People look at you, and think you’re fine, they will look at you with a look of doubt when they see you walking with a cane, or question why it is that you do not work anymore, or why you cannot sit still, and their expressions tell you their thoughts. Your outsides look fine, the battle is a hidden life changing one, hidden from anyone with an untrained eye, only seen and felt inside the walls of your body, it does show itself through tears, groans, and irritability to the ones close to you, the ones that you want so bad to hide it from so they do not spend their days worrying about you.
It starts at your toes, like driving a long spike into the end of each toe, straight into your foot. Attached to each spike is electrified barbed wire that extends up to about the top of your butt. Each “barb” is pin point sharpened, and is if it also has fishing hook like barbs, penetrating and holding into each tiny never ending from your foot, to your butt.
The bottoms of your feet are precisely placed with frozen tacks, embedded into each nerve, from your toes, to your heels. Most times, dreading each step, as it feels as if it is driving the tacks in deeper, walking in a way to try and eliminate the pulling on the barbed wire that is tugging on the nerve lined flesh inside your feet and legs causing pain, and hitting the switch for bursts of electricity to shoot out into your feet ankles and legs, a numbness like a burning fire, like ice, in each nerve, as it triggers a cold sweat from your head and down your back, and a nauseated feeling that seems to only go away with lying down. You smile, talk and laugh, and try to pretend it’s not there, because the outside looks fine, but in some ways you wished you looked as rough as you felt, to explain with no words, to one’s looking with disbelief or question as to what your battle is. The feeling of shattered glass epoxied into the joints of your toes and ankles, felt with each step or movement.
Then the tingling and numbness starts in your ears and up the sides of your head, rubbing your ears raw to bleeding, trying to reach the buried hidden fire like buzzing to get a simple if even short relief, all while there is a constant “ringing” in your ears as if a non stop alarm going off on your head letting you know there is a war in your body, an alarm that there is not a shut off. You’re still trying to smile and enjoy everything you can with family and friends, but all the alarms, fires, and pains never leave your mind, giving you days where you just feel angry and depressed, with a worry of how much you can take.
The nerves in your eyes play games with light, when lights are dim, your pupils go opposite and shrink, making everything go dark, like trying to walk in a cave with a candle. You see doctors from many different locations, they all tell you “yes, there is a problem, but we don’t know why” they prescribe medicine after medicine. The only thing that the medicines have done is let you watch the ongoing battle, but now through haze and smoke in an over cloudy mind, making everyday life even more of a chore, the battle seemed easier without the haze and smoke, so you quit the meds.
When you lay down to try and sleep, the ringing ear alarm is louder, making falling asleep a task in itself. Trying to lay in a way that feels less likely to supply more electricity to the barbed wire running down your legs. Trying not to disturb the sleep of your wife lying beside you as you wear holes in the sheets under your feet from moving around trying to find the impossible position for your feet to be comfortable for a few minutes. Laying there with a depressed feeling of not being able to work, not being able to keep with household tasks, not being able to comfortably do all the things you used to do, like providing for your family.
All these things can make your mind run 100 miles per hour, trying to strategize in your head how to move forward, keep going, and what the next step will be. Sometimes you feel twisted, as you kinda hope it gets worse, to where you lose feeling in your feet and legs, thinking that would be easier than the pain, but also praying it doesn’t get worse, because you’re fearful of what else may come with the loss of feeling also……………..
My beautiful hard-working, loving, supportive wife keeps me going, and our three amazing children. My wife is amazing, she has a deep care and look of love in her eyes for me that looks stronger everyday. I also see the hurt in her eyes when she sees me struggling, but she smiles, rubs my feet, encourages me, and supports me in any way she can, all while taking care of things here at home, and working long shifts as a nurse, helping others in their struggles. She would do anything to help me, and she does. I am so blessed that she is mine, and so blessed with the wonderful children we have together. I write this as a struggle, but I am very thankful and blessed.
There are so many others that are fighting battles that make mine look like recess. I have got to spend time with my family that I would not have had without going down this path. Sara stepped up and pursued her dream of being a nurse, she now provides for us, (and can take care of me in the years ahead…. Hahahah) I do like to write, sometimes in my hardest days it gives me relief to vent a bit in writing. Most times of memories, this time of struggles, and I like to share them, in hopes of maybe helping someone reading it, in their own battle or struggle, or dealing with someone struggling.
Think about things a little more, everyone has battles going on, some of them you can see and they are very apparent, however most are hidden battles, don’t judge a battle unless you can see the front lines. Thanks to everyone that continues to pray for us, and me.