I have read so many posts in this Forum and can relate to almost all of them. I ache for all of you. I ache for myself. But my heart breaks for my children. I have 2 boys - 2 years and 4 years old. I feel like my pain has made me a bystander in their lives, but I long to be a full and active participant. Mostly, they play and I watch from my bed. My horrible bed, which feels more like my prison and my body is my personal jail cell. On a good day, we go out as a family, my husband brings a chair for me, so while my boys laugh, run, wrestle and play - at least I can be physically present, but still relegated to the sidelines. These days, my goals are simple: walk with my kids to the corner of our street for frozen yogurt, sit on the floor with them to do a puzzle, push them on a swing or spend as much time as I can cuddling them (our special place is hiding under the covers of my bed to tell secrets). Man, those are the best days! Then there are the bad days, most days. When i'm exhausted, depressed, feeling like I'm in a long dark tunnel with no light or end in sight. My medication makes me impatient and my pain makes me irritable. I yell at them because I don't have the wherewithal to do anything else. I cry because I want something to change but it never does. My husband has to keep them away from me because the slightest bounce on the bed is agony. It's a trip to the corner if they are too rough with me because we need to make them understand my fragility. Everyday my 4 year old asks if my "boo boo is better yet". He offers a kiss on my back and always reminds my husband to bring pillows for mommy to lean on. I try to smile. I fake it. I push myself beyond my limits. I lift him in my arms and we dance for what feels like a beautiful eternity until I realize it's only been a few minutes. That's the most I can handle. For every moment of exertion I spend double recovering. My husband picks up the slack - sometimes begrudgingly but mostly it's just our way of life. Then the guilt sets in. His guilt for being angry and resentful, mine for not being the partner, the lover, the mother he bargained for. But, we carry on and make it through to tomorrow just as we have since my back pain first started 15 years ago. Back then I was full of hopes and dreams for the future. I was magnetic, popular and full of promise. Now I'm tired, helpless and oftentimes, indifferent. I push those feelings away. I never dreamed that this would
be the wife and mother I would become. I don't want this to be how my children remember their childhood. I don't even recognize the person I've become. I feel like the "real" me is trapped in a broken body. My boys deserve more...better.
They don't know it, but I do. So, everyday I fight. I try to stay strong. I push myself to be more, to do more. I keep learning and reading about my situation. I reach out to people like you - who understand and don't judge. Everyday, I hold onto the hope that today might be one of the good days. I thanks my family and friends for supporting and sacrificing for me. Everyday I hug my children and tell them how much I love them. Everyday I live with chronic pain and vow that I won't let it win!