A couple of weeks ago, I made another switch on my pain patch from a dose of 50 to 25. I wasn't too concerned since the first step went pretty successfully. I had been planning a trip down to birmingham for labor day weekend for months because my best friend who is living in L.A. was coming in town for a friend's wedding and I COULD NOT miss the opportunity to see her for the first time in over a year. Harrison really had his heart set on staying in town and going to the UT football season opener so I was going to have to make the drive myself. Well, i planned ahead and started taking a steroid pack the week of so that hopefully I would feel my best and be able to be active and enjoy the weekend as much as possible. Yet, I was still apprehensive about the 3 and 1/2 hour drive down there. Luckily, God worked it all out and Frances' (Harrison's sister) boyfriend Jeremy (now fiancee!!! YAY!) ended up going down that weekend as well so he rode with me. I did drive the whole way down there which is the LONGEST I've driven in 2 1/2 years!! I was pretty proud of myself. Thank God for steroids!! I wasn't feeling good for the drive home Monday afternoon so thank God for Jeremy.
I had an incredible weekend with all of my birmingham college friends. It was so refreshing to be with old friends who know, love, and understand you no matter what. Despite tears or hard times that any of us are facing, we are all there to support each other no matter what the circumstances, no questions asked. It was a much needed trip to spend time with wonderful friends, talk to them about whats been going on, have them listen and support me, and recharge my batteries and prepare myself mentally for the next step down on my medication when i returned home.
So literally within minutes of getting home around 10pm, I changed my pain patch to a 25. Unfortunately, this step has not been as easy as the last one. The first 3 or 4 days I spent mostly in bed with noticeably more pain, unsure if it is related to my activity level over the weekend, the change in my dose, or most likely, a little of both. I've also been experiencing a new symptom for the past few months...intense back pain. For the past few years, my pain has always been isolated to my neck. Well on the way home from our beach trip a few months ago, my middle back started hurting and my muscles were burning very intensely to the point that i couldn't even bend over to unpack when we got home because every time i did, i felt like my back was on fire, like that feeling when you get when you work out a certain muscle group till you cant stand it anymore, only worse. Early on I just attributed it to the 7 hour car trip and the fact that the mattress at the beach house is much firmer than my mattress at home. But after 2 months, I'm still having a lot of pain, even though I am getting massages every 10 days or so and taking muscle relaxers pretty much around the clock. At my last pain doctors appointment last week, I talked to my Nurse practitioner about it and she said it could be something that was already there that the higher doses of medication covered up, something new, or just related to withdrawing. We talked about doing a round of X-rays and MRIs to see whats going on but are going to see if I can wean off the pain patch and see what happens. I plan to wean down to 12.5 for a week or so then come off so hopefully by the first week or so of October, I will be off the pain patch. I'm ready to just be done with it and cross it off the list of things that need to be done before I can focus on what I want most right now...a family.
This has been an extremely difficult phase for me as a watch SEVERAL of my very close, dear friends and their expanding bellies and listen to their experiences of being pregnant. THIS DOES NOT AT ALL MEAN I AM NOT EXTREMELY HAPPY FOR ALL OF THESE DEAR SWEET FRIENDS!! And I hesitate to even talk about this and post this because I don't want to hurt any of my friends, but I also feel that I need to be honest about what I'm feeling. Its just difficult because right now, things are out of my control and I do not have a peace about it. In a way, I feel left out. I feel like I am not as connected to my close friends and they are all even more connected because their babies will be born within weeks or months or even days or each other. If I were in the position where Harrison and I made the mutual decision that we just aren't ready yet or now is not the right time, then I feel like I would have a peace about that decision because it would be my decision. Although i guess, who I am trying to kid here, its all God's plan anyway and I'm not in control of anything really. Being a mother is always something I have felt deeply in my heart for as long as I remember, and I just want something to finally go the way I planned. Again though, its not my plan in the first plan but every step of the way since 2 months before we got married, we wake up to the unexpected. Nothing has gone at all the way we thought it would and we have face many obstacles the past 2 1/2 years. Maybe its selfish of me to want things to go smoothly, or to want something good and happy to finally happen for us, even though i know we are blessed beyond measure.
I hate even talking about how i feel about this publicly because again, I don't want to discount the happiness and excitement I feel for my friends. I love all of them and I know it has to be such an amazing time and of course you want to talk about it and express your joys, hopes, fears, and everything you are feeling. I just can't help but ask God, "When/if it will ever be me Lord?" and "What is your plan for me in this life?" A few years ago, I thought i knew the answers. I thought I was meant to serve God by helping, treating, and caring for the sweet, innocent babies that are brought into this world sick or early, and being a support system to the parents. But now I don't feel like i know the answers. I don't know the purpose for my struggle with pain... at least not yet.