Friday, April 28, 2017

Pelvic Pain Series: Part 1

I’m telling you this so that you can know that it’s possible to be happy even when things aren’t perfect. Or, even if they really suck.

I cringe a little to think I’m coming up on another anniversary of “when the pain started”. I cringe because I always hoped I would be out of pain “by now”. And I’m not yet.

So I’m at almost nine years from when I started feeling pain. It just started one day out of the blue. I was doing all my mom stuff with little kiddos wanting to go out to ride bikes with all the little kiddos in the neighborhood. And I started feeling pelvic pain. Just a little at first.

I could just stop the story there. Because pelvic pain? Who wants to talk about that? Nobody. Including me. It’s just uncomfortable, talking about this unspeakable, clandestine part of the body. It’s one reason I’ve been hiding.

“Now I don’t really understand your wife’s health situation….?” well meaning, or perhaps just curious, people inquire of my husband. He’s become fiercely protective of me. And so, unflinchingly, he looks them in the eyes and says, “She has chronic pelvic pain,” and watches them blanch, glance away, and sidle off before they get too much more uncomfortable information. Nobody wants to talk about pelvic pain. He is a champion.

I’ve wondered sometimes what the difference is. Why I could say, “I have chronic elbow pain,” and it would be no big. Or I could say, “the reason I can’t walk is because of the pain in my toe,” and we could all accept it without blushing and live happily ever after.

But when someone sees you sitting in a little tripod camp chair in the fabric-cutting-line at Hobby Lobby at Christmastime, the last thing they want to hear in response to, “Great chair! I wish I had one! What made you think of that?” is “I have chronic pelvic pain and can’t stand up for more than a few minutes.” Guaranteed.

It’s a little weird to me how bitter I feel writing this right now, when in so many ways I’ve come to so much peace, happiness.

Maybe I feel bitter because I have let my own, and other people’s, social discomfort control me for a very long time. I have let my non-elbow, non-toe, pain become this dark secret. Like my pelvis is inherently bad. Why do we all feel uncomfortable talking about the seat of creation in our bodies? Why are some parts and pieces forbidden to address, to talk about, to accept as part of the great beautiful whole of our glorious bodies that our creator has blessed us with?

I don’t know. I just know that I’ve carried a secret, hiding, shame, about the area my physical pain is located in for many years now. And I’m so done. So here’s Part 1 of the Pelvic Pain Series. And I will continue to add to it. So I don’t have to hide anymore. And you don’t have to hide anymore. And how not hiding is part of being happy.

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