Monday, September 24, 2012

one year ago

One year ago today I took a pill that would change my life.

I still can't believe it has been a year. But then again I can. What a roller coaster.

Almost two months prior to this day I had been dealing with much sickness including reactions to some antibiotics, but I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea that a year later I would still be dealing with the effect of those pills.

After taking the antibiotic for a couple of days I woke up feeling like I had shin splints. I continued to wake up feeling like I had run a marathon. The problem was - I hadn't. I hadn't even worked out in a month. I had no idea what was going on. Maybe I had worn the wrong shoes? I didn't want to overreact thinking maybe it was the antibiotics that had caused this. I felt like I had been such a complainer and that my doctors were probably tired of talking to me. Five days after I started taking the drug, and after my legs had gotten so weak I had trouble walking, I decided to call the doctor after reading the antibiotic could in very rare cases affect the tendons in your legs/feet/knees. I told the doctor that he didn't have to call me back if he felt like I was overreacting. Within an hour he called me back. He told me to come in right away. The pills had weakened my tendons and I had to stop taking them for fear my tendons would snap spontaneously. WHAT???? I was told that I should be better within a couple of weeks (going on 52 weeks right now, hmmmm.)

That night and the days to come I was unable to walk on my own. Michael had to carry me around. In the months to come I had to work alot from home since my legs could only handle driving a couple of times a week at best. I walked slower than an elderly woman in her 90s. If I had to walk more than a few yards I had to have assistance. WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME?

It goes without saying that after a couple of weeks I was not better - at all.  The doctor then hoped that within a couple of months I would be back to normal. Uhm no. After that I started going to a physical therapist for my feet. After six months of not bending my knees I also started going to physical therapy for my knees.

Without going into much detail, during this time I also got diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis which was caused by my initial sickness that required the antibiotics in the first place. This also required many painful tests and treatments.

It felt like my body. was. shutting. down.

In the midst of this, as I reflected on my sickness in other posts (here, here, here, and here), I clung on to hope. If I had known the recovery would be so long, I am not sure what my state of mind would have been. Not knowing is sometimes better. I do have hope still. I know that it may take another year to get better (or longer), but in the big scheme of the rest of my life, a couple of years is better. I don't like thinking about having to deal with this for the rest of my life. I will reflect on that in a year if I am not better.

As I thought about the one year mark and writing a post, I wanted to reflect on how far I have come.  This seemed easier to do before last week. This has been a very tough and painful time. Probably the worst in the last eight months. I thought I had come further. I thought I was on the upswing. Nowadays, I have good days and bad days, but rarely absolutely horrible days where improvement is hard to find. I was so hopeful to report amazing progress. What does this all mean? I don't know. All I can do is plug along and hope and pray it gets better. The good thing is that I can walk again. I am thankful for that. I feel like I now have a good doctor that at least is trying to figure out what is going on with my body. So that is a praise. I have an amazing husband who has served me so well in the last year. I am thankful for that. God is in control. My life may end up looking different than I had anticipated. I may never be able to do what I used to do. But that is how life goes. We are not promised a life without sickness and trouble. All we can control is how we deal with it and how we go on living out our life with our limitations. My limitations are small compared to so many others in this world. And many of them have such an amazing outlook on life. This encourages me and pushes me to not get stuck on focusing on my limitations, but rather what I can do with my life within my limits.

I look forward to seeing what this next year has in store.