It’s been about two weeks since a significant pain flare up locked my body in its grip. I’ve been trying to block out my pain through numbing my mind by mindlessly watching a copious amount of movies (all six of the earlier Star Wars) and entire seasons of TV shows, while keeping my legs elevated as much as humanly possible on my couch; then sleeping when my body allowed. Roughly translated, that means sleeping when the pain exhausts me. I’ve also talked to as few people as possible, on the phone, or in person because it felt like talking required energy I didn’t have and added fuel to my pain. Fortunately, somewhere inside me the same question kept surfacing: How do some people do it?
How do people with unbeatable diagnoses and/or prognoses beat them? Over the years, I’ve seen countless stories about gravely ill people who inexplicably recover from an illness, for which there is no cure; recover from accidents, when the odds were heavily stacked against them; or learn to walk again after breaking their spines. How do they do it? Are there people blessed with superhuman healing? Are they resilient in a way that science is yet unable to explain and capture in a treatment or deliver in a pill? What is it about a person that makes them so tough they can fight through the worst life throws at them?
I want to know. I need to know because I want to be one of these people. I want the strength to heal my pain, even if it initially causes me more pain and because I want to get better like these people worked so hard to do. This illness that still causes my doctors confusion more than two years after it started and four months after major abdominal surgery, well, I want to figure out how to beat it – with or without a positive prognosis. I wish I knew exactly what I’m fighting to better understand the options I can apply and how to find more if the first set don’t work. But I don’t know; yet, I don’t want to limit myself to what my doctors tell me I can or cannot do to heal. I don’t want to limit my life at all.
I don’t know how other people do it, but I want to beat the odds that seem so highly stacked against me, even if it means approaching each day as if it was the biggest battle of my life. I don’t want to spend more two-week spans feeling helpless or that I’m trapped by pain. I’ve lost a lot because of this illness, but I know it’s time to figure out how to regain fully at least one of the things not completely lost: my fighting spirit. I’ve had to fight for everything my entire life, but I lose a little more of that spirit each week I spend lying on my back.
Bon Jovi – It’s My Life