So this past week was one filled with hardships and overwhelming gratitude. One of those times that test your very ability to stay positive, but at the same time puts so many amazing people in your path that you need to feel grateful in spite of all the shitty things that happened. I both love and loathe these times when they come around, but more often than not, I’m left feeling like I’ve learnt another amazing lesson about resiliency, being alone, and the human spirit.
So on Monday I was taking out the garbage, and I grabbed an extra heavy bag and felt a little twang in my shoulder…no big deal right? Yeah, that’s what I thought until Tuesday night rolled around and I was literally sobbing in bed from the pain I was in. This isn’t the chronic pain that I deal with from my psoriatic arthritis, this is the kind of acute pain that takes your breath away and makes it hard to concentrate. Not only is being in that much pain physically challenging, but for someone like me who suffered from a panic disorder for much of my teenage and young adult life, it is also emotionally crippling. The fear of not knowing what was wrong, of it being something serious and needing to call an ambulance in the middle of the night, of dying and having no one find me for days (yes, these sunshine-y thoughts were all streaming through my head on Tuesday night), made me feel super vulnerable and had me revisiting some insecurities about being alone.
I got through the night, albeit without much sleep as I kept waking from the pain, and got myself to work on Wednesday morning. Advil and ice packs were in order all day, and I decided to make myself an appointment for physiotherapy at a nearby clinic on my way home from work. One of my sweet baby angel coworkers offered to drive me to the appointment, and once there I thought I would be in the clear. I’d have some answers, and a treatment, and be on the mend. However, when I left the clinic a mere hour later, I was in more pain than ever and decided I needed to get myself to urgent care. Now it’s one thing to go to the hospital to visit someone, or even for yourself if you’re injured with a friend or family member in tow, but here I was taking an uber to the emergency room by myself. SCARY! Yet this is where my sweet angel friend Kathryn comes back into the picture, because despite the fact that I told her I was okay waiting on my own, she showed up while I was sitting in the waiting room with a big, comforting smile on her face that nearly brought me to tears. All I could ask myself was, ‘how lucky am I to have such amazing women continue to waltz into my life’?!
She waited with me the entire time – at triage, in my room in the fracture clinic, while I was getting x-rays (how cute do I look in my hospital gown lol?!), then back to my fracture clinic room. Turns out I have a condition called calcific tendonitis, in which a tear in my rotator cuff tendon has calcified and I’ve essentially grown a new bone that’s just chilling out in my tendon – freaking excruciating! Not much can be done about it, just lots of anti-inflammatories, icing, rest and more physio if I want, but I was just so happy to know what was causing this pain, and to have an answer. And to top it all off, I’d had an amazing friend come and help me get through a scary ass experience, and that had been enough. Actually it had been MORE than enough.
These moments of fear and relief, frustration and gratitude, all come with lessons attached to them. I’m more than two years out of the demise of my marriage, and there are still times in moments like I had this past week where I can find myself getting angry with my ex for ‘leaving me alone’, but the truth is that you’re never alone. Even when you feel like you have no one, someone will pop up to help you work through what needs working through, and you’ll be left understanding just how strongly the Universe always has your back. It’s a pretty amazing thing, really, and something that can provide comfort and support on our very worst days. XO