing something that seems impossible.
I think that’s important to have a strong support system. That system is what can help find things like your lost Hope and Faith. It can help you find the positive things about yourself that you miss, because you have allowed the negativity in your own mind to control you.
This system is the people who are around you. Make sure that you surround yourself with the people who will help to find things as you lose sight of them. The hardest part will be admitting to these people when you are having a problem. But like most things… the first step is admitting that you have a problem.