Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Sickness & Health: newlywed blues (and gratitudes)


So I’m going through a bit of a health crisis.

I’m not dying or anything—no ‘big C’, says my doc—but something is broken and needs to be fixed. It’s been broken since mid-February, and it’s been relentlessly antagonistic ever since. My doctor is throwing around potential diagnoses, but I have to see a couple specialists…which is why I’m still suffering: because the waitlists for specialists are terrifyingly long.

By the by, if any Ottawa/Kingston/Toronto urologists happen to read our blog and are taking new patients, please contact us. That’s the hardest specialist to get so far.

Yeah, I’ll spare you all the details but basically, either a urologist or gynecologist is going to be taking care of this problem. I just have to wait another five weeks before I can see either of them. Once I get that diagnosis, maybe I’ll fill you all in; in the meantime, I’m refusing to throw any words around or label myself with anything. No point tilting at the wrong windmill.

When 'Acute' teams up with 'Chronic':

Mr Darcy expresses my sentiments here perfectly.
 You know, I’ve talked before about being ill. I have a couple physical issues that are chronic and pretty friggin’ awful, but they’re intermittent and manageable (after years of hard work). There is more time in my day spent feeling good than feeling awful. But this new thing…oh man, it’s persistent. The part that really kicks me? That, right before everything went so very wrong inside me, things were going so very well around me.

I had a happy partner who was Acing school; a new job (just two days in) that pays well and is in the field that I love; an apartment that we finally had heated up and looking good; some steady happy relationships with a handful of good friends and even my parents; a growing blog; and tons of physical activities that I love. Suddenly, quite literally overnight, this incessant pain showed up and won’t go away. And I don’t even have a name for it yet.

Things started to slip. I have a big cry almost every day, usually after work when the effort of keeping my spirits high for 8 hours finally drains me. I’m physically uncomfortable to the point of distraction, so my personal projects suffer. Cardio exercises seem to trigger stronger symptoms, which means my beloved elliptical hasn’t seen me in weeks. They’ve got me on a medicine that is supposed to dampen the symptoms until I see the doctors, but I’m not sure it’s working and instead I’ve found it very effective at blurring my vision and drying my mouth. Because this problem is a low-low abdomen problem, certain ‘keep the home fires burning’ activities are affected, if you catch my drift. My sleep is nightmare-ridden. I am shaky and dammit, I’ll just say it: I’m freaking scared. I don’t like not knowing what’s wrong, and more importantly, I don’t like not knowing if they can fix it.

I’ve talked a lot about turning 30, and I have tried to keep my chin up about it, but the coincidental timing of this problem (starting less than two weeks before the big birthday) has sort of added to this feeling that I’m over the hill or past my youth. Maybe that sounds dumb. 

My daily gratitudes:

My amazing bestie, MJ.
What I actually wanted to note here is that I have some major gratitudes in my life. I have the most wonderful mate in the entire world, who holds me when I cry, and talks to me non-stop when I beg for aural distraction. He’s keeping the house clean and helping with everything. He pets my belly and wraps me in his big warm arms and tries so hard to keep me safe.  

I have a best friend who is like medicine for me. She soothes me with her simple presence. She loves me and I actually believe her when she says this is going to get better. She lets me take sips from her lattes (I’m not supposed to have caffeine but we all need to be naughty). She plays Words With Friends over our Smartphones with me.

I have some really special blogger friends who probably don’t realize how much they’ve come to mean to me. They keep me thinking about the positive future, and about my ambitions to build our blog into something incredible. They invited me to help plan a conference, and this gives me so much joy—which may sound weird, but I love planning stuff. Lara and Karen, thank you for just being yourselves, and believing in me.

I have a job that is so fast-paced and insane that I hardly have time to breathe, and that’s exactly what I need right now.

I have a pharmacist who is fanatical about his job and takes phenomenal care of me. I also have a family doctor who is determined to see me better; and her receptionist has been calling specialists every day for me, for almost two months.

Mom, Dad, Brian.
I have yoga. Yoga makes this feel better. I don’t know why and I’m not questioning. I’m just glad. 

I have a blog: a kick in the pants to keep writing, always writing. Thank you, readers.

I have friends that I’m not seeing much lately because I just feel so awful. But I know they’re out there, and when I get tweets, texts, or facebook messages, I feel loved. Hell, I just like to watch ‘em post status updates full of their quirky humour and wit.

I have parents who have been available for me, everytime I momentarily regress to a scared child and need to hear that everything's going to be okay. Hugs from my mom and jokes from my dad: these two things are irreplaceable.

I usually believe that everything happens for a reason; maybe it does. I can tell you that this experience has provided me with the opportunity to be completely awestruck by my own feelings of gratitude for the people in my life. I’m actually glad to know how much these people mean to me. (But hey, God, if that’s what I was supposed to learn from this whole thing, then mission accomplished…now please fix me up?)

The good, bad, and ugly:

It took me over two months to decide if I would blog about this. Please know, I’m not looking for pity or sympathy. I just realized that my writing has become a bit…shallow…over the last couple months as I hid this issue away, trying to write without touching on the real meat of things. This blog is meant to be an exploration of the newlywed experience, and so I’ve decided to include the ‘in sickness and health’ component, after all. It’s not all craft projects and cooking catastrophes, this journey; there are, it turns out, late night sobbings, and doctor appointments, and endless repeats of Modern Family as we lay on the couch with hot water bottles. And always there, constant and unending, those big warm arms, those encouraging tweets, those Scrabble battles, and those meals with my parents. Thank god for every one of you, who adds to my day just by being a part of them.

I'm going to tweet, from time to time, my gratitudes, so the universe hears me looking to the light, not the dark.


  1. You know it's totally mutual, right? Here's a virtual hug until I see you again, as cheesy as that sounds. ;) You WILL get better and things will get back to that happy place. I can feel it.

  2. I second Karen's statement, and we really do believe in you :) And that it will get better. I'm sorry you're feeling so miserable! :(

  3. A chronic health issue is indeed life altering Jordan. I suffer a chronic issue as well and didn't want to discuss it in a public place, but honestly girl, in the end, blogging about it helped my friends understand ME. Sometimes, as you are hoping, a resource drops into sight that might not have been given to you otherwise.
    I sure hope your issue gets resolved ASAP. Pain is NOT our friend....

    1. Thanks, Karen; I appreciate you sharing and it's good to know that blogging about it was a good thing for you...I hope it is for me, too. :)

  4. Yo dude, see if you can get a referral to Dr. Kevin Power. He's at Centrepointe, and he's both my mother's and my urologist. He is fully the nicest man on the planet, if you haven't already met him.

    Speaking as someone who also has a mysterious broken condition in the abdominal region that is incredibly uncomfortable, and who has just gone through that round of ultrasounds and cystoscopies and all that fun stuff, I am with you all the way. Feel better soon!

    1. Hugs to you for dealing with this same sorta stuff! I don't know the name of the doctor I'm scheduled to see because my GP is still trying to find one sooner...but I think it IS at Centrepointe! That would be cool, to have a doctor that has a vote of confidence from someone I know. :) Thanks for the solidarity, sister!

  5. Kudos to you for being brave and posting this. "Shallow" posts don't let us learn from each other and as evidence that this post was anything but, I learned that yoga might just be magical and that I like your attitude. Fingers crossed for you!

    1. Thanks so much, Vanessa! I appreciate your post and your well wishes so much! -Jordan