Throughout the years, I've often joked that all we need to do to fix my knee/elbow/jaw (wisdom teeth)/etc is slap some duct tape on the offending body part. Going into surgery: 'Dr. Larson, don't forget to use duct tape!' ...Maybe if Dr. Boyd had just used duct tape to put my femur back together instead of surgical screws, I wouldn't be in this mess.
Where was I going with this... ah yes. I have, in fact, discovered a duct tape that is holding me together and letting me heal. Not to get all preachy, but last February I became a practicing Unitarian Universalist again. There aren't words for the impact this has had on my life. My family has been hit hard by illness and death, impacted by the economy (which does NOT seem to be recovering, at least not around here) and stretched to the limit. I have been dealing with RSD and PTSD flare-ups and bone-deep exhaustion. So it goes. Sometimes it will rain in life. All through it, though, has been this constant support from my UU faith. Every UU I have met has been kind and the people at my church are absolutely wonderful. Taking up spiritual practice, especially such a welcoming and all-inclusive one, has held me together. Yay for duct tape!
Two weeks ago I made the choice to abandon everything I know about taking care of myself and managing my RSD and leapt into a wonderful week- I got to attend General Assembly, the annual, national business meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). It was amazing and energizing and I'm so grateful I had the chance to go... although my RSD would say otherwise. Eh well, some things are worth angering the beast. The inspiration and sense of spirit that I gained from GA has carried me through another difficult week.
One note about GA- we are asked to think, speak and act intentionally (or something to that extent), to treat each other with respect. Well, on Friday, my feet were really hurting, so I had Lydoderm patches on the tops of my feet and was wearing flip-flops to minimize the amount of pressure on them. I was in a food line, and a person next to me asked, "what happened to your feet?" I explained that I had a nerve disease called RSD, and that the patches were Lydocaine, which helped numb the pain. He responded with a startled look and said, "Oh! I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to- I mean, I - I thought maybe you'd sunburned your feet or something." I assured him everything was just fine and I didn't mind him asking. After 7 1/2 years, I am perfectly fine with telling people I have RSD- it's just part of my life. It was interesting to me, though, that this guy thought it was fine to ask about sunburned feet but not about disability. Any thoughts on why this is?
Now that I have regular internet access I will be updating this much more frequently. If you actually read this, thank you!