Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Epic Fail

As a survivor, your story will be complex and multilayered. But, often that story will fit, however haphazardly, into four basic chapters. They include "Baby Steps", "Setbacks", "Victories", and "Epic Fails".

Often a chapter will happen when you originally intended to write in a different chapter.

A couple of days ago, after having less then stellar results with more traditional treatments, in an attempt to combat my on-going chronic pain, with the complete support of my Pain Management Specialist, I tried an alternate avenue of treatment in seeking acupuncture. 

I have known a great many people combating trauma who have had miraculous results in alternative therapies. In my own search for healing, I have remained open and willing to seek help in any treatment that could be beneficial.

I was hopeful and looking forward to any chance at some relief. The acupuncturist was nice and listened to my medical history. She answered questions and explained all aspects of the treatment process, including realistic expectations of results. The needles involved only minor sensations and didn't hurt. I got them in my neck, shoulders, back, feet, arms, and my head. One needle location itched a little. They certainly were interesting to look at.

Due to my damaged muscles a few minutes into it, though, I began to have pain issues with my positioning on the table. We removed all the needles and inserted them again while I was seated instead.

It was a little boring. Zen music and low lighting weren't really helping my routine pain. After thirty minutes, I began to get a dull headache, but the treatment was ending. Needles were removed. We made plans for ongoing treatments and return visits.

Within an hour and a half, pain was clustering and radiating across my shoulders and up my neck. It literally felt like I was dying. I could barely stand. Eventually, I collapsed when I tried to walk.

I had aimed for a victory chapter for my story. I would have been content with the fledgling beginnings of a baby step chapter. Instead, I got slammed by a classic epic fail chapter. 

People saw me cry. Strangers saw me cry. (This is a big deal for me. Most of my crying is private, primarily occurring in the shower when I need to let the tears out.) 

I was a mess. I got help. I got meds. I formulated a new treatment plan with my Pain Management Specialist, including additional physical therapy and pursuing botox injection treatments for my damaged muscles, as well as the recommendation I not take the acupuncture route again. 

Sadly, the acupuncture had worked in briefly relaxing my painfully tight, damaged muscles. For the first time in a very long time, the cruel muscle rope-snake up the side of my neck uncoiled. It just also unleashed a super nova of damaged nerve cluster pain. Survivor stories do love their little ironies. 

It was not one of my better days. But, sometimes this happens. The story we are trying to write decides to take on a little artistic license of its own.

We can not erase the epic fails of our stories. We all have setbacks. We will have more of them and hopefully some successes as well. We must keep pursuing the next chapter. Keep hoping for the next baby step. Keep aiming for the next victory.

Do not close the book on your search for a happy ending. Your story is far from finished. We all deserve a happily ever after.

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