Unchartered Ground. Yup, I'm definitely walking into unchartered ground. Last week I brought my mom home to live with us for the next 6-weeks (maybe even longer) to go through a rehab/pain management treatment. It's uncharted ground because of so many unknowns, plus let's face it, having a parent live in your home, well, it puts a crimp on the old life style. It alone is a big old science project; well, more like psychology project! I have spent a lot of time wondering if our story is one to share, if it would mean anything to anyone, if it could even be helpful...well forgive me mom...here goes.
To start off, Pain is Real. I'm not talking about the pain from a broken leg, or a sliced opened stitched injury kind of pain. What I'm talking about is the pain that goes with the ever so popular diagnosis Fibromyalgia and other closely related chronic pain diagnosis. Sadly, my mom deals with terrible pain everyday of her life where it has become so debilitating that she literally is not able to fully care for herself, not for awhile anyway. Then there's the friendly close cousin diseases and diagnosis's she received which only help exacerbate the problem. Rheumatoid arthritis, depression, chronic sleepiness (this is a fact, not a diagnosis), heart issues (caused by the meds), lupus and a couple non-related, non-pain related things. For 14-years, she has seen by doctor after doctor at the good old Kaiser Permanente and they have cared for her by giving a new pill try for the pain. Currently, she is on a treasure trove of several pain/depression meds, none of them that work because she will tell you, her pain is a thousand times worse than it was even 6-years ago let alone 14 years ago. Unfortunately, this has become the norm for patients like my mom, maybe even like someone you know. Pain is treated by a Magic pill to cover a problem, let me tell you...it does not cure the problem!
I went to a fundraising luncheon the other day that I hope to tell you about soon when I get some time to sit and share. It was for an amazing organization, Women Helping Women, and the ever-so-talented and beautiful Naomi Judd was the guest speaker. She gave one of those 'God-Moment' discussions. She talked about major events that occur in one's life that forever changes the course of the path you think you are on, your personal Ground Zero. In fact, she wrote an amazing book I'm having a hard time putting down...thank you Ms. Naomi!!
Everyone has a story that has changed them in such a dramatic way, it rocks their world. For my mom, I'm not sure of her ground zero. Honestly, even after I find out, I'm not comfortable sharing it here for the world to read. But I do know something major happened that rocked her world and created the pain she physically feels today. When I was growing up, things seemed pretty 'normal'. She and my dad seemed to have a happy marriage, a nice home, a little money saved and we did 'normal' family things such as vacations to the beach and off to see grandmas and grandpas. Although perhaps 'normal' for some people, is just too stressful? We live in a society of such chaos that 'normal' is incredibly hard to come by.
I do however know the pain my mom has endured over the past 6-years is caused by deep grief. First, it was the loss of my amazing grandfather (her dad) in 2004, my beloved aunt (mom's sister) in 2006, sweet grandma Gabelman (mom's mom-in-law) 2008, her best-friend ~ my dad in 2008, and then my other beloved grandmother (her mom) in 2009. It has been a vicious cycle of loss that sometimes can be so overwhelming and all-consuming. And as hard as it is for both my sister and I to wrap our minds and hearts around this 'Great Loss', my mom has struggled so terribly she cannot get a breathe before sinking back into the drowning grief.
For our family, this is a incredibly daunting task ahead. The pain that begun 14-years ago has been treated with over-prescribed meds and multiplied by tremendous grief.
It's now been a week since we picked mom up and brought her here. Already she is showing small signs of improvement but pain is still visible in her face and her attitude. (sigh) Next Monday was start our doctoring, the part I want to definitely share because progress for pain like Fibromyalgia can be achieved without heavy meds. We have a story to share, please pray with me, for us have find a happy ending. :)