"I think it's easy to stay angry at a world that never promises you invincibility but still manages to break your heart with the way some moments can make you feel so infinite." - Hannah Brencher
As many of you may know, I recently received a medical diagnosis and received two awards in one convenient package that some call an MRI. At 34 years old, I have degenerative disc disease, coupled with spinal stenosis, and as a result, it has become difficult to do many everyday life things. Some days I struggle to walk, other's it's just bending or picking things up that weigh more than about ten pounds. No matter what day it is though, this event has brought about a reckoning with my own mortality and writing is the best way for me to unpack all of these emotions. Strap in, this isn't even gonna be proofread.
I'm sure that most of you know that I'm the person who fixes it, not matter what "it" is. My passion is helping others and I have reached into so many lives that I couldn't possibly tell you about all of them. I've deliberately put myself in danger to save someone else's life, and so far I've always come out okay. Up until this point, I've never been to the doctor and heard the words, "Marlo, you're just going to have to accept that this isn't going to get better. In fact, as you age, it will get worse."
For the person who fixes everything, those words are unbelievably destructive. Hearing that from the doctor has taken me apart in more ways than one.
I sat in my office this morning and all I could do was cry. I do my absolute best to be strong for everyone around me, but I guess I finally came to grips with what the rest of my life is going to be like. Never before have I needed so much help just to do my job or exist. There are some days where I can barely put my shoes on, and lifting virtually anything is out of the question. The pain runs straight down both of my legs and it just... sucks. All the time.
I was overcome with so much sadness this morning. For about two hours, I felt like my life had just ended. I was broken, damaged goods, and I would never be the same again. I sat there, bawling, and just couldn't get a grip on anything. I'm about to get married, and now I have to ask my partner just to help me put my shoes on?? What kind of life is that, to have to take care of the person you fell in love with as if they are in their 80s? I was in such a low state that nothing could fix it and I'm kinda still there.
Once I was done crying, I just got incredibly angry at everything. I hate what's wrong with me, I hate how I can't do simple things, I hate that those around me have to practically carry me all the time and it's not going to get any better. I'm not even halfway through my life and I'm broken in a way that can't be fixed? What kind of BS is this? What did I do that caused this? I didn't play sports, I didn't do stupid things, it's just in my genes and a result of a few bumps and bruises here and there. Needless to say, I feel incredibly short-changed.
I want to apologize to everyone because it feels like I've let you all down, but everyone keeps telling me that's not the case either.
I'm not really sure where life is going to go from here. I have so many different projects in the works that I am so excited about. My job is protected so I don't have to worry about being unemployed, but I still hate that not even a month ago I was able to walk five to seven miles a day, and now I struggle to make it to my office from the parking garage.
I admit, I'm being a little pessimistic. I'm going to go see a pain management doctor at some point and I'm hoping they will be able to give me something that takes the pain completely away and I can go back to just living a normal life. But all of the doctors telling me "this isn't something that can be cured" has really got me down. Sorry for unloading all of this in an article, but I feel like all of you should know why things are slow on the site.
Just to reiterate, getting older sucks in ways that you can't imagine until you actually have to face it for yourself. I'm not dying, but all of this has definitely made me think about it, and I've settled on the fact that I'm not afraid of dying, just sad about it. I like living here.
I'm going to be okay and I don't want this post to freak anyone out. I just needed to vomit all of this onto the page in order to get my head straight. Writing has been my outlet for as long as I can remember and traumatic events like this are no exception. I have great support from my fiance and I know she doesn't mind helping me. I also have a wonderful support system of friends, and I'm thankful for all of you. Facing this alone would have been way, way harder.
Thanks for reading, and, take care of yourself and those around you. Nobody's invincible.