Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Oldest Disease in the World

While I may not have a "Dr." in front of my name, my medical trials and tribulations have given me a unique perspective into the medical world. I have had my share of illness and injury, and I've watched as family and friends have coped.

No matter what anyone tells you, as the patient, you will ALWAYS feel guilty for putting your family through your medical drama. You feel guilty for all the money they spend on gas to get to the hospital and on the parking garage. You feel guilty for the soreness of their asses after they sit in the ridiculous visitors' chairs for any length of time. You feel guilty for the smell of shit that pervades the air. The list can go on and on. 

The longer I dealt with my illness and pain, a whole new level of guilt crept to the surface as a result of what I call "Second Hand Pain".  Second Hand Pain affects the family, friends, acquaintances, etc. of the chronically sick individual. A mother of a daughter with breast cancer can only watch her daughter go through chemo and its wretched side-effects for so long before her heart and spirit break. The visual knockout of seeing her daughter's double mastectomy scars is like being branded on her soul.  And I know, as sure as the sun rises, that the daughter feels guilty for "making" her mom go through that, even though there is no way on Earth that the daughter could have caused her cancer to begin with.

Pain doesn't have to be firsthand to be felt. My fifteen years of chronic pain and illness have absolutely shaved years off my parents' lives, and for that I feel guiltier than guilty.  And when the ER nurses are digging for one of the few veins I still have left, I swear, by the look in her eyes, my mom feels more pain than I do. And just talking about my medical issues brings tears to my Dad’s eyes. Second Hand Pain is a heart breaker, and Chronic Guilt is the monkey on a patient’s back. These are inescapable scenarios, but they are not hopeless. Nothing is EVER hopeless.

There is one fail safe remedy, and it’s called God.  It is an ongoing, pain-staking riddle that requires a constant investment by each and every soul involved. Even now, I am still learning so much, and I have tons yet to learn in the future.  As I like to say, I am a work in progress. I venture to say all of you reading this are works in progress, too!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Like a Virgin

In case it wasn't clear, this is my first post on my first blog. Ironically, I am coming up on eight years of unintentional celibacy, so the title covers it all. The latter is depressing, but all in good time. Like Heinz Ketchup, good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, I've got "Shades of Gray", and I realize I've just shared much more info than any of you care to know. Apologies. Moving on...

Another anniversary I'm approaching is the 15 year anniversary of being diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis; more specifically Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. My health history is a clusterfuck of incorrect diagnoses, unnecessary tests, surgeries, procedures and lots and lots of pain. There hasn't been much huge change in the physical realm, but in terms of my emotional and spiritual health, I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.

I have realized that there will always be physical challenges in my life, which then effects everything else. However, with this post I am creating a contract with my spirit to stay positive, to stay focused on wellness and to achieving what I have ALWAYS wanted; to write my own book. As I work on completing that huge project, I'm using this blog to get my feet wet, to get my name out there and to share my ideas on the definition of wellness, the nature of disease and the process of paying it forward.

Live and love with hope in your heart and mind! I pray God blesses us all....  Jessica

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Divine Partnership

One of the many problems with Western medicine is the lack of understanding about the role of the patient. While it may seem like our purpose is to find the right doctor to treat our symptoms, it is actually far more important that we have a divine partnership with ourselves. We need to tap into our innermost psyches, listen to what our bodies are telling us and then articulate our bodies' truths to our doctors.

It should almost be the opposite of our medical system now. Rather than going to a doctor to find out what's wrong with us, we should have doctors coming to us, competing for the opportunity to address what WE have sensed to be wrong. It may sound crazy, but the science of medicine starts from within. Regardless of whose stethoscope is listening to our lungs or whose scalpels are cutting us open, it's the understanding of our own bodies that is most fundamental to our overall wellness.

Pain takes the meaning of a "heartbreaker" to an entire new level. We can all get through life, if we so chose, with or without another person. What we can't do is to get through life without the vessel within we were meant to live. Our body should be the ultimate love of our lives, and I don't mean that in a vain sense of the word.

When it comes down to brass tax, our bodies are the greatest gift we've ever received. God gives us these vessels and counts on us to take care of them. So whatever afflicts you, find a way to communicate with it, nurture it, love it so that it can grow wings and return back to the place from which it came.

I pray God blesses us all....  Jessica