As I sit here on a "quiet" Saturday afternoon, though you will most likely read this Monday, as I am planning to schedule it to appear then, I contemplate the week that I have had. It has been a roller coaster to say the least. I have had emotional highs and lows and physical highs and lows as well. Could just be hormones... "Mother Nature" is paying me yet another visit. Either way, it was what it was. Because of an encounter via the internet I had with a fan, it added to it in both negative and then later positive ways, and prompted this type of post.... one that is more like the posts that I used to write so many moons ago when I bared my soul and was an open book for all to see, before I decided that I was perhaps sharing too much and wanted to lighten it up a bit and perhaps in doing so lighten myself up a bit too.
|via Queen of Your Own Life on FB|
The other day I received a very nice comment on a blog post from a fan that has always been supportive and it really made a bad day I was having a good one. Funny what words can do to you. They can be that wind beneath your wings or cut you to the quick. The same fan left a comment on my facebook page under one of the posts that I had put up and then a couple days later I saw there was a private message from her. It was not the first time I have received one from her, and to be quite honest, though she has always been kind, and meant to show that she cared and wanted to help and guide me to certain directions and ways of thought, her messages have always felt invasive rather than the surely intended. It is not that I am not grateful for insight, advice (if asked for) and for being able to make a connection with fans; many fans have become very close and wonderful parts of my life, treasured even. I believe you can tell a lot about a person without meeting them, simply by reading between the lines. I always hope that with being open and honest, which is my policy that my readers get to know me and that by reading between the lines of what I share/write find a connection. I always hope to inspire, motivate, and maybe even open eyes and heart to a new way of seeing things. I do my very best to show that no matter what life hands you, with enough heart and motivation you can keep going to live another day. That is not to say I am going to hide the true way I am feeling, I share the tears, the sadness, the pain.. without doing so, if I always showed the smile and not the frown how would you truly get to know the real me?
Back to this message from the fan. She had written me about some of my latest posts where I shared that I was having a lot of bladder issues this year. Bladder issues that originally were thought, not just by myself, but the three doctors I was seeing to be just reoccurring UTI's. Nothing more. None of us were sure what was causing them, but it was thought that it was a combination of many things... my IBS, my fibroids ( or possible cysts) and issues with being able to empty my bladder fully causing severe over active bladder symptoms and then acute urine retention. It had also been suggested that I MAY have I.C. (interstitial Cystitis ).. again just a suggestion, especially after another attack/flair of the symptoms a month ago with no bacteria being the cause ( found out after a culture). I had shared this on my blogs, what I was feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. I also shared that no matter how low I was feeling that I was doing my best to keep my spirits up and to dig myself out of the pit so to say; if you have been a long time reader and or follow of my FB page, you know I do not let things keep me down for very long... it does not a single bit of good for the body or soul to crawl into those dark depths and stay there.
|via simply designing on pintrest|
The fan wrote that she assumed I had many tests that are normally run to determine if in fact I had I.C.,. She went on to describe her experiences working for a urologist and all that could be done and things that had worked. She had shared all her medical history and experiences with having invasive fibroids. She suggested many things, and even brought up about possibly getting into a trial program and that she could help do the research to find one, once the government was back up and running of course. It was a long, involved and detailed and I felt in so many ways, though sure it was coming from a good, loving, and wanting to be helpful place, it was pushy. I read it over so many times trying to decide if I was to respond or not. Was it a good idea? Other messages she had written in the past were ones that I felt the same way and did in the end respond, feeling rude for not doing so, and doing my best to stay kind, understanding, and yet draw a line that I felt needed to be drawn. I did not want to ever upset this person, not intentionally, as she is dealing with her own declining health and it was so much worse than mine and my heart aches and breaks thinking of anyone seriously ill and all that goes with it. So with that in mind I responded.
I wrote back, with much thought and consideration... or so I thought... she did not see it as such as it turned out. I thanked her for the information, the time she had taken to relay it to me. I thanked her for her kindness, her thoughtfulness at this difficult time in her life to have taken the time to try to help me. I explained to her that I had not had the tests, nor had I seen a specialist. I explained that I had posted in my blog that it has been suggested, and that I had most of all the same symptoms, but that I had no insurance as of yet, and once I did I would indeed go to whomever my doctor is and come up with a plan of what to do. I explained that I had read about all the tests, procedures and was on the fence if I even wanted to have any of them if I could avoid them... past ruling out cancer of the bladder, anything invasive was not appealing to me. The medications available also not appealing to me. I explained that I was to first look into having an ultra sound done, as suggested by two doctors seen recently, and see if perhaps the fibroids or possible cysts ( I have been examined, and the two OB/GYN's confirm that based on the examinations, and family history, I have what may be one or the other or both, and size 12 week in size.) are pushing on my bladder and be the root of all the issues. I also went on to say that I had read in my research of many medical pages and on support pages that often the tests do not yield a firm answer to the cause, and that the procedures and medications do not always work for all patients and in fact make them worse. That there was no cure for I.C. ( if that is what it is) and that one can achieve remission and in one book I read one sufferer has even healed herself. I then went on to state that I was not interested on any level to go into a government run trial... that I personally would feel like a "lab rat", and could come out of it no better. That was my personal feeling. I also went on to say that I was currently on a path of following homeopathic routes to healing whatever this is, based on the assumption that it is IC, as well as healing my IBS, and even trying to in turn help or put into remission my fibromyalgia . That I was hoping even to avoid surgery for the fibroids (or cysts), if I could, because if they are fibroids and not cysts they can often go away with menopause and my doctors do not wish to see me have to have surgery if there is no need. I ended my response with once again thanking her, saying how grateful I was for her caring enough but that I had to follow my own path with this. I read it over and over and finally hit send. I did not regret the way, the what or the tone of my words. I had spoken my truth.
It was a good day that day, the sun shining, the leaves falling and swirling like faeries doing a dance along side me, as I walked my neighborhood and through the local park. I was having a nearly pain free day, and had been in a pretty good mood. I was pleased with how I was beginning to feel on this new regimen of supplements and dietary changes, I was feeling hopeful. My fibromyalgia had not flaired recently, I had been walking nearly every day for a week and had even began to slim down...even the swollen belly that had bloated out to the size of being 6 months pregnant with the last bladder attack, was now flat... well as flat as it could be with the fibroids and left over chub from having lost as much weight as I had many years ago after giving birth for the last time. I came home and left the front door open to listen to the birds sing and the wind chimes jingle on the current from the late afternoon breeze. I was in a good place. I sat down to my desk to answer some emails and post to my FB page another image of a beautiful Autumn day and maybe a faery or two and then I saw a new message was in my inbox on my FB page. I opened it, and saw a response I had not expected to the reply message I had sent earlier.
As I read it, I crumbled. My heart sank, and the more I read the more upset I got. Soon, what had been such a grand day, and a pain free one at that, turned around and not for the good. My neck tensed, in doing so, my shoulders began to burn, pain ran down my arms and I felt hot, not with anger, but just with the amount that the words I was reading upset me. They were bitter, scathing, accusing. I was being told that my "truths" were unfounded, self diagnosed, not what I was making them all to seem. I was being told that what I had written was sarcastic, disrespectful and then some.... I can not recall it all, my eyes blurred with tears.. my body throbbed with reawakened pain, and my heart pounded, but not in a good way. She lectured me, and told me I was foolish with my choices as well as were the current doctors I had seen... that they were basically no good and not respectable if they supported my choices. She went on to sat she would no longer be a part of my page, or read my blog, that she would not support my pity party. I just sat in stunned heartbreak....not because of loosing this woman as a fan, but simply from the feeling all the doubt, worry, and guilt that now welled up inside of me. I realized using the words "lab rat" may have been in poor judgement, but in re-reading my letter to her, I had nowhere in my minds eye or heart seen that I was what she was accusing me of. In re-reading my recent posts, I nowhere saw that I had thrown myself a pity party... but now, with her words, I second guessed myself, on every level. Where I had just been sharing my recent experiences in a way to reach out to others that perhaps were experiencing the same things, sharing how I had put one foot in front of the other to keep going, hoping to put some hope out there, been more about me just trying to get sympathy? Had I indeed been sarcastic, disrespectful and caused pain to a woman who already is dealing with so much of her own? Was I this horrid to deserve what I got? Was I crazy and perhaps idiotic in my ways and believes recently? I was shaking, yet frozen in place from it all.
I needed to find out, to vent, perhaps rant, and work through my emotions. I belong to a group of very supportive women on FB, a private group, and a place I felt comfortable sharing what had just happened. I typed out the story, and waited to see what others had to say. I was honest with them, I held nothing back, nothing was left out of the first letter, or my response. I obviously did not need to make up what return response was. I shall not say I was "rewarded" , but simply had confirmed for me that I was not in the wrong. Now given these women are in this group and are there to be supportive, but none have known me past a weeks time, with the exception of two. One of which has known me basically my entire adult life. As they told their points of views however I allowed myself to feel worse. Not because of what they were saying, but because I found myself taking this fans side. I found myself defending her, and putting myself down. I found myself in her shoes and not even seeing my side of it as the discussion went on. It took many posts, and virtual slaps upside the head to shake me out of it... and the better part of the day and into the evening..... even the next day as the discussion went on and the ladies weighed in, it was hard for me to hear the truth.
I am a people pleaser. I am a nurturing person, or try to be.. my daughters may say different from time to time, as I can be sarcastic ( hence the jab I felt when the same word was written about my response to this woman) , and I am what is known as an empath... that is to me a blessing as well as a curse and has often affected my life in both ways. It allows me to make deep connections , but it also allows me to feel deeply hurt and feel anothers pain and in such is more than likely the reason I am in the state of health that I am and have always been in throughout my life. Many of the ladies on the group I turned to are the same, which is why I was able to share there. I told them up front that I did not wish for pity in this situation, and if they saw that was what I was intending without realizing it, then to be sure to tell me. I wish to state the same to all of you that are reading at this very moment. That is not why I shared this story or any of the truths that I have ever shared with you all. I shared it because I am almost certain without a doubt that many of you have gone through the exact same thing. In this age of cyber relationships, of acquaintances and even friendships and love connections being made completely through a screen and only having the words we type as a way to get to know a person, how can it not have happened at least once to you? I shared this as perhaps a way to teach myself a lesson, by seeing it in writing, that one has to be careful what they share, how much they share and how they share. HOWEVER!!!!! That is not to say I am not going to continue sharing... it is not in me to not share my lifes journey. I feel compelled to do it.... with no expectations of what will come from it, good or bad, positive or negative. I know I have to be willing to take both when I put myself out there for all the world to see. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, and I am willing to admit that I put my foot in my mouth so to say... and I feel I did so with this woman when she wrote me and I responded ... even if that was not my intention. I needed to be more considerate of where she was coming from, and I see now that I should have either not responded or if I did, just simply thank her and leave it at that.... although it was brought up that either way of handling it may have elicited a similar response in turn. I shall never know what the truth of that matter would be.
I have touched on the fact that I have been following a homeopathic route in treating myself and what ails me. To the woman that wrote me, it was absurd that I was doing so. There was no doctor in his right mind that would agree to or support such things.... or something along those words were used. It may be true, but then the quote above pops into my head again and again. I am a researcher. When I want to learn about something I read every book or now web page I can. I educate myself. I take notes and yes, I also take leaps of faith based on what I have learned. I may or may not have I.C. , perhaps it is bladder cancer, perhaps it is something I have no clue to as of this point. On a hunch, on an inner feeling, I bought a book by Catherine M. Simone, and then another. She is an I.C. patient. The books, her second and third, The Healing Path, and Awakening Through the Tears, spoke to me, and motivated me to try her suggestions as to what to do to heal myself. Perhaps I do not have I.C., but I had something wrong with my bladder and the suggestions, all natural, were worth a try. I had nothing to loose but perhaps money.... but maybe so much more to gain.
I started off with D-Mannose , when the bladder issues and suspect UTI's began. Taking the pills did indeed seem to help a great deal and I saw improvement of symptoms until this last attack... that is what I call it as it feels like one on my bladder, my body and my mind. That is what prompted more research and the purchase of the books. I read in the books about more supplements to take, Marshmallow Root being one. I am taking the pills, and finally bought the tea this last week. It was the one constant both in the books and on many homeopathic web pages I pulled up. I ordered them right away, express delivery, and within a couple of days of taking them I saw more improvements... I felt as if I was healing myself... naturally. I feel as if I am healing.
Now given, when the attack hit, I took prescribed medication until the culture came back negative. I still had many of the symptoms even after finishing the medications, and actually had some that were worse! But maybe my body just needed more time to heal??! I already knew my body was toxic, I could feel it. The book, well it mentioned that connection over and over. It also mentioned the connection to IBS, and Fibromyalgia and many other issues all interwoven. So I continued with the two supplements, and then I began taking Prelief as well as instructed. It would help get rid of acidity in my foods I was eating, and do the same in my urine. I added in flax seed oil pills, probiotics, and took away all caffeine, even decaf teas went to the wayside, all but herbal teas. I upped my fiber, drank more water, lowered my sugar.. baby steps with the last one. According to the book, and even my own belief system of everything I suffer from being connected, I knew I had to treat everything AND the bladder, not just the bladder. That included my heart, soul, mind and spirit. For me to do that I had to fight through fear of not being near a bathroom and take long walks among nature....something I KNOW heals me. I also started to re-train my bladder to go longer in between trips to the restroom , watched videos on how to sit on the toilet, and also how to massage or as I now call it, "milk" the bladder to help it fully empty. It was not easy, it was not without discomfort, and it has not been without set backs of accidents (and embarrassment at times), but I marched forward.
|art by Edward Binkley ... Healer|
The truth of it is , my truth, is that this seems like the right path for me. I believe I can continue to improve. I will not rule out also including western medicine while on this journey, there are very good doctors out there that believe in a combination of both being used, and after all this is my life and body and my choice. Now I will admit, I thought I had fully recovered from whatever was wrong when I was able to finally take a daycation, of course it was a week after I had the attack and felt as if I was dying and instead of continuing the homeopathic path, I ran to the doctors for pills. I caved... I gave in and gave up the minute I was in the kind of pain that rivaled childbirth. I realize now I was fooling myself, I had not changed anything, adjusted anything in my diet, I had not done anything past the D-Mannose, and emotionally I was still in a raw and exhausted place with relationship to everything that has happened in my life over the last five years, and more so over the last several months. My body and my mind was toxic and I was just a ticking time bomb. So with that being said, of course my plan of action such as it was did not work and I had once again found myself in the same place I had just left in my recovery.
I plan to stay on this path that I am on, even once we have insurance as long as I see improvements. It does not mean that there will not be set backs and road blocks and re-starts, but in my heart of hearts I feel I am doing the right thing for me, and that is all I can do. I am sure there will be those that cheer me on, others that shake their heads and still others that may express their disbelief in unkind ways. There may be still others that when I share my journey from time to time on this path that I am on, will say I am trying to gain sympathy and pity and who knows what else. But I have to follow the path that my heart tells me is the right one. That is my truth.
|Hoping to emerge on the other side better|
than I was to begin with... and able to soar.