Tag Archive: family

My amazing boyfriend surprised me with a visit yesterday!

Yesterday I was feeling really awful and laying in bed between doses of pain pills, making them stretch as long as possible because I’m getting to the end of my monthly supply and my boyfriend called, and I was in so much pain that I did something I very, very rarely do when he calls — I hit ignore.

And then, because he does not give up on me that easy, he called again 30 minutes later. And because I love him, I answered.

He was all, “How are you feeling?” And I was all, “Horrible.” And he asked, “How horrible?” And I said, “Well, pretty bad.” And then he asked, “Hmm, well so bad that you wouldn’t want me to come out for a visit?”

I perked up immediately because LOVE.

Within 90 minutes he was walking through the door. And he and I and my mom and my sister and my brother and I went out for pizza at basically the only pizza place in Byron. As is tradition, my family members brought our own topping and ordered tuna pizza, and although my boyfriend is a pretty good sport, he couldn’t quite bring himself to only eat tuna pizza for dinner, so he got a medium sausage pizza for himself.

Then, after dinner, he and I sat out on the back porch and he smoked a high-end cigar and I ate a Hostess cupcake and for a few minutes we got to pretend that we didn’t live two hours apart.

It was pretty wonderful.

A lot of people ask me what the future holds for my relationship with him now that the two of us live so far from each other. And, yes, it has been an adjustment to go from seeing each other every single day to seeing each other once a week, or once every other week.

For now, we are just taking it one day at a time.

We are blessed by the fact that we have always had an extremely strong phone connection, and so we’re able to chat on the phone 15 times a day without thinking about it, because we used to do that even when we lived 12 minutes apart.

I think, we are both sort of hoping that I have moved to my mom’s house to get better and that three months from now, I’ll magically be healed and then we can figure out what the future holds for us.

But I also think, in the back of our heads, we both know that might not happen. We both know I might never get better, and in fact I might just keep getting worse.

For now, the best we can do is take it one day at a time.

Because even though I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love him. I do know that I’ve never been in a relationship as amazing as the relationship I’m in now. And, I do know that I’ve never felt a connection to another human being like the connection I feel to him.

I love him more than I can explain. And his unexpected visit yesterday was just what I needed.

So here’s to 15 phone calls a day, surprise visits and LOVE. Eric and Crystal Scrapbook

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5 people, 1 bathroom: Why I love living with my family.

My pain psychiatrist used to tell me that pain signals have to travel along your nervous system up to your brain, and that if you send other signals through your nervous system to your brain at the same time, sometimes they can sort of act blockade and by extension lessen your pain.

Like, for example, if your brain is focusing on a really intense episode of Burn Notice, where Michael has to blow up a building and all he has at his disposal is a paper clip and an electric toothbrush, then your brain is probably not nearly as focused on the excruciating stab wound feeling in your right ribs.

It’s not a 100 percent cure or anything like. Even Dr. Samsi admitted that at best the refocused brain could probably only take a level 9 pain down to a level 6.

It’s three little notches, but it’s three notches I’ll take.

And it’s why I spend hours and hours and hours watching old episodes of Burn Notice, tuning into HGTV even though I don’t own a home, and why I love makeup tutorial videos on YouTube.

It’s also one of the best things about living with my family.

Yes, I did technically live with one family member before I moved in with my mom. But, my brother Steve and I would often go days without seeing each other because of opposite work schedules  and because we shared a rather large two-bedroom for just two people. I mean, it wasn’t a mansion or anything, but we each had our own full-size bathroom, and we would often joke about having our own “wings” in the apartment.

Now though. Well, now I share a bed with my 14-year-old sister.

Yes, a bed. Not a bedroom.  A bed.

Five of us are currently sharing a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom.

My clothes, which used to breathe in a gigantic walk-in closet, are now hanging precariously on a rack in the laundry room. My poor brother’s bedroom is actually just one of the couches in the living room. And everything I’ve collected over the last 11 years of living on my own is now in boxes in my mom’s one-car garage.

But I love it.

I love that when I’m in pain there is always someone around to talk to me. I love that I when I’m feeling hopeless or sad or in despair, there is literally nowhere I can go to be alone. I love that I am always with people I love.

I love it when my mom comes in the and wakes me up in the morning because she knows that the combination of the sleeping pill I’m on the fact that my pain pills have usually worn off by 8 a.m. make it incredibly difficult to get out of bed.

I love it when we have lunch together and eat dinner as a a family and have ice cream nights.

I love it when my brother and my mom and I go for a three-mile walk and pretty much do a full-circle around the entire town of Byron, because it’s actually that small. And I love that they never complain about going super slow so they can keep pace with me.

And I really, really love it at night, when my little sister lays in bed with me and we turn on some horrible junk TV, like Obsessed with the Dress reruns on the Style Network, and then we talk about how crazy Beau is to the staff, and for a few minutes my pain signals are blocked off by sisterly love.

There is  big difference between laying in bed alone, in the dark, in pain, wanting to die; and laying in bed in the dark, next to your sister, in pain and not wanting to die.

It’s three little letters. But it’s three letters I’ll take.

Crystal Camera Aug 2013 006

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Surviving the move: An ER visit, a shot of dilaudid and some steroids

So, ya, the move was pretty stressful.

I mean, I didn’t really think I was getting stressed out or anything, but I guess my body was stressed because on Friday night, just 12 hours before I was supposed to pick up the U-Haul, my “intercostal neuralgia” pain was seriously the worst it has ever been ever.

I’m talking stabbing pain that felt like a machete inside my right ribs, mixed with the feeling of being dropped off the side of a moving train and landing on a field of jagged rocks.

Horrible, horrible pain.

I was laying in my bed at about 10 p.m., trying to figure out how many hydrocodone I could take without running out before I was due for a refill, when I realized that all I really wanted to do was kill myself.

And then I started thinking that the pain that I was in, right then, was literally Hell.

That all I wanted it to do was end it. And that if dying was the only option, I was ok with that. In fact, I was sort of in favor of that.

So, I told my mom and my brother that I should probably go to the emergency room. And then I said  many, many swear words.

Pain does that to you.

They took me to some ER in Joliet.

I refused to go to the ER right by my house, because the doctor there was the one who originally misdiagnosed me with an ulcer and wasted a month of my life telling me I couldn’t eat tomatoes and giving me the wrong treatments, and what with all the pain I was currently experiencing, I thought I might punch him in the face if I saw him.

So we drove about 20 minutes south to go to the Joliet hospital.

As soon as I got there, they hooked me up with a wheelchair, which was awesome because standing up was killing me.

When they called me in though, they took me to some weird entrance exam area, where there was a whole bunch of patients sitting by computers getting their blood pressure checked and being asked how much they weighed.

I was in too much pain to fight them on that question, but I overheard some other lady tell the nurse, “Enough.” As in, “How much do you weight?” “Enough.”

And then the nurse was all, “I’m really sorry, but we need to know exactly how much you weight because we’re going to give you an antibiotic treatment, and the dosage is going to be based on your weight.”

And she was all, “Well I’m going not to tell you while he’s in the room.” I can only assume it was her boyfriend or her husband. But I suppose it could have been her son. Or maybe even her dad. Who knows.

And then the other nurse was all, “Why don’t you just write it down on a piece of paper and hand it to us?”

And then she grumbled and something else happened and then my pain continued to try and kill me and then somehow they ended up talking about her weight into kilograms and so I never did find out how much the lady weighed because MATH.

Anyway, after the initial check in, they didn’t even bother to put me in a room, they just had a doctor come over and examine me right there.

And she only sort of pulled the curtain back half way before she asked me to lift up my shirt so she could see my ribs.

I was in too much pain to care who I was flashing though.

I screamed in agony when she touched me. I’m pretty sure it was that and my large blue and purple medical binder full of my health information from the last six months that convinced her to give me a shot of dilaudid — a pain reliever the internet says is 6-8 times stronger than morphine.

Yes, it burned going in, but let me just tell you that shot was the best thing to happen to me since I first ate Taco Bell.

Seriously. I have not been that pain free since ever. Really, I cannot remember ever being that pain free.

I want that life back.

I know I had it at one point.

I have faint memories of living and doing things where I could function without horrible pain dominating everything I did all the time, but it’s been so, so long.

I was told the shot would last about 8 hours, but I got a solid 10 out of it.

When it wore off though, I thought I was going to die again.

It’s crazy how quickly the suicidal thoughts come back.

Seriously. It takes about three minutes of pure agony before I’m ready to quit life.

The pain is just insane, and nobody should ever have to endure such a thing. I took two hydrocodone and cried for the 45 minutes it took for them to kick in.

And then I prayed that Walgreens would fill the hydrocodone prescription I had in my wallet a day early.

And they did. That is how I know there is a God.

I used that and the effects of a 20-day low-dose steroid pack my neurologist had prescribed me over the phone Friday afternoon to make it through moving day.

But actually, I just ended up carrying things like pillows and blankets to the car every once in a while, and then feeling the pain of death cover my body whenever my medications would wear off. And then I would suddenly lay down wherever I happened to be, and wait for another dose of medications to kick in.

I spent a bunch of time on the kitchen floor and on the grass next to the U-Haul truck.

The ER doctor told me I need to have a conversation with my pain specialist about going on stronger medications, except of course, my former pain specialist was a horrible, horrible person, and I don’t have a new one yet.

So I’m just taking hydrocodone so that I can live through each day. And I’m relying on a few more than the 4 a day I’m supposed to take.

You can judge me all you want, but when you feel like your ribs are trying to stab you in your heart, you do what you gotta do.

Because it’s either that, or kill myself.

On the upside, we did end up making it to Byron. Sometime around 10 p.m. Saturday night.

At least it didn’t rain. Moving in the rain always sucks.

Uhaul

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