*I’m going to use “I” quite often in this blog which, if you’ve been reading this series, you know it’s a description that I try to avoid.
Broken. That’s a great way to describe where I was at mentally and physically just a few years ago. Quite a few years before that I was a gym rat and bicycled up to fifteen miles every night. My body and mind felt unbreakable. I had a beautiful wife and one beautiful child at the time.
I remember the exact moment that I noticed an issue… like it was… right now. Moments are forever, remember. I stepped out of a work-body Chevrolet and my ankle was stiff upon hitting the pavement. Then, about two hundred feet after that it was stiff until it finally began to work as a normal ankle should. That moment was the start of a new season in my life.
As time progressed so did the affliction. I met doctor after doctor after doctor who had no clue as to why. They would zero in on something and if that didn’t fix it they would give up. Not countless times. Nine times. Nine different dudes with theories about this and that. By the ninth I was in full blown chronic pain and stiffness and fatigue. After feeling hopeless I saw a sign. A literal sign. A billboard stationed above a Hardee’s restaurant had a picture of a handsome man with a welcoming smile with the slogan, “Got Pain?” Yeah… I do! An appointment was made for this spinal/pain doctor for about a month later. He was very busy and that was the soonest he could see me. Very busy. Very. When we finally meet he shoots some x-rays of my spine and sits me down to discuss what was found. I was thankful but my concern was the muscle issues that had plagued me for about three years at that time. He explained the spinal issues (I had no clue my spine was even an issue outside of muscle spasms) and PRESCRIBED some very heavy medications.
*For most of my life I was completely and totally against any form of drug (narcotics/illegal drugs) use. Arrogantly against it to be honest.
I was hesitant about taking what he had prescribed. It was the voice of pain that drove my decision. The thought that I could be normal again. I had two kids at this point in time. I could barely throw a ball with my son. I was struggling to climb steps and ladders at work. I wanted to be normal again. I needed to be normal to help the wounded mind I carried with me. I needed to be strong and fast again. Everyday I awoke and asked myself if this would be the day I give up. I needed some form of hope…
I began taking the medicines as prescribed. I was, for a time, myself again. I loved being strong and I loved being able to work harder and faster. Working meant I could provide for my family and being a good worker brought the praise I desired. Time went on. I met this doctor every three months and with every meet and greet I asked about my muscle issue. It was the sixth or ninth month under his care that he referred me to a neurologist. For whatever reason, he seemed perturbed over that. Every appointment after I met with his nurse practitioner and only saw him a couple of times after when they gave me a nerve blocker.
After meeting the neurologist and speaking with him about the issues he discovered quickly what was happening. After a few rounds of test it was discovered that I have a myopathy. As bad as that news was it was a relief to know. To at least know why my body was acting the way it does. Before he made the discovery (my first appointment with him) he asked if I was taking anything for pain. I explained what I was prescribed and he was taken aback. “That’s enough for a horse!” he explained and the chuckled, “you’re a big guy though so it should be okay.” If only he had asked me then to get off of the pain medicine… Now that you know the backstory I can explain where I went afterwards.
The human body will build up a tolerance to certain medications requiring a larger dosage to obtain the same results… you see where I’m going with this? That’s right… I wanted so badly to be normal again that I became something I hated. I became someone I hated.
This is a larger than normal entry so it will be in two parts. The next entry will detail what happened after and how desperately I desired answers and good health. Did I fail? Yes. Am I a failure… According to my beautiful wife and now three beautiful children… No. I’m still here. God saw me through. I lost a few things along the way but I am still here.
God bless and I pray you have enough.