I must admit something to all of my readers: I have two chronic pain conditions that I deal with on a constant basis. One is in my foot, something called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), as well as having recent surgery for a HAGL tear in my left shoulder and instability causing it to dislocate constantly, and constant pain from that as well. Most times, it’s hard for me to stand up for more than ten minutes at a time, and even taking a shower is something I really have to build up my bravery for. I have a huge boot for my foot, and my shoulder is basically frozen solid with very limited range of motion. That is why sometimes I won’t post for a week or so at a time, because the pain can just get to be too much sometimes to where all I want to do is just lay in bed all day. But I try not to let it defeat me, and not let it take my style.
Doing my hair has become a very big challenge because of my shoulder. When I roll my hair, I have to practically tilt my head completely to the side to roll properly. I have to take frequent breaks to let my shoulder chill, and then return again. But I make sure I get done what I need to. I guess it is the military side of me that tells me “unless you’re dead or unconscious, you can go on”. I really enjoy doing my hair and embarking in the vintage styles, and I don’t want the pain to take away what joys I have in my life. I don’t bitch to many people at all, only my orthopaedic surgeon really. He has been so amazing to me so far, and I have been so thankful that he is my doctor. But I just can’t tell other people in my life how much of a high level my pain is on. I don’t want to burden my mom, my boyfriend, my friends, or anyone else with my pain. I don’t want to weigh them down with my problems and make it seem like I am bitching to them; plus, what is the point of it when they can’t do anything about it anyway? I see no point. So I go along this path on my own, with just some help so far from my orthopaedic surgeon.
But my love for all things vintage and rockabilly has really ignited a passion in me. It have given me something to work on (like this blog), to yearn for, and to try to attain. I have also gotten more involved in music, restarting my singing and songwriting as I had a few years ago. I am also going to be going back to school, this time for the nursing program. I am beyond excited, as being front row in the health care industry is what I want, ultimately going on to medical school and becoming (what else?) an orthopaedic surgeon.
I know my pain will stand in the way for a long time, but I am trying to live my life as best I can. I have to make changes to accommodate here and there, like not wearing high heels and just low vintage style pumps or flats, to having to tilt my head totally to one side to roll my hair as not to stress out my shoulder too much. It is a task, but I try and make do with what I have. And you know what? I am happy with that. Yes, of course, my life could be better, but it could be a hell of a lot worse, and it has been. I am thankful for what I have now, and I am smarter and wiser than most my age because of what I have been through. I’m not saying I have it all together, not by any means, but I am trying to make it a little bit better every day, despite the constant pain I am in.
I know a lot of you out there have your own trial and tribulations, and I want you to know you are not alone. You will never be alone. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and rise above, not to let it defeat you, but it is worth doing. Do I have my bad days? Sure – as a matter of fact today wasn’t so hot of a day for both my shoulder and my foot. But I rested, wrote some posts, cleaned up a little, and watched some TV. There’s not much else I can do.
And I don’t let my conditions affect the way I dress either – I always intend to look fabulous! Even despite wearing a huge “storm trooper” boot, I go full out with circle dresses, petticoats, victory rolls, and red lipstick. Do I get some stares? Of course. But I mostly get wonderful compliments, and it makes me feel good. I am even known at my orthopaedic surgeon’s office as “the vintage girl”, and the girls who work there always pop by my exam room to see what I am wearing. Some of them are so sweet!
Ultimately, I never try to let my condition own me, and I always try to look my best, no matter what. Sometimes, getting all vintage glam actually helps me feel better a bit. It really has renewed my life in such a way I never thought. I have met some wonderful people, experienced some great things, and have found a true passion of mine. I also have some great people supporting me, which I am ever so thankful for. And after all, isn’t that what’s important in life?