Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Story-Time Tuesday - If Good Health Was Easy...

I'm making myself write this story.   Partly because my Naturopathic Doctor just published a very interesting book and I want to share it with you.   Partly because I'm pushing myself to write more.   And partly because I think this story might be YOUR story.  And sometimes reading makes pain hurt a tiny bit less.  This story will be pretty candid...I'm not attempting 'the glass half full' philosophy here.  I know it could be worse. 

I'm using the Story-Time Tuesday format for this and each week I will be doing a giveaway for "A Different Kind of Medical Care" but Dr. Tina Marcantel. 

You can read about this book by clicking here.

Giveaway Information:   Enter to win a copy on this post today or you can purchase at that link.   10% discount code is 'healthy1'.

I will have Mr. Jenny select a random number from all the comments on this post.   Feel free to enter any time before Monday.

Winner will be announced next Tuesday along with the continuing story.  Autographed book will be mailed out on Wednesday!

The winner of last weeks books is:

Jenny your story is compelling and important to share with others. I look forward to each weeks 'page'. I would love this book you are offering! Hugs, Linda

I am also having trouble reaching the winner from last week.  It was this comment.

If I don't win this book I will order it myself! I could really use some insight into the hormonal changes that are making me feel like a drunk every day after about 2 pm. Serious exhaustion and brain fog just can't be normal.

Jenny Matlock

Over the following years my life progressed to even more of a pressure cooker.

I know we all struggle with life difficulties.  Some endure under incredible burdens with grace and dignity.
I don’t think I had much grace OR dignity.  I became overwhelmed.
In a period of a few short years my husband had a spectacular business failure to the point of the Federal involvement of the FBI and IRS.    It was a ‘made-for-TV-movie’ experience for certain and my previously bad marriage deteriorated into something resembling a nightmare.
We moved across the country trying to survive.
For a long time, we barely made it.
I talked to no-one during those ugly years…choosing to keep my secrets and my failing health issues private.
My first husband and I divorced.   My extended family and I became estranged.
To support my children I worked long hours and clawed and fought for child support.  It was exhausting.
My children, uprooted from all they had known in Small Town, USA, acted out through drugs and alcohol.
In those, the most difficult and lonely years of my life, I isolated from any possible new friends at work.  I was ashamed of what my life had become and really miserable health-wise.
Oddly, I never made any connection between stress and the flare-ups of pain and exhaustion.  In those years we didn’t talk or think about stress.  Or at least I didn’t.
Time passed as it always does with new crisis almost every day.   My children delved deeper into the world of escapism offered by controlled substances…I thought about drinking to escape everything myself, but I am incredible sensitive to alcohol.  My aches and pains increased in intensity and regularity…kidney stones, infections, joint paint, headaches, side pains. 
I saw more and  different doctors.  I was offered Xanax and Prozac and Paxil and others.   I tried all of them.   I was depressed.   My life felt hopeless and I was in pain for much of every day.  I became even more depressed when I realized I could still not tolerate the relief offered.  It remained ‘white knuckle’ time.

I sought support through Tough Love programs and NA family support programs.
I met my current husband.
I found friendship in different people.
Two of my children fought their demons and won back their sobriety.   One child continued to suffer.
Emotionally, life became bearable.

But certain physical pains continued to escalate.

In search of answers, I read and listened to lectures regarding the damage stress can do to the human body.  Thinking that stress was the cause of all the chronic illness and pain, I tried to relax.   I let go of many things.  I forgave many things.  I forgave myself.
My body responded slowly…some of the pain and exhaustion receded.
“Aha!” I thought, “Maybe it was stress causing all of the physical problems.”
Alas the side pain came back with a vengeance.  Having already had my appendix removed in my teens, my doctor struggled to make sense of what was happening.
Thankfully, he didn’t suggest depression.

He did suggest an exploratory surgery.

Anxious to be rid of the pain, I discussed it with my new husband, Mr. Jenny, and we both agreed with the plan.   The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, though, and I woke up in the recovery room from the surgery with horrific side pain.  I can remember crying and feeling hopeless about ever getting my health back on track.

The pain in my side got worse.  After another 12 months of writhing on the floor, gasping with burning knives in my side, I consented to more abdominal surgery.

This time they found the problem.

Staples from some long ago surgery had become imbedded in my ovaries and a few other spots causing nerve pain.

They fixed my side pain by removing my ovaries.

The doctor told me that it wouldn’t be a big deal.  I was definitely in peri-menopause and if there were any difficulties we would just control them easily with synthetic hormones.

I was happy to be rid of the side pain.
My body, however, thought it was a big deal to give up my ovaries.
To be continued next Tuesday.

Part one - linked here.
Part two - linked here.

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Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh Jenny I can so feel your suffering. Also your kids going through what they have. Oh it's a vicious cycle my friend. I had my ovaries out and so I know how the body isn't grateful at all when they are gone! Looking forward to the next installment.

Also I am so thrilled to win a copy of this book! Thank you so much!

Hugs, Linda

Always Learning said...

You have been through a lot of pain, physically and emotionally. I have been through a lot of pain physically and it sure is difficult. You sound like a survivor, however, and I'm glad several of your children were able to put their lives back together.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, sweetest of friends, I ache to hear you went through all of this, and seeing how you triumphed only makes me appreciate you more if that were possible. I'm so proud of you. I love stories of overcomers, and you definitely qualify for that. You are my hero.

You kow how I feel about natropathic care. And I agree, stress is HORRIBLE. It does HORRIBLE things to you, particularly if you are a sensitive, loving person as I know you are. I'm thankful you found a good doctor.

I would love to win your book, but someone might need it worse than I do. But I will be sure and check it all out.

Love you to the moon and back...



Pondside said...

Jenny you are brave and generous to be sharing with us like this. The connection between physical pain and stress is so well-known but so often over-looked. I'm glad that the side pain was investigated, though, and the cause found.
I' so glad I found your blog - kindred spirits across the continent.

Janice Grinyer said...

Ah! Another hyster-sister! I had a radical hysterectomy when I was 38 years old - talk about life changing - sheesh! and throughout it all I have been convinced that the medical community really doesnt know everything...thats why I research myself and i am slightly "homeopathic" LOL...Thank you for sharing your story weekly - I have found that theres a lot of women out there who feel so alone and wonder if they are going crazy when menopause hits (surgical or not) - trying to be a ray of sunshine hope that there can be good moments is something I hope I can do while here in this world - like YOU!

Lorrie said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It can't be easy to write, but perhaps there will be someone, or several someones, who will be helped. I'm sorry for your pain.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Jenny, I have just gone back and read all 3 of your posts about your health. I haven't read the comments in any of those posts, but I'm willing to bet that your story has struck a nerve with many women. I have heard that "you're depressed" diagnosis too. When a man goes to the Dr. with a complaint, I don't think he usually hears that diagnosis. I always think of the movie, Stepford Wives. Are the male Drs trying to turn us all into model women? When, I heard it from a female Dr, I had to throw out that theory. Our daughter is a recovering drug addict (she's been clean for 10 yrs). Although the professionals tell us it is not the parent's fault, there is still that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I know my comment has turned into a book, and I apologize for that. (I may missing writing on my Inner Critic blog more than I reaized!) Your posts have made me again think about how we never know what someone is going through and not sharing. It makes me so angry that professionals can make us feel ashamed of our pains, and I'm afraid it causes a lot of us to give up and quit trying to find the answers. I look forward to reading the rest of your compelling and heart-breaking story. laurie

Viki said...

Yikes, that's terrible that the staples got embedded. I never heard of such a thing. Thank goodness they at least got that figured out.

shannon i olson said...

my how my heart aches for all you went through! Such emotional and spiritual pain....so much of it and then physical on top of that. I am rejoicing that two of you children were freed from addiction, I am hoping to hear the other too.

Terra said...

Oh Jenny, this is a difficult story you are sharing and I admire you for posting it. I will be back to read part 2. Shocking about the embedded staples. I hope all your children are addiction free today.

Rita said...

I have fibro and arthritis and a few other things. Stress is just horrific on me, so I can relate to what you are saying. I'll be waiting to hear the rest of your story and I pray that your pain is at least tolerable now...or gone! :)

Debra at HOMESPUN: http://www.thehomespun.com said...

Oh Jenny :( That's all I can say. Because if you were visiting I'd probably just say that and want to hug you and probably cry a bit too.

however I remember the post about the red chair. you and mr jenny were side by side holding hands with knees touching and I had thought to myself " wow, that's a nice marriage" and when you moved to the red chair I felt bad for HIM :) So...at least I feel that there is a mr jenny positive side to this story that will come along....I hope so....


Naperville Now said...

sending hugs and light and healing your way, dear Jenny.

Ms. A said...

I know so much about what you speak of. Although I didn't have to have my ovaries removed, I went through menopause in my 30's and was done by 40. My ovaries shriveled up and disappeared, or at least they could no longer be found. It's a battle every single day and that's not even counting menopause.

I truly admire you for being able to put it out here and hope others will benefit, or at least not feel so alone with their suffering.

Susan Anderson said...

Oh my goodness. Now you really ARE telling my story. I got lupus at 37 and had my ovaries removed at 39. Surgical menopause was a nightmare. And my body thought losing my ovaries was a VERY big deal. Because it was.

And all of my chronic illness symptoms got worse from not having that estrogen.


Bonnie said...

You have me riveted Ms. Jenny! I can't wait for next week. I want the whole story. You are an amazing woman.

pasqueflower said...

Oh, Jenny! My heart goes out to you. You are strong and you are a survivor! I am more than willing to listen to anything you have to say about alternative medicine at this stage in my life. With no health insurance and little faith in "big medicine" and even bigger drug companies, I am grateful for relatively good health (except for this nasty flu virus I can't seem to shake). Thank goodness you and Mr. Jenny found each other. Hugs.

Unknown said...

Staples?? That's just crazy!

H said...

Staples! No wonder you were experiencing side pain. Someone wasn't careful enough when operating. But that was still only part of the problem. So much you had to cope with!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

You are brave for sharing this! I know that stress can cause some very bizarre symptoms. Hopefully, your story will help a lot of people to heal. I know it's helping me...

It's nice to know that I'm not alone.



Unknown said...

do you know how much sharing this can help someone else....I just got out of that same place. It took me two years where the only hope I had that was I had the choice to end my life if it got too bad. I stil have struggles but now I have hope to live again. I think grace pulled me out with a big side of faith. You are so wonderful Jenny, in fact you are my hero and you have always been there for me with encouraging and funny words. you have no idea what your caring means and has meant to me. You have made a huge impact in my life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Julie Kwiatkowski Schuler said...

I just caught up with all three parts of your story so far- amazing how resilient the body can be- that you have lived to tell us your account. I'm glad.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so enthralled with your perseverance Jenny. I can't imagine how you did it....but you did it.
Thank you for sharing your heart and story with me.

Unknown said...

Nice article. very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Philippine Prudential

Susan Anderson said...

Okay, good. I see that I did post about the similarity of our stories. Because they really are so similar, although your aftermath seems to be even worse than mine was.