On Pain.

 I mentioned last week that my husband has been suffering from chronic pain, and I figured I'd share our story, as I'm sure we aren't the only couple/ family dealing with this issue. Over the past few months we have learned first hand how sometimes a seemingly small thing, can turn in to something so large, that it really turns your whole world upside down. I have no doubt that we will find a solution for our particular situation, but it's really made me gain such respect for those who are living with an illness, and for obvious reasons, their spouses who also live through the pain while also trying to maintain a sense of normalcy for everyone in the household. Such a balance is not easy, and I'm pretty sure this is why they insert "in sickness and in health" in your marriage vows. (Sneaky bastards ;))

For us, this all began about 7 years ago. Sometime during my pregnancy with the LM, my husband injured his piriformis muscle (which is located in the pelvis) during a yoga class. At the time it wasn't that big of a deal, nor was it that big of an injury. He did a little Physical Therapy, and for the past few years whenever it would flair up, he would do some gentle exercises that would pretty much keep the pain at bay. The muscle itself isn't our particular issue, but rather it's placement, which sits right next to the sciatic nerve. Up until October, the pain was totally manageable, and was something we rarely, if ever talked about.

For no reason at all, about 4-6 months back, things started to spiral out of control. At first I didn't pay much attention to the situation. My husband would complain about having sciatic pain, I would kind of ignore him, and he would say little else. I figured that just like before, he'd figure out a way to work though it, and just like with any injury, he'd be back to his old self in no time. Obviously, that never happened, and in late November, it became pretty clear that the pain was here to stay. Given that he is a doctor, and slightly crazy, my husband went to work on the Internet, and learned everything he possibly could about what he was dealing with. Apparently, this condition affects a significant amount of people, and almost 80-90% can be treated fairly easily and non-surgically. Well, my poor husband tried every single treatment he could find, and to our dismay, he just kept getting worse and worse. Because, it is so rare for someone to need surgery to remedy this, finding an actual surgeon who is comfortable operating near such an important nerve was pretty difficult, and now that we've found one, he isn't sure if it will actually bring any relief.

That has really been the hardest part of this whole thing, the uncertainty. Throughout this whole ordeal, I've tried to be really positive, but if I'm being completely honest, this has really taken a toll on my husband. An outsider probably wouldn't be able to notice the change, but from the inside it's glaringly obvious. One can only be in constant pain for so long, without any expectation of relief, and not get down about it, and that's really the challenge at this point. How do we keep his/ our spirits up, while we try to find a solution. We talk about it constantly, as a family, and alone, and I am the one that pushes the bright side like it's my job. This isn't cancer, our kids are healthy, we will find a solution, we all love each other so deeply... these are the mantras that I force in to every conversation. Of course, they are all true, but I'm not the one actually dealing with the constant pain, so it's most definitely a little easier to be the positive force. Last week, things were as bad as they've been, but this week with a steroid injection, and some intense PT, we are definitely in an uptick. It's crazy how obvious the difference is, and for everyone in our home. It's almost like the first warm day, after a long Winter. We are all smiling again, laughing, and talking non-sense. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it's definitely been a nice break from the norm.

As with most events, there has also been an incredible upside to everything we've been dealing with. As a family we've never been closer, and I barely even put in to words how strong this has made our marriage. We are two fairly independent people, but this situation has really shown us just how badly we need and rely on each other. Sure, it has been difficult to not have the help or support that I typically need with the kids, but on the flip side I have been able to really be there for my husband, and I feel like in the end that may be the silver lining in all of this. I also couldn't be more proud of the boys, who have been so incredible every day, and although they've been mostly shielded from the brunt of it, they certainly know what's been going on, and have shown what mature and awesome little dudes they can be when asked. I've also been able to see what an incredible support network I have between my in-laws, sister, family, and awesome friends, and I feel so fortunate that I have so many people to rely on. I feel like this is all I've talked about for two months, and having their insight, support, and shoulders to cry on has really, really, made the difference. So, thank you to all of you...

We won't really know how this is all going to play out until we see what happens with the current course of treatment. It would be so incredible if things keep improving, probably only comparable to winning the lottery. We've already been planning all of the things we want to do when he is pain free, and I can't wait to start crossing them off the list!!! I have no doubt we will get through this, and I'm really looking forward to having my sweet husband back, with his renewed lust for life.

Thank you all for your sweet comments  and emails last week. It really means a lot to us to know that so many people out there are rooting for us. I'm hoping to be back here, talking about all the not so important things in life, again, and on a regular basis. This blog and my kiddos have been a great outlet for me, and I don't plan on disappearing anytime soon.

Whoever said "health is wealth" nailed it.

Preach it.