I’m not usually afraid of the unknown. I realize I can’t anticipate or prepare for something when I have no idea what may be coming around the corner.
The problem arises when I know what’s coming, and there’s still nothing I can do to prepare for it… yet I know enough to anticipate it.
Confused yet? Me, too.
Here’s the thing. As each day has passed this week, I’ve gotten sicker. I’ve gotten more weak, more dizzy, more tired, more nauseous, more pain, more everything. The past two days I have struggled just to sit up and stay awake. What this tells me is that the doctors are right… I have got to get off these steroids or the Cushing’s will keep getting worse.
That’s the rock. Here comes the hard place.
The last time I tried a small reduction of the steroids, I woke up the next morning in more pain than I knew how to handle. It was ripples of sharp pains going down my legs from my hips to my toes, with my hips, knees and ankles feeling like someone was tightening them with a vice. I was stuck in bed, unable to walk or move for about three hours while I waited for the medications to kick in. That day I increased my steroids back up to normal, and despite the increase I still woke up the next morning and experienced the same pain, only it lasted five hours. Yes, five hours of biting-a-pillow kind of pain.
So… you see my dilemma. I have to get off the steroids or I keep getting sicker. When I try to go off the steroids, the pain is insane. This is where I wish it was unknown, because right now I can’t help but anticipate something I know I can’t do anything about.
Tomorrow [Sunday] I’m going to start a steroid reduction. And it’s a bigger reduction than the last one I tried. And unlike last time, at some point I have to bite the bullet and stay at the reduced dosage if I’m ever going to get off of these things. The part I know is what it will be like the first day or two because I’ve already been through that a couple of times. However, since I’ve never stuck it out past that point, the unknown is what will happen when I don’t increase the steroid dosage back up.
Rock, let me introduce you to Hard Place. We’re all about to become very good friends.
There’s a part of me that is resolved and ready to just get on with this. And there’s a part of me that would run far away if I could. But that’s the thing about illness… there’s nowhere to run. There’s no taking a break or a breather or a vacation. There’s only walking straight ahead into the storm and trusting that God will find a way to get me to the other side of it.
So, not to be overly dramatic or anything, but tomorrow I’m walking head on into the storm. And while I know you all pray for me all the time, and I am so grateful for that, this is the first time I’m asking for you all to pray for me. I don’t think the pain should get too bad until Monday, but after that I have no idea what will happen or how we’ll proceed. I have home nursing at my disposal, but mostly I just need for my doctors to know what’s best for me and I need to have the strength and fortitude to do what needs to be done, no matter how painful or scary it is.
I’ll be honest… I hate blogging about this. I hate telling you the gory details and I hate that this affects anyone’s life but my own. But more than one person has asked for more real information than what candy bar I don’t like, so I promise not to give you fluff for awhile and will do my best to let you know how it’s going when I can.
Thanks for being there, people. I know I’m so very lucky to have you.