Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and you wish you could take it back.
Forgive yourself and let it go
There are lots of small instances I can think of where I’ve been short with people because of pain, medication, or a combination of both. I admit that my family members take a brunt of that shortness. Thankfully, they are understanding, and I’m usually coherent enough to correct myself very quickly afterward.
I think the worst thing that I’ve ever said though was to my mother. My mom has suffered from migraines for a long time, and she has one almost constantly. At some point when I had a migraine that wouldn’t break, she said something to me about possibly going to the doctor’s to get a shot of medication since none of my rescue meds were working and I was going on something like day 3 of the migraine. I very clearly remember saying, “I’m not going to get a shot of medication. I don’t want to end up like you, mom.”
About .5 seconds after those words left my lips, I realized just how horrible they sounded. Sure, I only meant that in the context of how dependent my mother was upon her medication on that time to get through each day, but I knew it would be interpreted in so many different ways. The idea of her thinking that I may have meant more than my intention was enough to make me start bawling. I tried to explain to her what I meant, and she understood, but I’ve always carried that with me. I’m sure it stung, and it was an unnecessary statement.
I didn’t end up going to the hospital or the doctor’s to get shots. I was able to eventually break the migraine through, well, I’m not sure how exactly I broke the migraine, but it happened.
As awful as it sounds, I think a bit of good came out of those awful words, because my mom started to get a bit more proactive about her migraines. She was much more inquisitive about medications and started to talk about alternative therapies with her doctor. On one hand, that makes me feel like I may have done some good, but on the other hand, it makes me feel even worse because it means that those words affected her much more than I prayed they had. My mom has always been my biggest supporter, and I would never, ever want to hurt her like that.
I guess those are the kinds of things pain will do to you.
But now I’m forgiving myself. My mom has forgiven me, and I need to be able to say that I said something hurtful, apologized, and can let go.
So I’ll share a more humorous story about me & my mom:
My mother and I also have both suffered from kidney stones. The worst attack I ever had was during my junior year of high school. I found out on a Thursday that I had a stone blocking my left kidney. My (then) urologist told me he’d schedule my surgery for Tuesday and give the stone time to work its way out and pass on its own.
He gave me Ultracet for the pain, which, for someone who took Percocet for migraines at that time, was like saying “Oh, you have a kidney stone? Here’s some Skittles.”
So I basically spent the weekend either in bed drinking water or ginger ale, watching movies, crying because of the pain, totally spaced out on meds, or vomiting. My mom spent most of the weekend in bed with me, because she didn’t want me to be alone through the pain. And I vividly remember through one terrible bout of pain - this is past the point where I had just started to vomit bile because there was nothing left in my stomach to get rid of - turning to my mother with tears in my eyes and having this conversation -
Rachel: Why are you doing this to me?
Rachel: I mean, sure, you gave me a nice singing voice, and pretty hair, but you also gave me migraines, kidney stones, and glaucoma.
Mom: No one here has glaucoma.
Rachel: YOU GAVE ME GLAUCOMA!
Mom: I don’t have glaucoma. YOU don’t have glaucoma.
Rachel: IT’S COMING. I CAN FEEL THE GLAUCOMA COMING ON.
We both then collapsed into fits of laughter. Which quickly turned to tears for me because laughing & kidney stones don’t mix.
However, every once in awhile she still likes to remind me that she didn’t give me glaucoma.
Why you write - tell us a little about why you write about your health online and what got you started?
Well, let’s see, I started this blog a bit over a year ago, and have been pretty inconsistent about keeping it updated. It’s something that I know I need to be better about, but sometimes, life gets the best of me!
I started writing about my health online for quite a few reasons. First of all, I suffer from migraines, a condition which tends to be very misunderstood in the world. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told “It’s just a headache” or “It can’t be that bad” by someone who has never suffered a migraine. There are many misconceptions about migraines in the world, and online I was able to find a community of others who suffer from migraines and understand what I’m going through.
I also started this as a way to explore different treatment options. I’m now 24 years old, and for most of my life I was resigned to the idea that I would just have to pop pills to deal with the pain for the rest of my life. However, I’ve discovered some great holistic treatments through the online community, and some tips and tricks. It’s true that what works for one person won’t always work for another, and sometimes, it may even make it worse, but it’s always worth it to try. You never know when you’ll find something that helps you.
A third reason that I write about my health online is that I need the encouragement. I’m one of those people who moves at the speed of light and takes on a lot. Therefore, it’s important that I have a community I can turn to when I need comfort. I’ve made some great friends through my blogging and it’s nice to always be able to commiserate with someone who had experienced the same things.
Most importantly though, I needed to keep myself accountable. It wasn’t enough to just say, “Oh, I’m going to eat better and do yoga to help my migraines.” If I didn’t have other blogs to look at of other people on their journeys to better health, it would be much more difficult for me to be successful in my journey.
Although chronic migraines are my main focus, I was also diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (a heart condition) when I was in 7th grade, and have been hospitalized and had surgery for kidney stones in the past. I also have a problem with my left ITB because my left leg is a bit shorter, but the only thing to do about that is stretch!
I hope that I’ll be able to make enough progress toward reducing the frequency of my migraines to inspire others to take on the journey themselves. I dream of a day when I won’t have to take a daily medication to prevent my migraines. I know that it may not happen, but having it as a goal is enough of a motivator to keep me working toward a healthier, happier self.
of this blog. And for that I apologize.
I know I don’t have a ton of followers, and that’s not the point of this blog, but I feel bad flaking out on those of you that do follow me.
I haven’t had the best of weekends/weeks. I started off with a kidney stone attack on Friday night that basically took me out of commission until Sunday afternoon. I had to wake up on Saturday morning to sing a funeral at church though. As weird an experience as it was to sing while on so much pain medication, it made it easier for me to detach from the situation, and yet feel the power of the music (I have never really dealt well with funerals in the past, due to personal experiences, but ever since becoming a cantor in my church, it hasn’t been an option to NOT go to a funeral when I’m needed.) In any case, I got through that and then went back to bed.
I typed the bulletin in a moment of coherence and then passed out again.
My mom just checked on me before church on Sunday morning to make sure I was okay, gave me a new ice pack and a cup of tea, made sure I had a bottle of seltzer nearby and headed next door. I was feeling better in the morning, but it was a “don’t push it” kind of situation. I went to work that evening at 4, and although I wasn’t feeling 100%, I was feeling better.
The thing I hate most about my kidney stones is that there’s no way for me to tell that they’re coming. All of a sudden there’s just debilitating pain and I can’t function for the life of me. Earlier that day I went to my voice lesson and was completely fine, but by 9 PM that night, I was nearly in tears with pain.
The other thing is that since I get migraines, the pain medication I’m given to decrease my kidney pain is less effective. The first time I ever had kidney stones, the urologist (the one I mentioned in my first post about my stones that made me wait a whole weekend to have surgery) gave me Ultracet (Tramadol) to treat my pain. When I went to my general practitioner, he laughed and said “Is it helping?” and when I said “No”, he said “That’s because giving Tramadol to someone who takes Percocet for their migraines is like saying, ‘Oh, you’re in pain? Here are some Skittles, that should take care of it.’”
So I’ve been instructed to take Percocets that are stronger than the ones I used to take for my migraines. (I’ve stopped using Percocet as a first resort for rescue meds for migraines because I started getting terrible rebound migraines from them.)
In any case, my pain as subsided since then, and I haven’t had any pain since Sunday evening.
Monday morning I went to the dentist, and then I went to my first class at 12:30. After that class, I went home and haven’t been back to class since, due to the sickness.
Now, the sickness is my general term for any kind of cold/flu/sinusy/throat like illness that I get. It’s just easier that way. (Unless it’s something super specific, like when I had Bronchitis in September). So on Monday, I came down with the sickness. Really scratch, sore, and dry throat, congested sinuses, fever, all of that fun stuff. So I’ve been in bed being miserable. Yesterday I started to feel somewhat better and changed my sheets to get the germs off. I didn’t go to my class this morning for the sheer fact that I was still coughing and not feeling great, and because it’s a dance class and I knew I’d have an even harder time concentrating in that class than any other because of the physical exertion.
I do have work later this evening though, and plan on going. I usually only work about 12 hours a week (which is fine with me, since I have plenty of schoolwork to occupy my free time) including this week, but next week, I’m up to 25 hours for some reason. No idea why. Oh well, I can always use the money.
As for Grad School, all I’ve heard so far is that I was waitlisted at NYU, which I take as a pretty good sign. I should start to hear things in the next week or two. Then maybe I’ll have some idea of where I’ll be next year.
Well, I’m going to start on a new series that I have in it’s entirety on my hard drive that I’ve been meaning to watch for awhile - Arrested Development. I’m completely caught up on Doctor Who, HIMYM, and Big Bang Theory, so I figure I can start this. I’ve only watched the first series of Sherlock, but I think I’m going to save the second series for my Spring Break (which starts the 18th).
and suddenly felt the worst pain I’ve felt in a long time.
I’m currently in the middle of a kidney stone attack it seems. I’m saying I’m 94.67% sure that it’s what’s going on.
So now I’m sitting in bed with an ice pack on my back trying not to just curl up and cry.
I’ve taken two Percocet, and am waiting for them to kick in.
Until then, I’ll watch some Doctor Who I suppose.
Hopefully these meds kick in and start to kill some of the pain. I have to sing a funeral in the morning, and that would be really difficult to do when I’m in immense pain.
It’s also especially annoying when you stay hydrated and drink cranberry juice and try to do all of the things that your doctors say you should to avoid kidney stones. My are Calcium stones, so there’s no medication to dissolve them like Uric Acid stones have.
So here’s another one of my ailments to discuss.
I had my first confirmed kidney stone during my Junior year of high school when I was 16. It’s possible that I had them before that, but when I was 16 I had a MRI and Ultrasound because of the pain and was told that I had kidney stones.
It was like that episode of Friends when the doctor tells Joey that he has kidney stones and he keeps asking “…OR?” but the doctor just keeps saying “KIDNEY STONES!”
So yeah. This is another thing that’s genetic in my family. However, of the kids in my family, I’m the only one who seems to have gotten this particular ailment.
So when I was 16 I had pain off and on due to the kidney stones. I was told that they were in my kidney and, well there’s not much else to do besides give me painkillers and tell me to drink lots of fluids.
However, while I was at work one day, I basically collapsed in pain. I had to get picked up and brought to my urologist’s office (whom I have not gone back to after my surgery because of the horrible ordeal I went through with this.)
Point is, I went to his office on a Thursday and was told “Oh hey, one of your kidney stones is blocking your kidney and your kidney is getting swollen. Let’s see if it passes by itself over the weekend. You’re gonna want to lay down with an ice pack and take painkillers. We’ll schedule surgery for Tuesday just in case it doesn’t pass.”
It didn’t pass.
I spent the weekend in agony. The only peace I had was when I was knocked out from the pain or the painkillers. I didn’t keep any food down over those 5 days and lost nearly 15 pounds because I was so physically sick. I could barely keep down water, but I kept drinking it because I knew I had to.
So on Tuesday morning I went to the hospital for my surgery. I had a ureteroscopy and the two stones were removed. In addition, I found out that I had a UTI, a bladder infection, a kidney infection, and hydroneufrosis of my kidney where it had swollen to nearly three times its size because the doctor made me wait so long for the surgery.
That was my traumatizing kidney story.
Since then I’ve had a few attacks here and there, and have gone to the emergency room twice I believe when the pain became unbearable. And also because I’m paranoid that a stone will get stuck and my kidney will burst or something.
So kidney stones aren’t something that there’s any one trigger or kind of treatment for. My stones are calcium stones, so I’ve been told to avoid oxalates (I’m lactose intolerant, so it’s not like I drink milk on a regular basis). However, I get conflicting information from people. I don’t have uric acid stones, so the medication that they make to treat kidney stones won’t help me. I have had people tell me that I should avoid grapefruit and berries, but then others tell me that the acid in lemonade can help prevent stones and that acidic fruits are good for me. I’ve been told that tea is a bad idea, but others say that tea can help.
I don’t know if it’s just another situation like the migraines where each person has a different reaction, but there’s got to be SOMETHING that I can do to help prevent stones.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to find out what that something is!
I’d love to find some people to follow who are on similar journeys or who might have the wisdom, experience, or knowledge to help me through mine.
Reblog or drop a note in my ask if your blog deals with/you have/you talk about
- Kidney Stones
- SVT (or other related heart conditions)
- Chronic Sinus infections
- Health and Wellness
- Alternative Medicine/Therapy
- Holistic Medicine
- Mind-Body Connection
- Food Sensitivities and triggers
- Support systems for the chronically ill
- Anything else in this area that I haven’t covered! I think you can see what I’m about from my blog and the things that will be forthcoming!! Thanks :)