Saturday, March 5, 2016

Backwards Steps

I toss around
writing about this
Because I want to share
good things.

But, here I am.
To tell my little story of pain.
Because sometimes
it is just good to know 
you are not 

I "deal with" migraines.
I struggled my first two years of college.
I remember going to the U of Wyoming campus clinic in Laramie,
and the doctor asked me if I had a heavy load of classes.
I didn't think so.
He did.
His orders: 
take four ibuprofen 
every day regardless of how I felt.
Stay ahead of the pain. 
And don't take so many credits next semester.

For the past 10 years, I have noticed patterns.

Fluctuation in hormones: migraine.

Public presentation: migraine either right before, during or the day after.

Opportunity to share in art: migraine

Christmas Day: migraine

Treatments vary
and I do all of them:
chiropractic care
essential oils
ice packs
prescribed pain killers

There have been seasons in which
my headaches
disappear for long stretches,
or show up,
with predictability,
one day a month.

But in the past few months
 they escalated to one, two

In fact if I look over the past six months,
almost every opportunity to share
to share my artwork,
even to have my family
at our new home for Christmas,
a long awaited moment,
accompanied with pain
that I then medicated
in order to press through.

All very good moments.
Joyful things.
People I love.
Work that I enjoy.
Good things.
Coming true.
Accompanied with pain.
Followed by medication.
And slow, hesitant returns to 
"the land of the living".

Three weeks ago,
I went back to my chiropractors
from five years ago.
My chiropractor ordered an x-ray.
Currently my sacrum (otherwise known as tailbone)
is tilted up and pointing backwards like a tail
instead of pointing down at the ground.

I could describe all the rest of it.
But I won't.
Simply put.
The adjustments are painful.
The day after is painful.

But hopefully,
I will find relief.
In the meantime,
my orders to 
"tuck my tail":
walk daily,
some of it
with other "tail tucking" exercises.

Physical therapy
will be added to
chiropractic treatment.

The hard part:
finding ways to manage my stress,
be with my family,
to teach, create art, create videos,
work with photographs,
do the things I love
in a way that does not
aggravate the condition
bring on
more pain.

I am
I am frustrated.
That every good thing,
it seems every "yes"
to a great opportunity
with it
physical pain
that steals my joy.

Certainly I battle
voices of condemnation
in my mind
accusing me of
phrases and words like
"collapsing under pressure"
"you can't cut it"
"choke artist"
"weakling, fragile, pitiful"
"you can't handle anything"
"other people have it worse, quit feeling sorry for yourself"
"suck it up".

Certainly, also,
I will make the best of it.
I love walking.
I seek ways to press on and press through.

I pray.
I struggle here too.
My faith for physical healing
almost none.
Honestly, I believe
that God would rather teach me something
through my pain
instead of outright
healing me of it.
Sometimes I ask,
 I ask without belief.
I don't know what to pray
about it anymore.
I ask for prayer.
People pray for me.
The pain comes.
The pain goes.
I still believe in Jesus.
I still trust Him.
I still have faith.
My pain and health are here.
My faith is there.
They seem to be in separate compartments of life.
I don't know if that is right or wrong.
Probably wrong.
But it just is like this right now.
I own it. 
I'm not going to pretend.
I've tried to push health and faith
 together and they seem to spring apart
like pillows pushed together
and then released.

I hope to find ways to work,
to say yes,
to experience life, 
without a guarantee
of physical pain
to accompany
what should be moments
of celebration and joy.
Right now
those moments that should be
most filled with celebration and joy
feel robbed
by pain.
That makes me angry.
I am tired of my joy being stolen.
I am tired of opportunities being painful.
I am tired of holidays with my family being painful
or lost in a fog of pain killers.
I want to enjoy life.
I hesitate to set goals now
because of fear it will
be so pain filled that I will fail
or I will work through it just to make it through
until I collapse in painful exhaustion on the other side,
or again fogginess reigns because of medication.

Maybe I say yes to too much.
Maybe I say yes to the wrong things.
Maybe I over work in my brain.
Maybe I have too much anxiety and not enough faith.
Maybe I just need to "chill out".
Maybe . . . . too much of this and not enough of that.

I just know that I am trying to let myself heal
 and find solutions 
and get better
all the while feeling like I am not 
doing enough,
earning enough, 
working hard enough.

I am trying to find peace of heart, mind and soul
while trying to get better.
Just keeping it real, my friends.
We all have stuff.
I know you do.
And I want you to know that I do too.
It is living life in this world.

I will find a way.
And you will too.
Always seeking 
beauty in the mess, 
the chaos, 
the pain,
the uncertain,
the confusing.
It is there.
It is here.
I know it is.
And I will keep seeking
I will.
So here I go, walking backwards,
and the cows watch me with
and it makes me smile.
There, right there,
Heart shaped stones and little bits of nature.
Beauty in the midst of it all.


  1. I struggle with some of the same things, it is super frustrating that things you want to do stress you out! And that you can't make plans because your afraid you'll be sick.. my struggle is with my stomach, not knowing what I can eat and can't eat. But I also have a lot of back and neck pain, it's just aggravating! And I hear you loud and clear about trying to give it over to God and I've thought the same thing, God wants me to learn to be happy through the struggle..But maybe we're wrong, maybe he's just waiting for us to say God I trust that you're bigger then this and I want you to take it away!!!

  2. The struggle is real, isn't it, Kara? It is good to be understood. And maybe you are right, maybe something needs to shift in my heart and prayers. Love and hugs and healing thoughts to you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Backwards Steps was beautifully written, with much thought. You are a very gifted writer, artist, mother, wife and friend to many. You were added to my prayer list today. Take care, I care!

    1. Jane, thank you. This means so much more than words can say. I appreciate your prayers.

  4. Backwards Steps was beautifully written, with much thought. You are a very gifted writer, artist, wife, mother and friends to many. You were added to my prayer list today. Take care, I care!

  5. our family knows this struggle well, my friend. it is hard. so hard. i am sorry you have to go through this. grateful for you sharing your life. xo

    1. Oh, Jennifer. It is hard, yes. We shall keep pressing on, yes? xo back to you.


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