Oh, hi RSD/CRPS! Thanks for letting me finally get some sleep but making me feel more tired in the morning than I did before I went to bed. It’s 2:30pm, two cups of coffee and I still want to go back to sleep. That’s okay - my bed is pretty comfy - haha.
Acceptance - that is a huge word to me or anyone who has RSD/CRPS.
When I compare myself to a year ago to now, I am very thankful. One year ago, I freaked out every time I logged onto a social network and saw that my friends were being promoted at their jobs. I wasn’t jealous, honestly I was very happy for them but I felt inadequate. There I was, 25 years old, and I felt like my life was just passing me by as I was a slave to my pain. Somedays, I couldn’t get off the sofa, take a shower, do anything — I was even walking with a cane/walking boot. I felt uneasy in my heart that I wasn’t doing something with my life, like I was a failure. I know that I probably drove my poor hubby crazy with trying to find 394802398402348 things to set my goals on because I just couldn’t find peace with being sick.
Now, one year later, sitting in Moscow - I have peace. You have to understand that I never, ever thought I would be able to say that about having a chronic illness. I thought I would always be angry or in denial. I have to say that I have the most understanding hubby in the world because I was able to go on this adventure alone and just come to terms with my disease. Not only has this adventure allowed for me to come to terms with RSD/CRPS, it has shown me what I can handle. I have realized that RSD/CRPS is a life changing disease. I think the most life changing, WTF moment was the last time I was admitted to the hospital and the fellow told me: “well you have CRPS Type II so we are just trying to make you feel as comfortable as possible.” To me, that sounded like defeat and that there was no hope in me ever getting better. I did not want to come to terms with this being a fact — I refused to! (I promise this is not denial, it is determination)
By getting away from doctor’s visits and my comfortable surrounding I was able to force myself to see that my life does not revolve around being sick. Yes, I still flare - a lot actually but I can cope with it. One of the best things my husband has done for my health is introduce me to power lifting. The endorphins my body releases from lifting helps keep my pain away for at least two hours after my workouts. I am very grateful for this.
I guess one of the main reasons I wanted to come back to Russia was not only to see my bestie but also to clear my head. When I first visited Moscow, it became my dream to move to Russia and teach English. I was very blessed because I met the man of my dreams and got married in Moscow in 2010. I thought I had achieved my goal. I was such a happy girl! Unfortunately, RSD got in the way and my loving husband had to give up everything he knew and moved to the USA with me, which I am forever grateful for so I could reiceve treatment.
I’m saying this because I guess, I just needed to come to grips with the fact that even though this disease is horrific at times, it doesn’t control me and by coming back to Moscow, it helped me to come to peace with everything. Moscow to me is my happy place. It is where I met my husband and fell in love and so all of those beautiful memories flood my head when I am here.
Coming to peace with being sick is very difficult (only took me 3 years…haha) but I needed to do it in order to be Natalie again. Now that I have this peace, I feel like I can actually breath again. I feel like I can defeat anything - even RSD/CRPS - no matter how bad it gets. Seriously! I use to read about people who had this illness for 25 years and would go to Max and cry. I didn’t want this illness for my whole life but now I feel like, okay, whatever. This doesn’t have to defy who I am as a person. Yes, somedays are worse than others but if I keep this peace in my heart and my mind set on the prize that one day I will be pain free, then I am golden. Also, I truly believe I am one tough cookie and can make it through anything especially with my amazing support team who I am very thankful for. Another honest lesson I learned is there is only one of you in this world so stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Freaking out because your life is going at a different pace than someone else’s isn’t going to do you any good. We all have our own unique special plan on this planet and we will live it out. So worrying about other people or what they think is a waste of time and energy. With CRPS/RSD, you need all of the extra energy you can get. :))
You know that song, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia? If not, go listen to it. Anyway, it is along the lines of what I am talking about. haha
So, thank you RP for letting me come to peace with RSD/CRPS! :) I know this has been hard for both of us. I know it has been hard for you to watch me go through this but it will only get better, I promise. :D I love you — you are my ROCK! Thank you for letting me go on this adventure, I know it has been difficult to be apart but I needed peace in my heart. Thank you for letting me find it.