Tuesday, October 12, 2010

-The Grieving Process-

grief [griːf]n
1. deep or intense sorrow or distress, esp at the death of someone
2. something that causes keen distress or suffering
3. Informal trouble or annoyance people were giving me grief for leaving ten minutes early
come to grief Informal to end unsuccessfully or disastrously

 It is safe to assume that when a person is diagnosed with or has been suffering with RSD for a period of time, eventually they will need to go through a period of grief.  And similar to that of the loss of a person, one with RSD will go through similar motions as they grieve the loss of what was once their lives, which has both physical and emotional effects.

I think, personally, it has been harder to grieve the loss of my abilities, going from a independent young woman, to someone who is bound to a recliner the majority of most days (not by will), than the loss of my father.  I would not want to go through either, by any means, and I know this is by far a difficult and all most gruesome comparison to make, but it is the best I am able to make, so please bare with me.

When I lost my father, he died of a heart attack suddenly.  It was unexpected, and he was young, in his early 50's.  I remember the shock.  The months of insomnia.  I couldn't eat for months.  I went through the motions of the day for almost 2 years.  Nothing felt real.  The crying came spontaneously. 
I'm also not much of a spiritual person, but I found myself talking to God.  Asking him why?  And looking for comfort in friends- yet as hard as they tried to console me, no one seemed to understand.
I also felt guilty.  I should have helped him.  He was having a heart attack in front of me, and I couldn't recognize the signs?  He had just certified me in CPR?

I find dealing with the 'diagnoses' of RSD coming to me in similar waves.  First it was a shock that this was now my life.  I just seem to be going through the motions.  The more I loss my ability to do what I 'used to do', like clean the house, or go out, the more I find myself grieving for myself.   I feel guilty that I may be burdening my family.

It's not exactly the same.  And I don't expect anyone to think it is.  But the idea that we are allowed to 'grieve', and let go every once and awhile, and cry.  I find that the hardest part.  I think I need to be this strong person, and not show anyone what I really am feeling, and then I just have this breakdown every few months where I just start crying, and I don't know why.

I write this, not for comfort.  I know I am still coming to peace with my feelings and emotions.  It will take time and a lot of work.  I still get 'waves' from the loss of my father.  I write this, in hopes that there are others out there that have similar emotions, and can get comfort in knowing they are not alone.

If you would like to read more about the Physical and Emotional Effects of Grief here are a few sites-
Physical and Emotional Effects of Grief 
Recover From Grief 
Coping with Grief And Loss
When Illness is Prolonged: Implications for Grief (Recommended)

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes your posts are so timely they bowl me over. I went out to the local library with my husband this morning. I walk witht the aid of two crutches, and wear splints on both hands. I wore jeans because it is a cold day, and had a lignocaine patch on my left leg under the jeans. Every step was painful. I tired ridiculously quickly on the short walk from the library back to the car. I was sooo angry. It shouldn't be like this. Not too many years ago I was fitter than average and owned a gym. Today I finally came to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to use the wheelchair. I know just where you are coming from - and it helps more than I can say to know that there is someone out there who knows where I am coming from too!
    Thank you :)