Of Storms and Peace

Navigating this road called life

Of Protocols, Prayer, and Suppressed Memories

I’d been thinking about how we need to establish a better protocol for if I fall. The kids know if no other adult is around which family members to call for help. But I’ve been wondering how anyone would know if there is an injury involved that needs medical attention? They are all so used to me being unable to respond due to temporary paralysis and spasms locking my body up tight how will they know if there is an injury?  Often when I’m in a very uncomfortable position I want them to move me so I can breathe better or be in less pain, but how will they know if and when  it’s not safe to move me?  And truth be told, will we ever be ready to risk calling for emergency medical care while I’m in such a state again?

Suddenly memories came flooding back from a few months ago. I’ve had a lot of episodes since, but nothing quit so awful, so long, or so severe. I never finished or published a blog piece about it, I think in part because I just wanted to forget it… but here it is again, the memories so vivid it’s almost like it just happened the other day.

The morning had gone well enough I was sure I’d be fine the rest of the day. After nap time the kids went outside to play and I rested just a little bit more. It was then I felt it. The buzzing warning signals in my legs. All I could think about was that if I was going to be stuck in bed with legs that don’t work I wanted my children indoors so I could keep a better eye on them. I thought I had time if I hurried. That was a big mistake, leaving the safety of my bed, but my thoughts were only for my children.

I started down the hall leaning on the wall for support as I felt my legs getting worse with each step I tried to take. I slid down the wall to the floor as my legs collapsed underneath me. Grateful it wasn’t a hard fall and still needing to get to the kids I decided to crawl the rest of the way. That only lasted a few paces as my legs quit working entirely, and so, still determined I tried dragging myself along with just my arms that last little bit. I didn’t make it. I totally collapsed just a few feet from the door unable to move anywhere on my own anymore.

I had my phone clutched in my hand and tried to call for help before I totally lost ability to use my hands. That call wasn’t very successful, and so I just had to wait for one of my kids to find me. I prayed it would be soon. I prayed they would be ok. And as my body twisted and jerked I prayed I wouldn’t hit my head too hard on the cement floor. I was laying in a doorway with not too much room to move.

Minutes felt like hours. But eventually a child wandered in for something and found me there. My oldest pried my phone out of my twisted fingers and made the phone calls she has been trained to do. They reassured her they were on their way, but I could still tell she was really distressed and it broke my heart. One of my littlest ones picked a bouquet of little flowers and tucked them in my fisted hand… I wished I could comfort them, but all I could do was lay there and fervently pray for them.

Those prayers were a good thing to help keep my mind distracted from what was going on in my body. By the time my husband, and father, and then sister showed up I was in really bad shape. I was in so much pain as my body alternated between slowly twisting so far I wanted to scream in agony and wondering when something would break to thrashing around so violently I was sure I was going to get hurt by hitting something too hard. It was those moments they did their best to try to protect me by moving things out of the way of my flailing body or putting themselves between me and where I could do damage.

It was by this point panic set in. I had tried so hard to remain calm, but it all became too much. Muscles tightening around my chest with each spasm, diaphragm seizing and stopping my breathing completely until it let up, hitting a wall or doorway or person every time my body jerked…. claustrophobia got the better of me and I had a panic attack. Then I really felt like I couldn’t breathe as I started to hyperventilate on top of everything else. I fought to regain control of my mind and emotions. I knew this wasn’t helping me at all.  I would do ok until I bumped into someone or something again and claustrophobia would try to take over again. Somehow I managed to say “move me” and they drug me to another place. We had to do this twice to finally get me in the living room in a more open space. The pain from the rug burn from being dragged was worth it.

The diaphragm spasms were really severe and relentlessly returned time and time again. There were times they held on so long I began to lose consciousness before they suddenly let up and I was left gasping for air. Honestly those brief moments of everything fading as I began to pass out were a welcome relief, but then I snapped back to painful reality again. As those long minutes turned into real hours I began to wonder how much more my body could take. I was exhausted and so weary of fighting it all… I was giving up. No more strength left. Wondering if my family would know when it was time to give in and call for emergency medical care. I was still more afraid of calling for help and risking being misunderstood and mistreated than what horrible things my body was doing to me… And yet I didn’t want them to wait too long and regret it either.

And then it was over. 

The spasms began to calm, my breathing was less labored. I was left weak and still unable to move or talk well but we knew that would come. Finally able to open my eyes, finally able to communicate just enough to let them know I was ready to be transferred to my bed where I could recover better, and then finally able to let my children know I loved them …

Eventually we talked. We talked about how scared people were. We talked about what I went through, what I couldn’t communicate about at the time and how we could handle it better next time. Those talks always help and are so important.

It took me days to recover, but a lot longer than that for us all to move on emotionally. I guess I’m not quite there yet, if it came up unexpectedly and so vividly all this time later. I think knowing it could happen again and worse next time doesn’t help.  I’m just so grateful it wasn’t worse. I could have fallen and injured myself when my legs collapsed, I could have repeatedly slammed my head on the cement floor, but by God’s mercy I didn’t.

And so, we do our best to plan, to have protocols put into place for different situations, but ultimately pray. Pray for protection, pray for mercy, and pray for wisdom with each new situation as it arises. Yes, I do have fears of being injured and no one knowing it because they are used to me not being able to communicate but eventually being fine. It’s something we need to talk about more, something we can prepare for a little better too, but I also realize I’ll only be at real peace about it by trusting God with it all.

While changing a few things…

I had been just so very weary of feeling so sick and wiped out so much of the time. It seemed my body had had enough of medications, it was just too much. Some of the symptoms were scary, some just plain yucky… and yet my dystonic spasms were getting worse again, I didn’t know if it was just a flair from the weather and all the extra pain I was experiencing, or if I was progressing again. I was due for a Neuro appointment but didn’t know what I needed from it, and was afraid he’d just add more drugs and make me sicker.

I asked for prayer. I needed God to go before me. I couldn’t do this on my own. I know communication in the past had been difficult, I needed boldness to advocate for myself, but ultimately I needed to remember that it was God I was putting my trust in, to work through the doctor.

If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you know past experiences with the medical profession has left me feeling vulnerable to being mistreated again. Even with a doctor who has thus far been determined to help me, I’m always afraid that one day after enough times of me saying my symptoms are worse he is going to give up on me and say it must all be stress.  

I need to be remind over and over again that is God who I go to for help, it is He who I trust, and these doctors are simply a channel that He can use to help me… I don’t have to depend on doctors, all I have to do is depend on him. It is this belief that keeps me grounded and helps give me peace when otherwise I’d be a mess.

So, when I got all worked up worrying about that appointment I started fervently praying, and found great comfort in the prayers of those who love and care about me. I saw God answering by giving me peace and a calm boldness, and by using little things like the nurse forgetting the mouse to her laptop to change the way the appointment went. And I was so very deeply grateful to come away from the appointment pleased with how it went.

Our new plan involved keeping what meds works and changing up others… I’m still in the process, it’s a long tedious one making one small change at a time so I know what my body is reacting to if it does.but I’m starting to tell a difference already. It’s kind of six of one half a dozen of the other though. I’m not feeling quite so sick quite as often, and some of my drowsiness from meds is being exchanged for being super tired from trying to get more done around the house when I can (which is a good kind of tired!) My mind is a bit clearer, but my muscles are a bit stiffer and spasming a little more than I was hoping, and so far I’ve not seen the change in my blood pressure I was hoping for but that may still come yet.

In the meantime I’m dealing with trying diet and supplements to change some unsavory levels found in my regular blood work up that I was only given 3 months to change before my primary doctor would want to add another prescription to the list. I’ve struggled so much with frustration over this one, the diet was strict and didn’t mesh well with the other diet I was supposed to be on… and was told to walk 30 min 5 x a week which is an impossibly (I keep reminding myself that this is standard recommendations and the doctor or nurse who emailed it to me quite possibly hasn’t witnessed what a struggle it is for me to walk just down to the exam room)… it all seemed impossible and was becoming so stressful.

It’s so easy, especially with my one tract mind these days, to get too wrapped up and focused on health issues and the struggle surrounding it. Again, I need to remind myself it’s God I go to for help. Help with the practical day to day struggle, help with my focus being on better things. And finding a place of peace and rest even when life is difficult, frustrating and confusing. I need this for me, and I need this for my children to see, by my example. So much of it is an inner struggle, but when it’s outward I pray I can show them what peace comes when truly resting in trusting in the Lord.

The torment of voices from the past

The other day I finally had to give in and ask someone to come over to help care for me and my children and I was so frustrated with myself over it. All I could think about was how did I let this happen? Somehow I had already forgotten what a difficult morning I had had. How I fought with every ounce of strength I had left to stay awake when my blood pressure dipped low enough I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Or how when I finally made it to the kitchen to try to fix lunch I sat curled up on the floor resting my head on the cool frame of the refrigerator staring blankly and uncomprehendingly inside trying to figure out what to fix… Instead I was remembering the few moments of feeling relatively good and actually able to get a few things done right before I chose to lay down and rest.

If I only had kept pushing, maybe I could have gotten a few more things done. Maybe if I’d not laid down my blood pressure wouldn’t have dipped so low yet again to make me fight to stay awake. If I only had kept moving maybe my muscles wouldn’t start contracting and twisting and pulling my limbs as they were now, rendering my legs useless and the rest of my body not much better off.

It was in those moments of blaming myself for what my illness was doing to me, sad at my loss of independence, and feeling guilty for interrupting someone’s day to come help me that the thoughts of doubt crept in. What if I was subconsciously doing this to myself? What if all those doctors and specialists in the past were right and this is all just part of a physical response to a psychological problem. What secondary gain was my subconscious seeking? Perhaps maybe I just didn’t want to do the mom thing today? I was both appalled and disgusted at the idea, but still continued to blame myself, insisting this was all my fault somehow.

Those seeds of doubt tormented me worse than the pain from my twisted body.

I don’t know why I still let those thoughts get into my head. Why I ever still listen to the voices of the past… When a doctor first brought up the idea that somehow my subconscious was seeking a secondary gain as the cause for my symptom flairs, my initial response was to think how absurd it was and was offended. But I was in a pretty desperate place by then. My symptoms were only becoming more and more debilitating and I kept being told over and over again it was all psychosomatic and that the only thing that would really help me was to learn how to reduce and cope with stress. I agreed to at least try to think about cause and effect and the possibility as I was to spend time carefully charting each and every circumstance surrounding every instance my symptoms became severe. What my mood was, if I was hungry, if I was tired…. I did it to be cooperative, but also in hopes to prove that it wasn’t all psychological. Why? Because I was being denied the medications that could possibly help me because of the idea that nothing would work because it was assumed my physical symptoms were somatic.

It doesn’t seem to matter that the next specialist emphatically assured me that my condition had nothing to do with subconsciously seeking a secondary gain, insisting that it was simply stress that was triggering it. Or that my current doctor hasn’t mentioned stress at all, and is successfully treating my symptoms with the medications I had begun to despair of ever being given the chance to try. Somehow, in the worst of days, the voices of the past whisper and taunt me, making my already frustrating situation become a reason to blame myself. Blame myself for an illness I didn’t ask for. Blame myself for something I have no control over. Somehow think that I’ve failed myself and everyone around me for being sick as if it were my fault.

It all made me realize just how much I still yet need to heal emotionally from what all I’ve gone through trying to get the medical care I need. I’ve shed a lot of tears the past few days and have prayed so much that I can find the healing I need and that somehow this can be used to change me for the better. I need this just as much or more than the managing of the symptoms of my physical disorders. I’m not angry like I used to be, but there is still a lot of healing left to be done.

I know emotional healing can be a long process, and the fear of having it all happen again is always present… It’s too easy to just want to just give up…. I may need to let myself take a break now and then, but I pray I never quit trying.

A day to remember, DBS

I have had a few different blog post ideas swirling around in my head these past few weeks. they may or may not ever get written out, but this, I really needed to mark this day in my journey to remember in the future…

The day my primary care physician brought up DBS.

DBS – deep brain stimulation – is like a pacemaker for the brain, and has been used with some measure of success to help treat things like Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia, and Tourette Syndrome, etc. It is not a cure, and doesn’t always bring the relief hoped for, but for many it makes a life changing difference for the better.

I wasn’t expecting it to come up and took me quite by surprise. The purpose of my visit was to follow up on my unstable blood pressure issues. We had to reduce my blood pressure medication recently due to it dropping to such lows that I was quite ill and couldn’t stay awake… But the trade off was that my tics have increased as a result (the original reason I was put on that particular medication).

We had a long talk about medications and other things and how they affect blood pressure, and about my tics and whether or not I could manage to leave my dose where it is. That’s when she brought up the idea of DBS as being an alternative, another way to manage my movement disorder symptoms.

I have never had a doctor bring that up as a viable option before and I was incredibly amazed and grateful, while on the other hand completely overwhelmed.

I was kind of in shock. It’s a bit much to think about. Just a few weeks ago an OBGYN is suggesting I have a hysterectomy, and now my PCP is bringing up the idea of major brain surgery. I know they are all with my best interest in mind, but all I can think about is invasive, major, and life altering for good and bad, and not sure I’m really ready for or needing either just yet.

So many thoughts raced through my mind… This may be the first time a doctor has brought up DBS but it’s not the first I’ve thought about it. From what I understand DBS electrode placement has to be different for dystonia than for Tourette’s, I’m not entirely sure it could help both, maybe it can, certainly something to ask about. But my biggest assumption is that I won’t qualify… Going for an assessment with new doctors puts me at risk for being told yet again I can’t be helped and that stress management is my only hope… Knowing what some of my friends have gone through, and knowing my past history, I’m not ready to take that risk. It seems inevitable that I will be denied. Besides, DBS surgery terrifies me. I’m in no way ready to put myself through that. I’m just not ready, not ready at all. Maybe someday, maybe sooner than later if and when my condition continues to worsen, but at least I’m getting the level of relief I am now by what medications I can take.

But I didn’t tell her any of that (other than nodding my head when she said she know the idea of brain surgery is scary) I thanked her for all the options she gave me that day. It was good to know I have options if what we are doing doesn’t work out.

The more that I think about it now, I’m grateful. I am so very thankful for all this doctor has done to help me get the help I need. She is the one who recommended and referred me to the doctors who have helped me in the past year and a half. I wouldn’t have found them without her help. I may still be untreated and much much worse today if it weren’t for her.

It may be a long time before I hear DBS being brought up again, maybe never. But being brought up at all was significant, and made me a little hopeful. Hopeful that I’m not anywhere near out of options yet.

Maybe I wasn’t ready for answers

I’m ready to go to bed, go to sleep and try to forget today.

For those of you who were praying, thank you.

I came away from the first appointment with a good report, and a referral for an even more specialized specialist for the part that couldn’t be addressed. It wasn’t how I expected it to go, and I’m not sure I’m really ready to make yet another appointment to see yet another doctor… I left there both relieved and frustrated.

Second appointment, the idea of surgery was brought up almost right away. When a second issue was discussed, an even more drastic surgery was recommended for that as well. I was taken by surprise. I had been under the impression that this was going to be a doctor who would take a more conservative approach, assuming surgery being a last resort sort of thing.

I was blown away. I can hardly wrap my head around it.

Thankfully I do have the option to wait a month and see how things go, as long as I can still handle the pain. I surely plan to try. Surgery just seems, so, drastic. Especially if it can be avoided.

I can’t help but think I really should seek a second opinion. But really don’t relish the idea of going through the whole process all over again.

I then came home to find an email from my PCP about yet another issue, it’s a compound problem for me and her solution was different than another doctor had suggested they might try. So yet another surprise. I’m hoping it works, but praying it doesn’t make other things worse.

It’s all way too much for one day.

I wish I could close my eyes and shake it all out of my head… There is too much swirling around in there to try to process.

Thankfully nothing is an emergency. I can just let it all go and deal with it later. If my mind would just let me. I’m praying I can. It’s Christmas, and then my daughter’s birthday. I’ve already lost so much of this month with my mind being preoccupied with pain and then upcoming appointments and trying to keep everything straight…

I want to go to sleep and forget it all, and wake up tomorrow with my mind occupied with nothing more than spending time with family and making memories.

Hoping for Answers

I’m finding myself getting more and more nervous about tomorrow. I’ll be seeing an ophthalmologist in the morning and an OB GYN in the afternoon. Two new doctors in one day for two very different things and neither for just a simple check up.

Part of me is glad I can get it all done in one day, the other thinks it’s a bit much and possibly a recipe for disaster. My mind jumps to the worst case scenarios for both, and the combination of both… not only for the diagnoses, but also knowing how much of a trigger lights shining in my eyes is, and who knows what dialation will do. Not exactly a good day for a dystonic or tic storm. Or be such a mess with not being able to see clearly by the time I get to my second appointment that I can’t concentrate or communicate well….

But, I also am looking forward to “more answers and a treatment plan” as my primary care PA puts it. And remind myself that when I went to the hospital for testing they cheerfully let me go home, they didn’t see anything serious enough to keep me which is good. I am also ever so thankful for my dear husband who willingly took the day off so he could be with me through it all.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. For now my goal is to “get through” today, and then let tomorrow happen as it will. Praying all goes well.  In the meantime I can distract myself by  spending time with my little ones, like cuddling in bed with my youngest two, one sleeping, the other having a completely random and delightful conversation about the beach and surf boards and crabs…

When it’s hard on the children too

I thought I was getting better from the second infection, I hoped I was, but there still was some pain, and then it got worse again. I finally gave in and went to the hospital for more testing to find that there was a third issue going on and this time I was referred to a specialist. So it’s not over. The waiting game starts all over again waiting for yet another appointment, and hoping this will resolve sooner rather than later.

As stressful and as painful as this past week and a half has been for me, it’s been especially hard on the children. I keep going away to the doctor or hospital and they worry that I won’t come back, that I’ll have to stay. (a valid concern since that happened last winter when I went in with chest pains and had to go straight to the hospital for 24 hour monitoring) No matter how much I try to reassure them it’s still hard on them. They don’t like to see me in so much pain. Sometimes try as I might I can’t hide it, it affects what I can and cannot do. Every time I got a medication I assured them I’d be better in a few days and then that didn’t happen. Even the littlest one (almost 4 yrs old) has taken to asking me “Momma? Do you still have pain?”

It breaks my heart they are struggling so. They deal with so much with me being chronically ill. Sometimes it’s no big deal, it’s just how life is, but other times, they really struggle especially when my symptoms are severe. And now this on top of it. My biggest concern is for them especially if things get worse… in the very unlikely chance this issue becomes severe and it were to turn into an emergency, or in the unlikely chance I have to have surgery to resolve it. I know children are resilient, and we have family who have been and will be there for them when I cant be, but it still is hard.

Yesterday one of my girls came to me and said “Momma, I’ll be happy for you when you go to heaven, because then you won’t have any more tics” Then she went on to tell me how when she went to a funeral it was so sad she almost cried but it was happy because he was well again now that he’s in heaven. I had a lump in my throat listening to her talk. Such sweet compassion, but oh how I wished she didn’t have to think that for me. I don’t remember what I said in reply, all I remember is hugging her tightly and thinking “oh baby, I so long for the day I get to go to heaven and be free from all this too, but I want to stay here for you and your brother and sisters” maybe I should have told her that. Maybe this is only the start of our talking more about heaven. It still breaks my heart though.

And so, there have been lots and lots of extra long hugs being shared between me and my precious little ones. As often as I can I put on a smile and try to ignore the pain and make sure we have some extra special Christmas fun, in little bits here and there. We laugh over the funny things the little ones say, and just try to get the most out of every day. I want them to have happy memories. They certainly have a lot of fun things to look forward to this month which makes it extra special.

The gift that pain left

I’ve been so distracted with pain lately I feel like I “lost” the first week of December already which makes me sad. This is one of my most favorite times of year and I want to savor it and make the most of it! It’s even more fun now that I have children and get to make it special for them.

Pain is such an odd thing. Living with chronic pain one can get used to a certain level, and then when something else comes up it can just be over the top. This time it wasn’t an injury, it was a common “normal” people infection. I tried to tell myself to buck up and just deal with it. Tried to tell myself many people successfully self treat at home. I went the weekend with those kind of pep talks to myself, determined to at least wait until Monday when I could hopefully get in to see my own doctor. By then though I was so miserable I accepted the fact my doctor wasn’t available and went to see another in the practice who was. Suspicions were confirmed, antibiotic prescribed, and told I should feel better in a few days.

But I didn’t. It only got worse. The pain was so bad I couldn’t concentrate on anything for very long and on most day the pain drove me to action to try to distract myself (got some projects and house work done!) as the days wore on I again kept thinking I should just suffer through it. Funny how chronic illness can cloud one’s judgment on other things! But the pain drilled some sense into me and I finally went back to see yet another doctor in the practice before the week was over.

This time it was a little less obvious exactly what was wrong at first, but the first test proved something was up, and the doctor was determined to figure it out. It almost seemed surreal, the validation of a positive test, the compassion for my pain, and the determination to get to the bottom of it… I’ve gotten so used what all I’ve gone through trying to get help for my chronic issues that this was a relief! It may be a little frustrating that I had to go to the doctor twice in one week but I will forever be grateful for how my case was handled!

Eventually upon further exam and having had a few more tests it was concluded that I had yet another type of infection that had been going on the same time as the other. Yet another prescription for an antibiotic was given with encouragement to “hang in there” was given. I’m so thankful. Hopefully this will be it! I’m ready to be well again and be totally there for the kids instead of distracted by pain!

I may have “lost” last week, but I was encouraged in ways I never expected to be. And was reminded along the way that I don’t always have to “tough it out” and sometimes it’s better if I don’t.

Mighty Surprises

I almost missed it. If a friend hadn’t posted a link on her facebook page I would most probably would have not seen it. I still almost passed over it thinking it was a link to the article I had written for The Mighty, but something about the picture didn’t seem right, and then I read the title “To People with Invisible Illness, From a Paramedic Who Didn’t Believe You” I opened it right away and began to cry as I read it…

It was in response to the article I’d written (she later told me “I actually wrote mine after I read yours. I realized that I was that person and don’t ever want to be again.”) I never in my wildest dreams thought that someone would write an article in response and be so genuine. I had so hoped my article would spark a conversation about the subject, but never knew it would be taken to this level. Her article has encouraged so many, and has been shared so many times who knows how far it has reached! And people are responding, I spent a good amount of time reading the stories.

I’m even more thankful than ever for those who kept encouraging me to write, and to share this particular story.

Here is the link to her article if you have not read it yet:
http://themighty.com/2015/11/to-people-with-invisible-illnesses-from-a-paramedic-who-didnt-believe-you/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Mighty_Page&utm_campaign=CHRONICILLNESS

Mighty Tears

As you may know, I took a large part of the summer off from blogging here trying to reevaluate and refocus. I tried blogging in a different style somewhere else telling more stories about my kids, but that blog didn’t really take off. I’m glad I took a break, it was good in many ways, but there were many times I didn’t blog when I wished I could, and you should see the countless drafts I half wrote up and never finished.

The most significant one was sharing what really happened a few months ago. Maybe some day I’ll share the details, but the conclusion of it all was, my symptoms were so very severe I thought I might not make it through that storm. My breathing was arrested so long that I would slowly lose feeling and then hearing and just as I was beginning to lose consciousness the diaphragm spasm let go and I started gasping for air. The full body spasms and convulsions went on for so very long I didn’t know how much more my body could take, it wore me out and wore me down. Through it all however, my biggest fear was that my family would give in and call for emergency care. I wasn’t ready for that, the thought of being mistreated and assumed I was faking was too much to bear, and since we still have yet to have a working protocol in place I thought it was a real possibility. By the end though, I was in such bad shape physically I was torn between praying my family wouldn’t call, and hoping oh so hoping they wouldn’t wait too long and regret it.

I made it through, without going to the emergency room that day. But I should never have had to be afraid of calling for help.

I’ve been blogging more lately, partly because I need it for my own therapy, but also because I want to help. Writing is the one thing I can do. I was encouraged to contribute articles to The Mighty, a site I’d not heard of before a few months ago, but was impressed with their mission and their ability to reach a far greater audience than my little blog does. I spent a lot of time praying about it and wondering if this is my next step, I want to be able to help more people, not only as an encouragement but spread more awareness.

The biggest thing on my mind was to share what it’s like to struggle to get the medical care we need, what so many of us go through when our symptoms turn severe and we need help. Every time I heard another story my heart broke again and I was filled with a greater urgency to write and speak up about it. Watching others be afraid to seek emergency medical care when their symptoms were critical, and then hearing what happened when they finally did was heartbreaking.

The first story I shared with The Mighty was a version of the one I wrote about my husband a little while back. I wanted to start with something sweet and safe, but in the meantime I was pouring my heart and soul into the idea that I could and should share our story about what it’s like to be mistaken for faking. To be honest, I was terrified of putting myself out there in such a public way, but so desperately wanted to help. I wrote an endless number of drafts, had it almost done, and then let it rest for a while while I was working up the courage to share it. I finally submitted it, and in just a little over a week’s time the final details were finished and it went live.

http://themighty.com/2015/11/to-the-medic-who-thought-i-was-faking/

It’s been less than 24 hours and I am already overwhelmed with the responses. I had shared it in a few support groups and could hardly keep up with the FB notifications of likes, and comments and shares… The “me too” stories have had me in tears. I knew it was a common theme among us to be mistaken for faking or drug seeking in emergency situations, that’s why I wrote it, but the stories are heartbreaking.

I know better than to begin to think what will happen next with my blogging and writing. The Mighty was so kind to work with me in sharing my story and has graciously asked me to keep submitting stories for them to share. I have ideas and hopes for future articles for them, but will see. Life often times has a way of happening differently than I envision it.

I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to not stop writing, and helped me overcome my fears of sharing the details of this story. You played a part in reaching more people than we could have otherwise, and given opportunity to encourage others to open up and share their experiences.

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