This week has kicked my butt. There is really no nice way of putting it. Monday was rough. It was one of the worst of those Monday’s I’ve had in a long time. Last summer I started a job that I was really enjoying but unfortunately thanks to EDS, I had to have shoulder surgery in September and January which meant time away from my job. After lots of conversations with my employer about me planning to come back and helping them find someone to fill in for me while I was unable to work, I was totally blind sighted when I received a text that said they wouldn’t be employing me anymore. This wasn’t even a text to let me know, it was in response to me asking what my schedule would be next fall. It was after I put off scheduling classes for almost a month because of being led on by an employer that I would still have a job. It was after hoping that the person I hooked up with a temporary job would have the decency to to say “hey, this isn’t right to do to Syd.” But none of that happened. People suck. They’re selfish, they lie and they don’t treat others the way they want to be treated.
Along came Tuesday. And if I’m being honest, Tuesday was pretty “Monday-ish” too. My back has been bothering me for months now and after waiting it out and doing stuff my physical therapist recommended to try and help with no relief, I finally went to the doctor. My back and legs hurt so bad that I was in tears almost every time I drove in the recent weeks. I’d been sleeping on the floor because it’s the only way I can get somewhat comfortable. Those of you that don’t live with a chronic illness don’t fully understand the stress and anxiety that comes with a simple doctor’s appointment because when you have something like EDS, there’s rarely an easy fix for your problems. So I went to the doctor. She was concerned. She sent me for x-ray’s that day and started me on prednisone. Yay, now not only was I mad because of losing my job but now I was going to be full on crazy for a week thanks to the steroids. And I still didn’t have answers about my back. Or a job.
Hump day! I got a call first thing Wednesday morning from my doctor’s office that she was concerned about my x-ray’s. She was sending me to a pain management doctor to get shots in my back to hopefully help relieve my pain. I couldn’t get an appointment with them until mid-June. So I went to my next lines of defense and stopped by to talk with my physical therapist about what he think’s I should be doing and I called my orthopedic surgeon at VCU to hear his thoughts. Both were concerned that without an MRI we’d risk missing something that’s going on because we would’t have a full diagnosis. So I now had 3 different professional opinions. 1.) Treat the pain and hope it goes away. 2.) Treat the pain and rehab it. 3.) See surgeon because physical therapy is a 50/50 shot when you have EDS. I was at a loss. These are all medical professional’s I respect and trust. I was in tears after hearing different answers from all of them. Sometime’s life sucks. I didn’t deserve to be born with this ridiculous genetic condition that leaves me with so many problems and so few answers. But there’s not a damn thing I can do to change it.
The silver lining to Thursday is that VCU’s Sport’s Medicine department is amazing and they got me in for an appointment at the Short Pump clinic Thursday morning. The downside is I had to ride for almost 2 hours in the car and couldn’t sit down once we got there because it was causing so much pain after that car ride. I saw a great doctor who put me on some more medicine and wanted me to try physical therapy and said to call him ASAP if I’m still feeling bad in 2 weeks. So still no definite answers. My doctor at VCU had concerns of instability and all kinds of other issues EDS can cause and was praying that this is something that will go away with time. The car ride home was brutal. I was hurting a lot and there’s nothing that really helps. This seemed to be just another day of hopeful doctor’s not having any real answers on how to help me. It was yet another shot in the dark with the trial and error process that is most of the treatment for EDS issues. Thursday felt like just another reminder that no matter how lovely your medical team may be, chronic illness sucks.
Throughout this week I’ve said so many time’s I’m going to become cynical. I’m done being a good person who helps other’s because it’s the right thing to do. I’m done doing anything that isn’t self serving. I’m tired of trying to be a kind person in a world where other people continue to be crappy. I’m tired of the harsh reality that not everyone would do for me what I would do for them. I’m tired of people being so self involved that they lack empathy for anyone. And unfortunately it’s all across our world today. We live in a very cynical society. We’ve all been so hurt and broken by others and by the harsh realities of life that we become callous and closed off. It’s easier to hurt others before they hurt you or just not let them in at all. It’s easiest to put yourself first, always.
Well today is Friday and I’m choosing to not be cynical. Instead of looking at what sucks, I’m choosing to look at the blessings in my life no matter how awful this week has been. I’m thankful that even though I lost my job on Monday, I got a call within hours of applying for another one and will hopefully be starting that job soon. I’m thankful that on Tuesday even though my back pain was at it’s worst, I got to grab coffee with a friend that God placed in my life at just the right time. I’m thankful that on Wednesday I was reminded that I really do have a whole team of amazing people who are always willing to go above and beyond to try and provide me with the best medical care possible. Even when that means they have to collaborate and get creative with my treatment. I’m thankful that on Thursday when I told my mom I was going to start being a crappy person because it’s what everyone else does she literally laughed in my face and said “honey, you can try, but I know you don’t have it in your heart to do that.” And finally, today I am so very thankful for a God who has placed enough love in my heart to not allow me to have the ability to stay cynical for very long.
My prayer for everyone who reads this is that you don’t let life make you cynical. I pray that you choose love, tolerance and kindness in the face of the reality that our world is filled with so much hate and hurt. I pray that you walk so closely with Jesus that any negativity you carry with you is overpowered by the daily blessings that are overflowing in your life.