"Happiness is a Choice." quote taken from an interview of Drew Barrymore by Kevin Sessums

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some Calm after the Storm

Within 48 hours of the sympathetic block, the intense pain comes and goes and Mom gets her wish for snow. Mom and Dad stand at the front door, drinking in the glory of its beauty because it isn’t a bit of dusting; no, it is an actual snow that carpets the roof and ground and blankets the cars. Mom is thrilled and Dad is busily taking pictures as the boys dance around. No one cares that it is cold outside; it is the magic of it that captures all of our attention and heightens the excitement of Christmas.

Mom is surprised that Tiffany, Elizabeth’s assistant, did not call me to see how I was after the block and, frankly, so am I. I figure that their holiday work schedule has something to do with it and don’t take it personally.

What is obvious is that there is no magical relief from the sympathetic block. Yes, the pain from the block itself is gone, but my back pain from before the block is now at the same level. In other words, the sympathetic block is a failure.

I tell Michael and my parents that I am going to complete my medical directive and give a copy to Elizabeth, my internist, all of them and my brother Jon. Mom has already given me a medical alert bracelet which lists my allergies and asthma on the front side and then RSD and my name on the back side. Michael and I know that we need to update our will as well. Texas will not accept our will signed in California.

There is no doubt that having my parents at our home relieves a lot of the stress. Despite their own health issues, they are four extra hands, four extra legs and two extra mouths that help get things done. I call Elizabeth’s office after the holiday and tell Tiffany what happened. Again, she is disappointed and plans for another block are cancelled. The pain is to go forward with the dorsal column stimulator, but Elizabeth wants to see me beforehand. Mom knows that I have been hesitant about the stimulator, but she has used one before and for several years it gave her a lot of relief. Mom is sure that I will benefit from it greatly. I tell Tiffany that I will make an appointment to see Elizabeth after my parents leave in January.

A few days later, there is more snow and this time the boys can play in it and build miniature snowmen. Mom is elated that her wish came true and Dad takes more pictures. Despite all the beauty of it, I am forced to stay inside for fear I might slide and fall. I am thankful that we live in an area that gets little to no snow; what would my life be if I lived in New York like my brother? When Michael received word from his work that he would be transferred out of California, we were originally told we would be moving to Denver. We were really excited because we were in Colorado for about two weeks when my brother lot married two years earlier and Michael had been there a couple of times since. We really loved it, particularly Boulder and the surrounding areas. Two days later we were told by corporate “Sorry, we didn’t mean to say Denver; you are moving to Dallas.” Although it took us some time to get over the shock and switch gears on looking for housing and looking at school districts, in the end it was obviously the right decision. Despite all that is going on with my body, I believe that there is a reason for everything, even if I don’t understand or know what that reason might be. Where would I be if I was diagnosed in Colorado with RSD instead of Texas…..would I have been diagnosed at all? Would I end up with a terrible doctor? How would I get around in the snow? Regardless of what your religious faith might be, I believe that there is a higher “being/force/God” and my health has to be part of the reason why we moved to Texas instead of Colorado. I wonder what other mysteries of this RSD syndrome will develop over time and if I will ever receive any answers as to why I am where I am today.

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