“Life is partly what you make of it, and partly what is made by the friends we choose.” – Tennessee Williams
A Missing Person
You may be asking yourself where I have been. I have found myself asking that very same question over the last few months but more so after being released from all of my specialists’ care, with the exception of neurology of course. Processing the diagnosis has been a difficult road, and returning to work as a full time graduate student provided its own set of challenges.
On October 19th, I traveled with my husband to Baylor College of Medicine to determine the options available in Houston. After taking a thorough assessment, the pain management team returned to my room with a box of Kleenex. The diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome was one again confirmed, but this time few options were discussed. In fact, only one option existed: continual treatment with pain medication. Devastation. We walked out of the office with another prescription of pain medication, as I did everything I could to hold myself together until we reached the car.
The Journey to Myself
I fell apart. I lost hope. I blamed myself. I was so distraught that I could not pick up my class work – even though I am scheduled to graduate in May. I seriously contemplated quitting until the director of my program provided an alternative option to extend my semester. Yet it was still difficult to concentrate, to accept life as it is now and not reminisce of how it once was. I felt as if I had lost all that I had worked so hard to accomplish. I spent the last few days of my 20’s worrying over finding specialists in the northeast, where we intend to move.
My husband drove the three dogs and myself four hours to my favorite big cat sanctuary the weekend prior to my birthday. We spent our time with the wonderful family that owns it, walking around the peaceful facility and watching the cats play with their treats. I was suddenly reminded that I was still capable, painfully capable…but happy.
The evening after we returned my husband asked me to dinner for my birthday. As I entered the restaurant, I realized my parents and friends were all there waiting for me. I cannot remember a time I have cried so many tears of joy. I had somehow overlooked the support system I had built over the past few years. It was that moment that I realized I was there all along. A little piece of me resided in each of those surrounding me in that room. They were the glue that held me together.
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” – Unknown