Why It Is So Hard To Be A Chronic Pain Patient: The Loss of Your Previous And Future Self

 

Unforgiven tree“It’s a hell of a thing, killin’ a man. You take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have”

-Unforgiven

 

This quote from the wonderful movie Unforgiven completely sums up why chronic pain is so debilitating and heart-wrenching. It doesn’t take just one part of your life — it takes everything. You grieve for the life you once had, and you grieve for the life you could have had. Chronic pain has a compounding effect.

You grieve for your past self. The one who played sports. The one who would go to the gym. The one who went to work. The one who could walk out of the house, carefree, grab a coffee and go on walk or hike. The one who would take their dog for a walk. The one who could go on vacation. The one who could travel on an airplane to see family. The one who would meet up with friends for brunch, for dinner, for drinks — maybe even all three in a day … who knew? The world was your oyster.

All that … gone.

So you think to yourself, due to my current restrictions, what can my present/future self do?

The answers can be excruciating.

You’ll never have kids — you’re physically incapable of birth or raising them. You’re never going to have a dog — you can’t physically take care of one. You’ll never travel again — you physically can’t sit in the airplane seat or get to the airport (no Neuschwantstein Castle or Bavaria). You’ll never be physical with someone again — your body can’t tolerate it (that probably prevents you from ever having a relationship again).  You’ll never be able to go to Lambeau Field (insert your team stadium here) and watch your team play in one of the best football venues in the world.

You’ll never wake up a day without debilitating pain.

Also in terms of the future, chronic pain takes away your ability to overcome. The concept that if  you work hard enough, find the right doctor, in the future, you will be cured. There is no overcoming a different way of life. No losing a leg to be fit with a prosthetic. No wheelchair bound life. No change in diet that you have to get used to. There is just unrelenting pain that takes away your ability to engage, to leave your house, and to participate in your own life.

The harsh reality is that even if you can wrap your brain around all that you have lost and all that you will never have, you are still left with the pain. The pain is always there.

This is why it is so hard to be a chronic pain patient.

— Blogs, stories and articles like this need to get the word out about what the chronic pain patient really has to endure. We are reduced to whiners, apathetic people who just don’t try hard enough. We are told to buck up. We are told that we are drug addicts. We are told we need to get over ourselves. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our chronic pain, we are hidden from society — there isn’t a face to the disease out and about in the world because we are in beds or on the couch.

*Let’s change that. Let’s be heard. Only then will the medical community and society make our cause their cause.

Until next time.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Understanding The Homebound Patient and 5 Things You Can Do To Help

The homebound patient faces challenges beyond that of the typical patient. Not only are they sick, but they are sick enough that they can’t leave their house, and if they can, it puts a ton of burden on them to do so.

This may seem at first glance self-explanatory, however, really think about it for a second. The homebound patient (THP) doesn’t leave their house to do the following:

Societal Requirements

  • Go to work

Socialize

  • Go to dinner/lunch
  • Go to the movies
  • Go to recitals/school functions/baseball games
  • Go to sporting events

Personal Care

  • Go to doctor/dentist/therapist
  • Go to a salon/get haircut/pedicure

Random Stuff

  • Go to Starbucks
  • Go for a walk
  • Have pets (could be too difficult to care for)
  • Participate in previous activities (run/bike/swim/sports/theater/church)
  • Take out the trash
  • Do laundry
  • Go grocery shopping

What this means for the homebound patient is a significant loss in life satisfaction and even the ability to truly take care of oneself. All these things above that are taken for granted by the healthy can be extremely impactful on the disabled/sick. Just one of these items could be discouraging to anyone. For THP, these situations compound each other. Days merge into weeks of not seeing anyone. Even small interactions are few and far between. Simply saying hello to someone in CVS or at the mall is gone. I know what you are thinking, how great would it be to NOT have to engage with people. Sure, but again, it’s the total inability to engage at all that is detrimental to the homebound patient.

Let me highlight one common suggestion — to get a pet. However, for a lot of homebound patients, taking care of a pet is out of the question. Taking a dog for a walk maybe too taxing. Lifting and scooping kitty litter maybe outside their range of motion or lifting ability. Perhaps driving to the vet is not an option. This can be defeating for the homebound patient — realizing that not only are they incapable of engaging periodically with human beings, but acquiring a companion for the home is not an option either. This can make things very bleak for THP.

I do not bring attention to these issues to depress, but to educate and to emphasize what even a small effort by healthy individuals can mean for THP. Lives get busy, things are constantly on the go … but not for the homebound. It could mean the world to a homebound patient if people spent even a few minutes to engage or to help.

General Things You Can Do To Help

First off, take a look at the list. Is there anything on there that pops out at you? Something you have witnessed or heard is difficult for THP. Could you offer to do the grocery shopping from time to time? Perhaps this individual really likes cake or a specific coffee that is hard for them to get. What a treat it would be for you to pick it up periodically for them. Many grocery deliveries do not offer choices from the deli. Maybe a rotisserie chicken or a favorite sandwich. That is always a nice option.

Perhaps trash or laundry is hard for the individual. You could always call and say, I’d love to come over for a visit. How about I bring some wine, we can pop in your laundry and catch up while it runs? Often times homebound patients don’t want to ask for help. When you offer, you might be surprised at how grateful they will be.

Maybe this homebound patient is able to have a dog. However, they are incapable of bringing the dog to the beach or for hikes. It might mean the world to them if you called and said that you were going to take your own dog for a hike, and would they like it if you swung by and picked up their dog and took them as well? That dog might be their best friend and they might be grateful their best friend got to do something they normally wouldn’t be able to do.

Five Things You Can Do

1. Call or text

THP knows that you are busy and can’t always stop by. However, a phone call or a text is always super welcome. On your way home from work? Use your hands-free device and call THP. Chat about your day. THP might not be able to participate in all of the activities that you do, but they still want to know what your day was like. Your boss yelled at you? Why? Tell me more! THP can engage just as well as someone who is healthy. Just because they are sick or disabled doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good listener.

Did you just finish watching the Green Bay Packers game? Shoot off a text. Did you see that play! It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. It will make THP feel normal, because they are! You can easily bring some normalcy back into their lives with quick, easy texts.

That’s one of the things THP misses the most — just the everyday normal exchanges.

2. Start an online book club with them

Going out is hard or impossible for THP. Often times, much of their activities will be things they can do within their own home, like reading/listening to an audiobook. Suggest to your homebound family member or friend that you create your very own book club. You can all read the same book and then discuss it over an internet video or chat group. THP will feel apart of something and will be able to talk about something other than their illness, disease, or injury. It will give THP something to look forward to and break up the mundaneness of their lives.

3. Cooking Party

We all want to do this. We dream of going to the grocery store and buying the items we will need for the week and preparing our meals in advance. Why not do this with THP? Chances are it might be difficult for THP to prepare meals for themselves due to physical restrictions. For the healthy individual, it might just be a matter of time. Why not combine the two? Pick out a recipe that can be completed in the time restrictions for THP and cook together? You can make large portions that both you and they can then freeze. This is time well spent all the way around. It also takes the pressure off of THP to feel like you are sacrificing your own time when you come over to help them or to spend time with them. Now they can feel like it was for your benefit as well.

4. Cocktail Hour

If making dinners seems like too much, what about something fun, like trying out new cocktail recipes? It is not as labor intensive as making a meal and can be really, really fun. Maybe something that you wouldn’t normally make for yourself, like a Pisco Sour? All you have to do is pick up lemon juice, egg white, Pisco, and simple syrup. You can both giggle away while shaking your shaker full of ingredients wondering how in the world an egg white will make your drink better. Trust me, it will.

5. Offer To Drive

This one  can be difficult, but well worth it. One of the reasons THP can’t leave their home is their inability to drive themselves. You could offer to pick them up and take them for a quick coffee, or an appetizer — whatever is within THP time restrictions. Perhaps THP has a special car, no problem! Drive on over and just hop in their car instead. Easy-peasy.

Things To Keep In Mind

THP spends a lot of time trying to occupy their time within their own home. This means they probably watch a lot of television or play video games. So as much as it may seem like a good idea to suggest watching Game of Thrones together, this may not appeal to THP because it is something they can do by themselves. What they crave is interaction and conversation. They crave new experiences. You can be the champion of that.

One Final Thought

In this globally connected world, we often think of charity work or good deeds as having to occur online, physically in some far away land, or monetarily in the form of a donation. People post on Facebook about their support against abuses in the world. This is all wonderful and I champion it all. However, don’t forget to think locally — to look around your own neighborhood, your own immediate family, or your own grandparents to find someone whose life could be improved by these simple steps.

I bet there is a lot you can do to help someone out who is closer than you think.

Until next time.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Chronic Pain And The Inconvenience of Living In An Apartment

I have lived in apartments most of my life. I have never had more problems than in the apartment I currently live in.

These problems are amplified by my chronic pain — as all things are.

If you recall, my upstairs neighbor flooded my ceiling when I first moved in so much so that management had to tear out my ceiling and build a new one. She had absent-mindedly left her faucet running, then fell asleep. Water poured through my ceiling.

Then, on another occasion, I came into my family room to find 2 inches of water in the kitchen and the entryway. Apparently, she had been sticking non-disposable food items in her sink. All these food items caused the plumbing to back up to, guess where, my apartment. My sink was pouring gross, old food items all out into my apartment because when everyone above me ran their sinks or dishwashers, it all went into my apartment. Fabulous.

Well, now she did it again. She apparently, was oblivious to her dishwasher leaking water onto her floor. Over the last few months, water has been collecting in the space between her floor and my ceiling. It finally eroded the layers so badly, that yup! You guessed it, it came through the ceiling.

I hate her.

Awesomely, my 3 month pill box was right where brown, smelly water poured through the ceiling.

Of course it did.

So, on Friday, that meant I got to deal immediately with the water problem and maintenance. Plus, I spent hours on the phone with ExpressScripts trying to replace my medications. I’m extremely unhappy with them. I could not convince them that it was a replacement order, not a refill. They weren’t having it. My Calcitriol had a refill available, but my Synthroid did not. I finally convinced the supervisor to at least overnight my Calcitriol. An aside, it is now Thursday, and it still is not here. This speaks volumes to the serious downfall to mail-order prescriptions.

The Synthroid, however, needed a new prescription — that means contacting my shitty doctor. Needless to say, ExpressScripts stated that they sent a fax request for a new prescription to my doctor, that, naturally, he has yet to return. I contacted my doctor today, and they hadn’t even heard of this matter (they are the worst). Equally impressive, my doctor is not even in today, so I have to wait until tomorrow for him to tell the office staff it is okay for them to approve my f’ing prescription.

It was never, ever this hard with my previous insurance, nor my other doctor. This is a full-time job trying to get this approved and, in general, stay vigilant in regards to my doctor, insurance, and pharmacy carrier. My medications have been destroyed since Friday. It is now 6 days without my medication. Luckily, I have a mis-order of Levothyroxine on hand to take. If I did not, I would be hypothyroid by now. All because my pharmacy will not do an emergency replacement of a medication that is not even a narcotic. My doctor’s office is literally threatening my life by being too incompetent to send a fax back in to my pharmacy.

I mean, let’s be clear. I do not have a thyroid. If I do not take my medication I go hypothyroid. I will be incomprehensibly lethargic. That along with the Calcitriol to help me absorb my calcium, I could have a seizure or a heart-attack. I would have to go to the ER to get an I.V. infusion of calcium. Really? Because these two entities can’t get their act together? Unbelievable.

But, I digress. The real issue here is how difficult living in an apartment complex. So, I was told on Friday that a portion of my ceiling would have to be removed. They came on Monday to do it, and, of course, were a few hours behind. Therefore, due to me needing to manage the situation, it screwed up my lay/stand cycle immensely.

I didn’t think I had done anything drastically wrong, until as the night progressed, my pain increased exponentially. It is now Thursday, and I’m still trying to recover. The first few days were the worst. I couldn’t sleep, my back felt so tight it was like a rubber band was pulled tight from my middle back to my sacrum. I was in so much pain, that when I was in bed, my back was stiff as a board — my whole body really. I was so tense and struggled just not to cry. It was horrible. I sometimes forget just how bad it can get.

It’s a bit better today, but still not to where it was in the beginning of the week.

It’s also insanely frustrating. I’m so limited, that something as little as standing for 30minutes to an hour more can throw my whole body into a tizzy. I just don’t understand why my back won’t just relax, let go! It’s not helping anything here!

I want to be mad at the person upstairs, and let’s be honest, I am, but mostly I’m just mad that something so small would cause so much pain.

I’m not in control of my environment here, which is a horrible feeling. I’m completely effected by my neighbors and the property management people. Yes, on the surface, it seems like living in an apartment would be great — other people have to fix stuff, and maintain items, but in reality, since I have moved here, it has been a bit more work than it has helped.

Let’s see how this all goes.

Update:

The people who are to fix my ceiling called with a five minute notice. This was after 3 days of hounding the office of when they were coming so something just like this wouldn’t happen. I told them no, they could not fix my ceiling that day. They asked about whether or not they could come the next day and what time. I said sure, around 1:00. They said they would come between 12:00 and 1:00. Guess what? That never happened. At 1:30 I called them to find out where they were. Not coming.

Update to the update: It is now Tuesday and they are finally here. 3 hours to put ceiling in for a foot by foot square. Unreal. Oh, well. Time to practice those breathing exercises and to do a much better job of my stand lay cycle today.

Invisible Illness

 

 

chronic pain

 

Thanks to Chronic Pain Support group for this. I’m in too much pain today to post one for myself. Thanks for getting my back with this image that understands me and for letting me keep my commitment to posting something each week. I’m actually crying as I write this.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Feeling a bit down

I’m just feeling a bit down today as my friends came to visit and now they are gone. I have had some visitors lately and it has been so super nice. As I’ve recently posted, my family was in town, and then now my friends.

It just goes to show how very lonely I am. I spend day in and day out without seeing anyone and it is just really tough. I didn’t get to go do any of the stuff that my friends came into town for — to go see the baseball game and then get dinners and such. They also went to the beach one day.

However, just to have them come back in the door and chat about their day was just so lovely. It made me feel like a real human being again. We could chat about something other than my pain. I could just be quiet and listen to them happily chat away about their good times for the day.

Yes, of course I wish I could have gone with them, but even just to be around people living life was just so nice.

The PT setback is just really an absolute bummer. I’m having such a hard time even standing. My steps are down by 2000, so my dreams of walking a few blocks to the bar to watch football games looks like it is out of reach for awhile. I worked so hard to get my steps up for that. It’s the hugest disappointment.

Then there is the pain. I can’t sleep. I don’t feel like eating because the pain sucks so bad. The worst is that it wakes me up and then I can’t fall back asleep.

I really just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so lonely and so miserable it is just tough to find a reason to get up in the morning anymore.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Updates on hurting myself; new diagrams including referred pain, dermatomes, and flexion patterns

Straight-leg-testI tried increasing my hamstring stretch 3 days ago on June 18th, 2015 by about an inch. Typically, I place my leg on a surface that is 15 inches high, then a surface that is 16 inches high, and finally a surface that is about 17 inches high.

I’ve been doing that stretch for about 9 months now. I took a break after the Minkowsky doctor appointment that tore my back up again for a few months. Before that, I have been doing that stretch since about 2012.

When I fExercises for low back imageirst moved to San Diego, I could barely get my foot onto the 15 inches high surface. There was so much pulling on my right psoas. It took months before I could get it done comfortably. With the 17 inch high surface, I had a hard time actually lifting my leg up, I think my SI Joint was too rigid and immobile.

However, I’ve been stagnant for a few months now. So, I thought I would increase by about an inch, maybe 1/2 an inch. Basically, my fingertips usually rest at the top of my knee. On the right side I moved my fingertips to the middle of my knee cap. On the left side, I did the same.

I did this for a week with no problems.

Then those few days ago, I did it again. The right side is always way tighter than the left. So I kept the right side the same, but on the left side I moved my fingertips to just after my kneecap. I rested my weight on the leg.

I felt no pain at the time, I was actually quite cheerful I was making progress.Sciatica Pain

I woke up the next day and was like, ouch. This is going to be a bad pain day. But, I figured, no big deal, you did something slightly new that last week, you did everything right, if you have more pain, that’s just the way it is on the road to recovery.

Yeah, save for the fact that I’m experiencing pretty impressive nerve pain.

My right foot is equally numb and prickly. My right calf is very weak. I don’t feel like I can stand on it by itself for very long. There is also a weird, almost like constant charley horse in my right calf, which I realize is referred pain. When I lift my right leg, it stabs there. Not out, away from my body, but like a knee raise.

anterior_hip_muscles_Again, this seems highly unusual that that much pain would come from simply increasing a stretch, which I feel I did safely, by a half inch to an inch.

I’m so frustrated.

Therefore, I’m going to include some diagrams I spent looking at last night to figure out where my pain is coming from.

It is definitely L5-S1. Most of my pain is in the back side of my calf, on the lateral aspect of the right calf. The location on the foot seems to spread depending on, oh, who knows.

Here is also a good link from U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1994).

On a side note, really? 1994? Couldn’t we have fixed back pain by now? Shouldn’t there be an injectable or something?

 

From that article, I found this diagram to be the most helpful …

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 10.32.12 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another good article with a really good image. The article is basically a back pain guide

L4-S1 Pain distribution

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one final image that I really liked:

dermatomal map of nerve root distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading. I will still post on my physical therapy appointment later in the week.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

Updates for the week – massage therapist, psychologist, and social security

HeadmassageSo far, it’s been a fairly productive week.

One of the very nice ladies from my support group mentioned she had a friend that was a massage therapist. We will call the massage therapist LR.

I called LR yesterday and left a message. She was very prompt in her reply to me via text, which I actually like better than phone conversations.

She was very professional and very sweet. It is, as you all must know, very hard to describe our life circumstances to those around us. It’s embarrassing for me to have to explain to people that I can’t really leave my house. Do you know how hard that is for someone who used to work as a nurse, take call, play in 3 separate soccer leagues, walk her dogs, go to the gym, and have a pool membership? Sometimes, despite all that I did, I still liked to simply walk downtown for fun. So to tell someone I can’t even leave my house to get a massage, it breaks my heart just to have the words come out of my mouth.

Yet, she didn’t make me feel stupid. She was like, whatever! I was so appreciative of that. We worked out a price, which she had great ones, and scheduled a massage for next week. I’m excited. I hope it helps ease my stress level a bit. It will be my first massage in about a year.

As for the psychologist, that is proving difficult. The irony of the situation is I could see a massage therapist not wanting to come to my house and massage a client in her bed. If I was going to say no to that or a psychologist over the phone, I’m fairly certain the in-bed massage would win the declination category.

Yet, it’s the psychologist that I can’t seem to pin down. I could sign up for one of those monthly subscriptions to an online psychologist, but that’s not for me. To have to reexplain my situation over and over and over again? Please see above …

I’m gonna keep working at finding one though. There has to be someone out there willing to do it.

footmassage1As for Allsup, they finally received my paperwork stating I will pay them, even though I have signed that document about 2k times. Now, they can move forward with my appeal. I am fairly surprised that the customer service representative I talked to over the phone still didn’t understand that the only thing that has been filed for the appeal is a request for more time. We had two months, and the hold up, apparently, was my payment paperwork. I have not been with MetLife since November. They had 5-6 months to get me that paperwork before it became an issue. That is what held up my appeal. They have seriously dropped the ball on so many occasions I can’t believe it. I will not care if I win though. I’m pretty scared. As I’ve stated in previous posts, my finding a job, even if I can do it, will be next to impossible. I know, I know – they say I can work at a fast-food restaurant. Mmm-hmm. It’s like they did not read my medical records.

That’s about it. Oh, I did sign up for PT again. It’s on Monday. I’m terrified. I got pressured into it though, even though I see why this person wants me to try it again. It’s just, I would never be in the situation I currently am if it wasn’t for two physical therapists.

Next week, I’ll let you know how the PT goes.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

New website — lots of work

I had to switch to a different website because the old WordPress site was just giving me too much trouble. I had to then transfer over 2 years worth of blog posts! It took more than 8 hours to transfer them all over and hours worth of phone calls to realize that I would have to do it manually as opposed to a transfer service.

 

It was interesting, moving over all the old posts. Mostly, it was sad.

 

I’ve been at this for a long time.

 

It was interesting to see how much hope I had in the beginning. Maybe as a casual reader it wasn’t as obvious, or maybe it’s because I could be transported back to that time through the posts, and remember how I felt.

 

I do know that this was my biggest fear, that I would be three years out, with no hope on the horizon, and my spirit broken. I’d like to say that I’m still hopeful, in part I am, but I don’t think it’s hope. I think it’s wishful thinking at this point.

 

I do know this. This blog helps. To put down my feelings like a type of journal. That perhaps someone, somewhere might be reading it and not feel so alone.

 

May 28th will be three years. I can not fucking believe it.

 

Be well …

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Stuart Scott

Sometimes, things hit you hard, you know?

Stuart Scott’s passing was hard to take this morning. I cried. A lot. I find it kind of interesting, because I didn’t know the man. I have never met him. However, I watch a lot of sports and I always liked listening to what he had to say. I liked that he had an easy going rapport with his fellow commentators. It just seemed everyone liked him. There are times when I watch Steve Young and Trent Dilfer and I wonder if Steve wants to punch Trent for being a blow-hard, I know I would.

No one ever looked at Stuart Scott that way.

He was a large part of why MNF is my favorite. The way he guided the pre and post show was seamless. Almost as if he was just hanging out with his buddies. I guess, in a way, he really was.

When he wasn’t there, the show was always a little less fun. A little less lighthearted.

Stuart Scott had missed shows before, but this year, it became noticeable. The shows he missed began piling up. My fear for him began mounting.

I realized I began looking for him. Seriously, wasn’t he going to come back? If he wasn’t on air, that meant he hadn’t beat this round of cancer.

One week, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I googled him. He had just posted on Twitter. Phew, I thought. He’s still fighting the good fight.

A few weeks ago on MNF, Steve, Suzy, Trent, and Ray made a gesture to Stuart on air that they were thinking of him. My stomach knotted up.

I knew it must be bad.

Stuart Scott was a man that let us see a bit of him. He shared his struggle against cancer with us. He let us feel for him, to pray for him, to be inspired by him.

That is why I am so saddened to see him go. He wasn’t an actor. He wasn’t President. He wasn’t a superstar. He was a man who lived his life the way he wanted to, and he did it well. He did it so well, that people took notice, myself included. He was Stuart Scott … and we loved him for it.

Too much football!

My back can only last for so long. I have to time my activities around my back. Usually I can do one activity per day. Also, my activity isn’t super exciting. It might be to be able to stand for half a football game, then lie down, or maybe have a friend come over for a few hours where I stand and lay throughout the visit.

As everyone knows, I love football. I have been a fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1996. My husband is a Lions fan, and we both grew up in Michigan. I only tell you this because that means the NFC North is the division that I enjoy watching the most.

Well, today was too much football. My game is the Sunday night game. I already knew that it was going to be hard to make it all the way to the Packers game without any pain. I mean, really. I always have pain. I guess what I’m trying to say is I wanted to try and make it to 5:30 pm with as much reduced pain as I could manage.

Didn’t happen.

The issue is, my day started at 8:30 in the morning with the Lions game. Who airs a game at 6:30 in the morning? I ended up watching most of that. Then, the Bears were playing against the Patriots for the 10:00 am game. Well, I had to watch that. Then, there was the Eagles and Arizona game. I really kind of wanted to keep my eye on that game as well.

Simply, just too much football.

It’s too much to have 4 games in one day. I mean, usually, I watch a game, and then keep my eye on another. This was all games I wanted to watch with their own time slot.

Too much!

Also, ugh. Stupid Detroit Lions doing the unbelievable and coming back from a 21 point deficit. On a side note, really Atlanta? You didn’t score AT ALL the second half of the game?!

That means that the Lions are still ahead in the division.

That’s annoying.