I had a procedure done a few weeks ago where the doctor numbed my thoracic nerves in the hopes of ridding me of my pain.
He prepared me, saying that the procedure had the possibility of providing one of three things: no relief, short-term relief, or long-term relief. It could go any way; it just depended on my body and how it reacted to the cortisone.
I told myself over and over again I wasn't going to get excited.
I wasn't going to grab hold of any hope.
Believing in this procedure working when there was a possibility it wouldn't would be the most stupid thing I could do. I knew it wouldn't hurt, it would kill, if the results weren't favorable.
Still, I prayed to God that this procedure would work for me. And that was my first mistake.
By praying it would work, I was subconsciously filling myself up with belief.
I had the procedure done and for four glorious hours, I was almost entirely pain-free. I cried because I was filled with so much relief that something had finally worked.
Boy, was reality about to bitch-slap me in the face.
I went in to talk to my pain management doctor about the results, and what I thought was going to be a promising visit turned into the exact reason I didn't want to believe in the first place.
The procedure had worked.
But, apparently, it didn't work enough. The pain relief didn't last as long as it should.
I sat there in the doctor's office listening to my doctor go on and on about other options and different avenues we could take to try and reduce my pain.
He said I'm only twenty, I'll be okay.
It could be worse.
I sat there, nodding my head at the man who had managed to crush my dreams in a matter of ten seconds. I was hearing him speak but not really listening to what he was saying.
How could I listen to what he had to say when I felt like I was just kicked in the stomach (literally)?
"This is why I don't hope and pray for things regarding my illness. This is the exact reason why." It was like a mantra I kept chanting in my head over and over again.
I willed myself to keep the tears at bay, to not show him how utterly devastated I was from his words. But dammit, I was devastated.
I numbly took my new prescriptions and left the office. I got in the car and started to drive home.
But then I started thinking...
It could be worse.
It could be way worse.
I'm still breathing. I'm still alive. I don't have a fatal disease. There aren't any masses riddling and poisoning my body. There isn't any cancer attacking my bones or my organs.
The sun is still out. I still have my family and my friends. I have an amazing support system. I have a roof over my head and shoes under my feet and nice clothes on my body. Life could be so much worse.
So as I drove home, I thought about everything I was grateful for. Everything I have and everything I've lost. Everything and anything that means something to me.
And I'll tell you, the things I've lost, like my ability to walk around pain-free, doesn't even minutely compare to all the good and right I have in my beautiful life.
That is what is important.
That is what's always been important and always will be important.
So it's been a long road-- and it's far from over. But I have the ability to stop and appreciate my bounty along the way.
And that's okay with me. More than okay. That's all that I need.