I have never been so sad. I’ve never been sadder. Feels like the beginning of something real bad. 

Amy LaVere and Shannon McNally


My second and recent prolotherapy involved fifty injections along my spine for thoracic pain. Although I have endured many injections over the past three years, these were excruciating, which is saying something given the last two years of treatment.

In the following three days my health took a terrifying turn. By the following week I was nearly catatonic for several hours every day, unintelligible. Disabling fatigue, vision disturbances, dizziness, profound weakness, breathlessness. Are you still reading this? Stick with me.

I had experienced four previous months of relatively good health. I had even made it to the gym to work with a trainer for the last four weeks. But in less than thirty minutes everything had changed. One appointment. That was it. Bad as things were, however, it was about to get worse.

The day before my husband was to leave for a ski trip (I begged him to go and promised I would call friends if I needed help) I woke with a heaviness in my chest. It sticking to my ribcage.

“I feel so incredibly sad.”

It was unlike anything I had experienced before and I hadn’t seen it coming. And it was big, big as my house. Bigger even. I didn’t have enough of me to contain it.

Then my husband left.

There was not one thing that helped me during those three days. It was just God awful and terrifying. I cried a good part of every day, alone and in an empty house. I called no one. I convinced myself the world wouldn’t notice or care if I died and that my family would eventually return to their lives. I was just so sickly and weak and out of my mind and completely incapable of helping myself.

It was recklessly indulgent and unsafe to be alone, but I didn’t reach out until the third day. When I did, a friend was with me within the hour. My husband came home early and slowly things began to shift.

My heart was breaking in those days for the collective suffering in our world. I felt that and held in my heart in those days not only my own suffering but also the many people who are similarly unwell, confused, neglected and desperately sick. I had learned in the previous week that two people with Lyme had died, one of suicide. I also learned that most people with Lyme DO die from suicide. (Good reading material when you are depressed.)

Do you have people in your life that still support you when years later you are still sick? Do you have anyone that helps you with the research or works to raise awareness for this disease? If you do, you are lucky.

Since it is my hope that I can support this community, I tried very hard to think of something I could have done to help myself in this dark time. I recalled a book I had read years ago about healing from trauma. The author equates some physical meltdowns to something that frequently occurs in nature when a prey animal escapes before being killed. At fist, the animal will lie still for a good bit as if they are dead before shaking their whole body violently. It looks like a seizure. The author explains this as way of releasing the trauma.

I look back at those three days now as the result of cumulative sorrow. Those three days were a necessary process to release that much sadness.

Having said that, there are a few things I have taken with me from this experience that will shape my behavior in the future.  In hopes that it will help someone in this community, I will share them now.

  • Have a call list. Talk to your friends NOW about what it looks like on a bad day. When your friends reassure and outright INSIST on being involved in your life and challenges, it will be easier to call them later if you need them.
  • Do not be alone when you are feeling sad or desperate. If there is no one there for you, pick up the phone and call someone. Call me.
  • Be REALLY specific about what this looks like on a bad day with your support system. My best friend of fifteen years had never seen me on a bad day. No one sees me on a bad days except my husband. People cannot know if you haven’t told them. Could YOU have imagined this before it happened to you?
  • Develop and cultivate a spiritual practice. Naturally, I always include this one.
  • Find ways to release energy. EFT is great for some people but you can also try acupuncture, Reiki, Tai Chi, QiGong, earthing, deep breathing.
  • Try to start with the gentlest therapies first if at all possible. A few days ago I  visited a chiropractor that has advanced training in the activator technique. It is SO gentle and provided immediate relief. It is easy, quick and my insurance actually covers yet it was the last thing I tried.

In closing, this is absolutely not a post about prolotherapy. I know many people that have benefited from prolotherapy. In fact, my husband was able to avoid shoulder surgery because prolotehrapy restored function and resolved pain (in only three visits!).

I am closing with “When it Don’t Come Easy” by Patty Grifin. Let this be a reminder that there is always someone in this community that will try to support you in some way if they only know how to find you. Cultivate those friendships because those people are the ones that understand best.

Red lights are flashing on the highway
I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home
I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home tonight
Everywhere the waters getting rough
Your best intentions may not be enough
I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home tonight

But if you break down
I’ll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I’ll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don’t come easy

I don’t know nothing except change will come
Year after year what we do is undone
Time keeps moving from a crawl to a run
I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home

You’re out there walking down a highway
And all of the signs got blown away
Sometimes you wonder if you’re walking in the wrong direction

But if you break down
I’ll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I’ll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don’t come easy

So many things that I had before
That don’t matter to me now
Tonight I cry for the love that I’ve lost
And the love I’ve never found
When the last bird falls
And the last siren sounds
Someone will say what’s been said before
Some love we were looking for

But if you break down
I’ll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I’ll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don’t come easy

Words, Well Scent

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