Living a slower, simpler, more meaningful life

Category: Em’s Health (Page 1 of 3)

My Neural Retraining Adventure – Update 2

It’s just over four months since I started the Neural Retraining Programme and shared that I would post updates on my progress. Clearly I haven’t done that – see that’ll teach me to make commitments!  Anyway, better late than never. So has there been progress?? I guess I should start by confessing that I wasn’t consistent in doing the program. I really struggled with it. I tried and tried to do the rounds (one hour a day, repeating mantras and positive visualisations) but as I didn’t enjoy it, I kept putting it off, then felt bad about letting myself down. I lose motivation quickly for boring, repetitive tasks, and the DNRS training was SO boringly repetitive. I did get results initially, and for about a month things looked really promising. Gradually though, I found myself in a very negative frame of mind during the process and struggled to pull myself out of it. Given the whole point of DNRS is to create a positive frame of mind, a successful outcome was feeling pretty out of reach.

I was pushing through against the drive to quit, when a headache started to build. This isn’t one of my normal symptoms, so I thought I might be getting sick. After a week I went to see my Osteo, and ultimately had 3 appointments over the next month, as well as visiting the Physio I see who specialises in chronic pain. She recommended seeing a GP who prescribed 24/7 anti-inflammatories. The headache kept getting worse. I had stopped doing the neural training, as well as all the other good things I do to keep my head above water. I was just surviving. Finally I made an appointment with a local Chiropractor, mostly because I couldn’t manage the drive into the city again. This Chiropractor is a pretty intuitive lady, and she pressed a few of my buttons. When I broke down and told her how I was failing at all the things I should do to get better, she asked me why I felt I ‘should’ do these things. And she suggested I go home and tear up my ‘Should do’ list (yes of course I had one!).  I did as she suggested and the headache faded that night, never to return.

Since then, I’ve done exactly as I please and my energy has been gradually returning. I’ve done no Neural Retraining, no Meditation and no Reiki. Instead I have been wandering around outside a lot, planting seedlings, weeding and reading plenty of good books. In fact, you know what, I think I’m allergic to SHOULDS!  In all seriousness though, I’ve changed the way I think about my symptoms, which is basically what DNRS teaches. I spend hours sitting in nature, pulling weeds, digging in the dirt and talking to the birds, which is a form of meditation, and I have become more in tune with what my body is telling me it needs, which is key to practicing Reiki. What has changed is that I’ve taken away the lists and the formality and instead allowed my body to absorb the things I’ve learned, integrating them naturally over time. It’s slower perhaps, but it feels more sustainable.

Ultimately DNRS was the trigger that allowed me to reach this point. Although I haven’t implemented the system as it is taught, I have taken on most, if not all of the philosophy of the programme and found ways to integrate the system into my life, in my own way. Learning about DNRS did completely change the way I feel about my illness. I no longer feel as though I’m helpless and dependent on others to fix me or solve the mystery of my inexplicable symptoms.  I have completely accepted that the symptoms I experience are a result of a limbic system impairment, and are triggered by normal everyday experiences that my body perceives as threats. I‘ve recognised that my triggers are stress related, and even tiny stresses, like racing to get to school pick up on time, can kickstart a cascade of symptoms. I’ve tested this theory by gradually increasing physical activities that I find enjoyable and relaxing. I can now do a full day of relatively heavy gardening work, or go mountain bike riding with the family, with no discernible side effects. Yes that’s right –  I have a mountain bike, and I’ve gone on a few short rides – this is a great victory!

I’ve also monitored my response to activities that my system has perceived as stressful in the past, like driving to the city for appointments or committing to volunteer at my daughter’s school. I don’t manage these things anywhere near as well. Factors that impact my symptoms are things like urgency, the need for concentration, or consequences for not meeting a commitment or deadline. I had the chance to really test this out a few weeks ago when a friend offered me some overflow report writing work. Initially I accepted one day of work, on the condition that I might take it one day at a time, as I couldn’t be sure how I’d manage. I gradually took on more days over 2 weeks, but as deadlines loomed and I got more involved, I started to feel the impact. Eventually I had to decline the last few days of work and fall in a heap. It was a valuable lesson in what I’m capable of today. There’s been much improvement, and great clarity, but there’s still a way to go. I might have to choose a very different style of work in future, which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.

We were reflecting the other day on how far I’ve come. Two years ago when I first had my crash, I wasn’t doing any cooking or housework. I wasn’t going out of the house for anything other than school drop off and I couldn’t walk a block without becoming fatigued. I was eating no sugar, gluten or alcohol and having a lot of trouble sleeping. This is worlds away from where I am now. I’m now cooking more than half the time and probably do about half the domestic stuff including grocery shopping. I’m very active out in the garden, and although I’m still reading heaps, I’m on my feet more than not most days. I’ve been out for dinners a few times in the last month, eat sugar and gluten sometimes and have even had wine on a number of occasions, including last night!

Yesterday we had a Halloween / Beltane bonfire and I fooled all the local kids into downing shots of Spring wildcrafted smoothies (AKA bug juice), lit a bonfire and dragged branches onto it with a glass of Chardy in my hand. I then stayed up til 9pm, chatting around the fire before remembering we’re parents and it’s a school night!  That my friends, is the good life, and it seems I am living it. Onwards and upwards.

My Neural Retraining Adventure – Update 1

About a month ago I shared that I was about to start a neural retraining programme, based on the theory that some chronic health problems can be traced back to a neural impairment – basically a brain injury.

I’ve now completed a 4 day training programme, and am into my 2nd week of implementing the strategies. I’ve decided to share regular updates on my progress, as I think this is something that a lot of people would be intrigued about. Now that I’m immersed in the programme, I should state up front that there are a few caveats about what I can share. Because retraining your brain involves neglecting old patterns in order to replace them with new neural pathways, there are certain things that won’t be helpful for me to think or write about. In fact, simply by giving them thought, I am reinforcing the old patterns that I’m attempting to rewire. So, I won’t talk specifically about my symptoms, and I won’t have much to say about bad days, or any setbacks that I might be having. That said, I don’t plan to sugarcoat the experience. I’ll just be focussing on the wins and sharing any positive outcomes. No doubt you’ll be able to read between the lines and see the complete picture!

The programme I’m using is called DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System). It’s based on the idea that an impairment of the limbic system can trigger a wide range of symptoms. Obviously it’s important that these symptoms be investigated by western medicine initially, as they can be caused by a number of potentially serious illnesses. However, in cases where mainstream medicine turns up a blank, limbic system impairment is considered. The kinds of symptoms that respond well to neural retraining are chronic and unexplained pain and fatigue, and sensitivities to chemicals, foods, smells, sounds & light. People have also seen remarkable relief from depression, anxiety, brain fog, migraines, EMF sensitivity and all sorts of seemingly unrelated conditions. The case studies are fascinating. Some of the most extreme conditions see dramatic turnarounds in a matter of days and weeks. Others see slow and gradual improvements over many months of sustained practice. I’ve noticed that chronic fatigue sufferers tend to be in the ‘slow & steady’ camp.

I went away for four days to do the DNRS training so I could replicate as closely as possible the workshop experience that attendees normally have (DNRS is usually run as a live workshop in Canada). Remote attendees watch 14 DVDS that explain the theory and teach the retraining process. There are writing exercises and activities and the expectation that you focus on applying the theory to your daily life over those 4 days. It also involves a deep dive into the science of neuroplasticity and how the limbic system works. If that interests you, I recommend starting with Norman Doidge’s ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’.

In brief, it is now well accepted that the brain is plastic, and that small changes to our patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving can trigger dramatic physical changes to the wiring of our brain. We can literally think our way to a new brain. So, in the case of a person with a limbic system impairment, something has caused our brain to get stuck in a loop whereby a threat is perceived. Initially the threat is real, but for some reason, when the danger is over, the brain doesn’t return to its normal calm state. Instead, a pattern is set up that continually reinforces the messaging that the threat remains. The longer this goes on, the stronger the reinforcement and the more intense the brain’s response patterns. The initial trigger could be any kind of trauma that the brain perceives as dangerous, be it exposure to a toxin, a virus, an accident or stressful experience. The trigger could be acute or build gradually over a long period. I can trace the beginning of my symptoms to a car accident nearly 15 years ago. Stressful experiences in the intervening years intensified the reinforcement which has led me to where I am today. Understanding all of this has led to me viewing my symptoms in a whole new light. I can now see them all as the result of a malfunctioning brain, rather than a whole lot of disparate and seemingly unrelated physical problems. It now makes complete sense that so many of my symptoms could never be diagnosed. And perhaps most comfortingly, having done the training, I now feel in control of my recovery.

Understanding how the limbic system works is core to successfully embarking on the DNRS training. It’s important to be able to accept that a person with a healthy limbic system would not be experiencing the symptoms that you have. The next step is to change all of the thoughts, beliefs, feelings and responses that you currently have in relation to your symptoms. For someone with a very limiting chronic health issue, that means changing almost every thought, all day every day. It’s hard work. The first part of the programme involves spending an hour every day repeating a series of words and actions that reinforce a new way of thinking, and associating this thinking with positive emotions. This is effective because the more deeply you engage with something, the more likely it will ‘stick’ in your brain. By engaging your whole body, your voice and strong positive emotions, you give the retraining the best possible chance of having an impact.

I call this ‘doing my rounds’, as it involves repeating a particular process for an hour, either all at once, or over a number of sessions through the day. I’m yet to fall into a groove for this routine, but I think breaking it up over the day works best for me. I’ve found it to be less tedious than I expected, and I absolutely notice a difference in my energy levels after completing a round. The most challenging part of doing my rounds is coming up with memories and visualisations to create a genuinely strong positive emotion. I really have to trawl my memory banks and creativity to make this as powerful an experience as possible.

The second part of the process is to catch all of those old patterns as they occur, and ‘reverse’ them by applying the same theory. This is way easier when I’m in a good mood, or just generally feeling optimistic. For me, this might look like doing a short round of retraining when I wake up tired, and rather than buying into negative thoughts and accepting that heavy feeling, I’ll take a walk around the property and enjoy the fresh air. Or quickly heading off a thought process about back pain by doing a quick round of retraining in my head. A few nights ago we went to a winter solstice celebration for Matariki at my daughter’s school that involved watching a performance, sharing a Maori feast and toasting marshmallows around a bonfire. This would normally be a significant challenge for me – physically and emotionally. I would expect to suffer physically during the evening, and worry that the impact would last many days after the event. In the lead up I worked hard to think about how much fun this would be, and how enjoyable the bonfire experience would be for all of us. It presented such a challenge (emotionally) that on the day I couldn’t even do my rounds, but in the end I enjoyed the experience far more than I might have, and followed up by working hard on the ‘day after’ symptoms. It’s baby steps for sure, but it’s heartening to have small victories and see my efforts pay off.

The final step in retraining is to challenge yourself daily by wrapping a previously triggering experience in new patterns of thinking and feeling. A challenge might involve exposing yourself in a controlled way to something that would previously cause symptoms. In my case, this could be anything from going for a long walk, to driving to the city or having coffee with a friend. I’ve had mixed feelings about this step. I already feel like I challenge myself quite frequently in my daily life, as I’ve never been particularly good at accepting my physical limitations! I’d usually just do too much, feel anxious about it and suffer the consequences. Now I’m trying to keep doing what I would always do, but instead of worrying, or expecting consequences, I work on catching and changing the old patterns in the process. I have successfully headed off symptoms on quite a few occasions by doing this. I think in the coming weeks I’ll try to do this in a more structured way, but it’s hard to get my head around pulling back and limiting my challenges to one a day, as this feels like it goes against the training. I’ll probably try a few approaches and see how it goes.

After 2 weeks of neural re-training I’d say I’m seeing results. At this early stage I don’t think there has been any permanent ‘rewiring’ as such, but I do see that when I practice consistently, I feel better. I have more energy and my symptoms are less impactful. These are great signs. I’m motivated to continue, and I do believe that I will keep getting results. Ultimately I have real hopes that this is the final countdown to getting my mojo back. With one more week until the school holidays, my plan is to set up a more structured daily routine and practice it. I’ve been less focussed than I could be, and I know I’ll need to set up some good habits if I want to continue to retrain effectively while I have a full house of kids and visitors. Wish me luck!

The Last Time I Tell This Story

We all have a story. It’s the story we tell ourselves when we wake up in the morning and step into the details of our day. The story tells us who we are and how to operate in the world. We use our story to make decisions, engage with people and makes sense of things in our life. Our story evolves with us. Every period of our life adds a chapter, and some chapters change the flow of the narrative so fundamentally that we find ourselves in a totally different story to the one we expected to be living in. One day you might wake up and find yourself stuck in a story that doesn’t work for you anymore. What if you want a new story?

It’s not easy to change your story. You can change your circumstances, your location, or your friends, but in the end, your story is who you are, and you take it with you. As Confucius is supposed to have said “Wherever you go, there you are.”  But the science of neuroplasticity tells us that this doesn’t have to be the case. Habits, patterns of behaviour, ways of thinking and even physical limitations and injuries have the potential to be re-wired in your brain, changing your story forever. I recently came across a neural retraining program that uses the science of neuroplasticity to rewire the brains of people with mysterious chronic health problems. I’ve decided to give it a shot. It’s a lengthy process that uses repetition to create new neural pathways, replacing the ones that have been laid down for many years and are being reinforced daily, every time you tell your story. I know that once I begin, I’ll need to start telling a different story. I won’t be able to tell the old story anymore, because I’ll need those neural pathways to wither up and die from disuse. And so, I’d like to tell my story, the one I’m currently living in, one last time.

In this story is a girl who had a good start in life. She had a nice family, a good education, a comfortable home. She grew up, left the family home and made her way in the world. She did all the usual things for a middle class Australian girl. Studied hard, got a job, made friends, had boyfriends. She travelled, got promotions, rented houses and went to parties. She knew certain things about herself and she considered those thing to be mostly immutable. She was clever, nice looking, easily bored and not particularly disposed to tedium. She was naturally good at most things, and didn’t have to work terribly hard to be successful. On the other hand she never seemed able to achieve quite enough to be satisfied. She certainly didn’t feel good enough compared to other people, and was always trying hard to be accepted by them. And so she made sure she was very good at everything and did all the things that other people did. She made plenty of mistakes along the way as she sought acceptance and and belonging, but they were small mistakes in the whole scheme of things. Mostly she followed the rules of society, and at the age of 33 she had a good job, a husband and a pretty house in a good suburb, filled with nice clothes and furniture. But she wondered why it still didn’t feel like enough.

One day she realised that this was not the way the story of her life was supposed to go, and she decided to take it in another, very different direction. This was the most difficult and painful chapter of her story so far, but by following her heart the story began to flow as stories should, and she found and married the love of her life. She created a family with this man, embracing his two boys and eventually bringing a beautiful little girl into the world, just as she’d always known she would. Her story was better now, with belonging and growth and a deep abiding sense of contentment. But it had also become a story of struggle. There was illness and hardship and conflict; things she’d never had to contend with before. She learned about compassion and selflessness and vulnerability. She made new friends, and found herself coming closer to the person she really was, underneath all that striving for acceptance. And yet she was still striving, and she still had quite a bit more to do before she was truly enough. The girl had been working so hard, supporting her family through tough times, doing all of the things that mothers and stepmothers and wives and business owners and friends had to do, and she was so, so tired. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t find a way to do all the things that other people did. She saw all the health specialists, did all the tests and ate all the right foods, but she failed at being healthy, over and over again until eventually she broke.

The girl is now in her mid 40s and knows she has moved past the physical prime of her life. She has accepted that she suffers from chronic fatigue or something like it. Her body aches most days, but if she is absolutely vigilant about diet and rest and yoga and meditation then she can minimise the fatigue and the pain. She is not vigilant though, and she gets down on herself all the time about failing to be the best version of herself. She sometimes eats gluten or drinks wine or stays up past 9pm because she misses having fun and spontaneity in her life. She knows that no-one can help her get better and is jaded and cynical about alternative therapies and treatments that people recommend. She holds onto the dream that somewhere in the future is a time when she is well again, and there’s enough light in that vision to allow for optimism. Even through the tedium, the self-judgement and the occasional despair, there is still plenty of hope. She loves her home, her friends and her family. She reads, she writes, she plants seeds and she dreams of all the things she might do when she’s well. This is her story. It’s not a bad story, and a full and rewarding life could be made from it, but her soul is asking for more in this lifetime. Forever the optimist, she believes it can be done.

I begin the neural retraining program in a few weeks. As part of the program I won’t be allowed to live in the old story anymore, as breaking it down involves actively avoiding the reinforcement of old ways of thinking. Negative thinking is off limits, so this is my last chance to say that the cynic in me is alive and well. I don’t feel altogether comfortable with ‘thinking’ my way out of chronic fatigue and I have this feeling that I’m going to be forced to tell half truths that only focus on the positives and ignore the reality. I have done a lot of reading about the science though, and I understand the fundamentals. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns and if I have to live in a somewhat fabricated reality for a period of time in order to rewire my brain for health, then it’s a small price to pay.

***

If you’re interested in learning more about neuroplasticity, check out the book ‘The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. It’s been a fascinating and life changing read for me. And I’ll definitely be sharing more about the neural training once I get started.

 

Recovery and Changing Direction

This is the post where I tell you the surgery went well, I’m recovering as expected and there’s not really anything dramatic to share, health wise.  Plenty to share, certainly, but I feel I need to get the health story out of the way first.

Once my uterus was removed and sent to pathology (sorry is that a bit TMI??  It’s all so ‘whatevs’ to me now), they confirmed I had Adenomyosis and fibroids and the surgeon found an odd set of mishaps in my pelvic cavity that were unexpected but easily fixed.  A piece of bowel was twisted and stuck in beneath the uterus.  Something that looked like Endo turned out not to be Endo when it went to pathology, and the Endo from the scan turned out to be a cyst which was jammed in there near the AWOL bowel.  Anyway, my house is back in order, bowel movements are a dream (who knew??) and I’m no longer in any pain from the surgery.   I’ve been feeling very light and optimistic about recovery, and apart from a few down days, I still feel pretty hopeful.  Thing is, I’m still experiencing many of my old patterns of pain, insomnia and fatigue.  Apart from improved bowel function, and a sort of ‘lightness’ of spirit,  there hasn’t been much change physiologically.  But that lightness is significant, and I know it’s early days, so I’m withholding judgement for now.  I’m starting a program of rehab style physiotherapy to help re-train muscles that may have been compensating for all the dysfunction in my pelvic cavity over the years.  And that’s pretty much it. Time to move on.

It’s been lovely spending the first half of winter in hibernate mode.  I’ve sat by the fire, made good use of blankets and pillows, done a heap of reading and been fussed over by friends and family.  Beautiful people have made us food and kept me company and the time has flown.  I’m ready to get back out into the world now though.  I have a lot to do.  Oh so much.  Surgery aside, the last few months have been transformational for me.  Something has been bubbling away under the surface, and it has finally started to reveal itself.  It always seemed to me that my health setbacks were a sign that I needed to stop what I was doing and redirect.  I felt this strongly even back in July when I closed my business and decided to focus on my health.  Back then I set the intention to do nothing unless that thing felt absolutely and powerfully right for me. For a long time, the only thing that felt right was to rest, meditate, read and reflect. And so I did.  I just had this feeling that when I stepped onto the right path, my energy would return.

A few months ago a powerful theme started to emerge. It appeared in my dreams, my conversations, even my Facebook feed.  I started getting strong intuitive desires to take action.  It was strange, unfamiliar and totally out of my comfort zone, and yet it felt right.  Righter than right. It felt more right than anything I’ve wanted to do since… well since ever.  And that, my friends is the new story.  The story that I am now called to start writing about.

BUT FIRST… I have to sort out all these crazy blog theme issues that came up when I shifted hosting providers a few months back.  And I really want to give this space a mini make-over to better reflect my new story.  Oh, and speaking of the new story, I need to figure out where to freaking start????  Sooo, watch this space and I’ll be back soon with something brand new.

 

The Other Side of Tomorrow

Everything is about to change.  Since my last update about Adrenal Fatigue back in January, I’ve deliberately held back from writing.  In fact I’ve held back from a lot of things.  Almost everything really.  I’ve focussed on my health, my family and a small number of close friends who’ve supported us while we bunker down for a while.  After selling our house at the end of last year, we slipped into an awesome house-sit opportunity and have settled into life here for 12 months.  It would have been lovely to get our own place, but something told us it was the wrong time for big decisions.  We put off a 3 month family road trip as well, an adventure we’d been planning for 2 years and were all very excited about.  It was a pretty tough decision to make, but the stars were not aligning, and I’m learning to listen when that happens.  I’m glad I listened.

When I hit the wall and closed down my business back in July last year I told myself I’d take 12 months to rest and recover. But actually I secretly thought that by early 2017 I’d be a new woman, bursting with grand new plans and plenty of energy and enthusiasm to leap back into life. It had been a tough few years, and I thought it was just Scott’s cancer battle that had pushed me to breaking point.  I knew I had to make some changes, but I honestly didn’t understand what that would mean, or how long it would take.

As the months ticked by I slowly started to accept that this was not going to be a short break. Resting didn’t help to rebuild my strength.  Instead, my energy went backwards, and every time I tried to start something, no matter how small, I’d slip back even further.  Out went yoga, pilates was too much, walking drained me and even writing left me depleted.  I was going nowhere fast.  Eventually I had to just let go of plans and dreams and future thinking.  My only choice was to sit in the present moment.  I remember saying to Scott a few months ago, ‘Maybe this is how it will always be.  Maybe I won’t get better and I should just get used to feeling like this.’  It made me cry, because I have always known that something amazing was waiting for me in this life.  The idea that I might have to settle instead for a quiet life was… well it was unbearable.  For a while.  And then, suddenly it wasn’t.

All around me was joy.  I had my beautiful family, and so much time to enjoy them. Every day I ate good food, sat in a comfy chair surrounded by awesome books, and shared quiet conversations with beautiful friends who cared enough to come over and be with me.  I had a garden with veggies growing, a big park out the back gate, a comfortable home for now and the financial resources to own our own space again one day. The idea of anything more than that exhausted me, and gradually a simple, quiet life became less unbearable.  And less.  Until one day I woke up and realised I already had everything I could ever need.  If this was as good as it ever got, I would be happy.

And that’s when I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain.  It was like nothing I’d ever felt, surpassed only by childbirth. I couldn’t see or hear or hold myself up. I spent the night on the floor of the bathroom, convinced I was in the throes of a vile bout of gastro. It subsided by the morning and improved a little each day before taking a turn for the worse a week later.  My GP sent me for scans, but by the time I actually had the ultrasound I was feeling mostly normal again. I expected nothing – as always.  I’ve had 3 investigative ultrasounds over the last 10 years, on top of the usual pregnancy drill, and all have come back normal.  But not this time.

I asked the ultrasound operator if she saw anything unusual.  ‘Mmm…’ she said.  “You have Endometriosis.  Biggest nodule I’ve ever seen actually.  And Adenomyosis.”  And just like that I had a diagnosis.  I left the clinic, sat in my car and cried.  I’d wanted a diagnosis for 10 years, but suddenly being landed with a proper serious disease was unexpected and frightening.  This was not the familiar territory of supplements and massages and restrictive diets.  The report that eventually landed on my GP’s desk described not one but two genuine, medically recognised, official diagnoses of legitimate diseases with clear and specific paths to treatment.  Doctors and specialist appointments followed in quick session and within 2 weeks I was booked for surgery. It all happened so fast.

Today I got my last ever period, and at 8.30 tomorrow morning I’m having a laparoscopic cystoscopy and hysterectomy. Yep.  The whole shebang.  The cystoscopy is the bit where they remove the 3.5 cm nodule that was picked up by ultrasound, as well as anything else they find in there. Endometriosis is when the tissue that normally lines the uterus starts growing outside the uterus.  It usually grows around the outside of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, but it can end up anywhere, so the symptoms can cause back, hip and pelvic pain and even impact on bladder & bowel function or imitate IBS and effect digestion.

The hysterectomy bit is for Adenomyosis.  It’s a related but different condition where the endometrial tissue actually breaks through the wall of the uterus and grows into the muscle lining.  It causes abdominal cramps, heavy periods and ultimately the uterus swells to significantly more than it’s normal size. Because of the way ligaments connect the uterus to the lower back, this can also have a flow on effect with pain in the lower back, hip, pelvic and sacral areas.  Both Endometriosis and Adenomyosis can also cause debilitating fatigue.  So here we have, quite possibly, the dual cause of all my troubles, going back 10 years or more.

I’m ready for this.  It feels like today is the last page of a story that’s coming to a close for me. I’ve grown so much in the last few years, and the pace of growth has accelerated up to this moment.  Tomorrow I step into the unknown. I’m scared, excited, hopeful and anxious.  This surgery could change everything, but actually no-one can give me any guarantees.  I’m trying not to imagine waking up one morning soon with enough energy to embrace life in all it’s glorious possibility.  I don’t want to believe in it, only to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen that way.  What makes it bearable is that I’ve seen the alternative and it’s OK. It’s more than OK. Whether surgery changes everything or nothing, when I catch a glimpse of the other side of tomorrow it looks more beautiful than anything I could have imagined.

I’ll meet you there.

 

 

 

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