The Conversation : Getting Worse

My doctor had warned me that the last week of coming off my meds would be the worst. Whilst pretty much bed-bound for a week, repeating my mantra in my head “Soon it will be over, it will be worth it, this too shall pass”, I understood what he meant. It had been a horrible week.

Once it was over I gave my body a few days respite before taking a deep breath and halving my pain meds dose. This was a move my doctor had agreed upon, but wasn’t overly thrilled by, he didn’t think it would last. This was all my idea, and this was something I wanted so badly. To be free from those narcotics that clouded my mind, free from those drugs that caused me to drift in and out of consciousness every time I was stationary for more than a minute. That was what I imagined bliss would feel like.

I felt the first reduction, but it wasn’t too bad. I felt nauseous, on edge, restless, but nothing too bad. The next reduction a week later, another halving, brought with it repeated vomiting, a lessening appetite, and pain. But the next week, that was the one that will be seared into my memory forever. It was time to ditch all pain meds, they told me to even leave off the paracetamol. For the first week I stopped eating, I kept minimal fluids down, I threw-up every thirty minutes or more, pain soared through my body, panic attacks plagued me, insomnia haunted me, depression returned, shakes and sweats took over, it felt as if my soul had been sucked out of my body. The only way I can describe it is living hell. There were two things that kept me going. God – I had no idea where he was, I couldn’t for the life of me find him, but I know he was holding on to me, squeezing me tight through that time. The second was my housemate. She sat up with me night after night, despite having to wake early to go to work, she would sit with me talking, being silent, singing, walking, telling me I could get through it.

That was just the first week. After those 7 days, things began to improve, slowly, very slowly. On day 8 I left the house for the first time. Hood up, coat wrapped tightly around me, housemate close by, ready to leave at the first moment it became too much. On day 10 I ate my first bit of food without vomiting. On day 14 my heart stopped racing so fast. It took 26 days to stabilize, the insomnia was the final thing to depart. After that it took a good couple of weeks to recover, to put back on the kilos I had lost, for my mind to calm and be still.

In that month it felt as if the hope that had been handed to me had been snatched away. I had to keep reminding myself that was I was experiencing was temporary. I was reminded how it felt to be really ill again. It reminded me that I really did not want to go back there as long as I could help it.

After that things changed dramatically. My health seemingly turned overnight. One moment I had been living a nightmare, the next I was feeling healthier than I had in years. I felt well, alert, like I had both physical and emotional energy, happy, low-levels of pain, just all-round healthy. Of course this had been building up slowly but because things had to get worse before they got better, it seemingly flipped over in an instant.

I had never even entertained the thought that I might one day be 100% medication free. I could hardly take it in. I had never imagined that I would feel as healthy as I did, I didn’t really know what to do. The new-found health was a big shock to me. As everyone around me rejoiced, I walked around in a state of shock. I was grateful, oh so very grateful, I was rejoicing, I was praising, but I was also walking around stunned, in shock, not able to grasp all that was happening, not able to process, overwhelmed by it all.

Join in the conversation.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your health?
Has change ever shocked you and left you stunned?
Do you find in life you have to remind yourself that the season you’re in is temporary?

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6 Comments on “The Conversation : Getting Worse”

  1. Mia says:

    Hi Emilie
    Oh, I can relate. I don’t know what illness you suffer from, but I suffer from Fibro/ME and I know pain and the whole enchilada! I am sooo… glad you are drug free and doing so well. I once also went off two very popular Fibromyalgia drugs, cold-turkey, and I know it is hard. The side-effects of these drugs didn’t make it worthwhile in the end to use.
    Much love and blessings to you
    Mia

    • Emilie R says:

      I’m sorry you are all too familiar with chronic illness. I tried 3 popular drugs, and was allergic to them all. I was put on very high doses of steroids for a long time whilst they tried to figure something else out, and they were slowly destroying my body, so had to come off those. I know the difficulty trying to balance side effects vs benefits. Hard one.
      Thank you for stopping by. How is your fibro now?

      • Mia says:

        Hi Emilie
        Oh, the Fibro is having a ball of a time with my body, but I look up and receive grace after grace after grace. So I don’t complain, thank you. Emilie, I don’t know if you mind, but I would like to know what you are suffering from. If it is a sensitive matter, I will understand.
        Blessings
        Mia

        • Emilie R says:

          Praying for you Mia, that you will have come relief, and that in it all you will know God and you will find a new level of intimacy with him. I’m so glad you are looking to Him for grace each day.
          My two main chronics are crohn’s disease and arthritis.

  2. Oh Em I am sat here in floods of tears. I do not compare for one moment my last year to what you have gone through but this phrase ‘ One moment I had been living a nightmare, the next I was feeling healthier than I had in years.’ it what I have been saying the last month or so. I still have my moments, but by and large my faith is deeper and as I said to G ‘I’m BACK!’ :) Love you lady xx

    • Emilie R says:

      I used that exact phrase with someone last week! I said “I’m BACK! and it feels good!” Isn’t it so great to feel like YOU again? I love you, my friend, x


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