Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shot Happens

Well, this is it - shot day. The first in a long series of shot days.

I keep thinking back to my last blog entry - specifically, the last word in that entry. I know reading that word will probably spark some strong reactions, particularly from people who know me. There will be some shock and some disappointment. I thought about whether or not I should edit that entry and take the word out. I decided against it.

Yup, Amy swears. And Amy uses some really, really bad words when Amy swears. But that word was an honest response. It wasn't a pretty response, but that word came into my mind and out of my mouth that night. I'm human. Sometimes I don't react well to situations. That night, I didn't.

Some people might be disappointed in how I responded to it. Fine. But I'm not going to pretend that everything is sunshine and roses just because it makes others more comfortable. The truth is that this stupid illness isn't always pretty, and how I handle it isn't always pretty. Save the sainthood for someone else.

My husband gets it. That’s one reason why we’re still going strong after 9+ years. Even though I picked a fight with him that night – his birthday – he understood my feelings of powerlessness, of rage, and he forgave me. He knows that life with a chronic illness isn’t always nice and it isn’t always fair. But he takes those words “in sickness and in health” quite seriously. He also knows who I am and loves me anyway. That’s the way he is.

The worst feeling in the world for me is feeling powerless. I hate bucking up against “there’s nothing I can do”. It spawns anger, rage, frustration, fear…a whole whirlwind of emotions. On the other side of things, the fact that I’m not powerless is what’s getting me through the whole shot thing. Sure, giving myself an injection isn’t the most appealing of options. But it is an option. I’ve made a conscious choice to do something that will be, in the long run, the best thing for myself and my family. That doesn’t take away the pain or the side effects or the frustration that I won’t have the energy to do everything I want to do. But it gives me power. I’m not sitting here like a sitting duck, waiting for the next attack to pop into my life. I’m fighting back.

Speaking of fighting, that’s what I started to do Friday morning (well, other than the fight that Tim and I had Thursday night). The phone line for the support hotline opened up at 8:30 am, so I was on the phone with them at 8:31, explaining my situation. In less than half an hour I got a callback saying that there was another nurse available to honor the appointment. And when I talked to that nurse later in the day, we clicked. I immediately felt at ease with her, and for a brief period of time, I was actually looking forward to tonight. *snort* That wasn’t what I was expecting. So in the end, it’s all working out.

Oh, and don’t feel bad about my husband’s birthday. We went out to dinner last night and had a phenomenal meal. It certainly made up for the night before.

I’m still anxious about tonight. I’m certainly not looking forward to the shot, or the aftermath. And the best word to describe my reaction to the upcoming side effects is terror. Like I said, I’m not a candidate for sainthood here. But I’ll get through it.

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