The pain increased throughout the next week, and when I called the GI Doc to report in, all he could tell me was to double the dose of cream.
“OK, but are you sure there’s not something else going on? This is getting worse…it isn’t getting better.” I said. “These types of abrasions are really tough to heal because of where they are,” he said, “you’re just going to have to be patient with the process.”
So I went forth doubling the dose of the cream. But seriously?? What was going on? Over a month of intensifying pain without a single sign of improvement? And what caused it in the first place? Nobody had any good answers for me. So I continued trusting the doctor and diligently applied my cream. He is the subject matter expert after all. And plus, look how official he looks in that white coat? Certainly he knows what he is talking about, he’s a GI specialist! It will turn around…it just takes time he says.
Some days during the first week of September I curled up in pain nearly all day, constantly shifting from the bed to the tub for relief. Other days I felt fine and biked all day across town with the family. We rode to the bike park, enjoyed frozen yogurt on the way home, and I felt relatively normal. Well, except for the bloody exploding diarrhea in the outhouses all across town…I guess there was that. But I was sure glad to have the energy to play with my family occasionally. And certainly this would pass soon enough; the doctor knows what he’s doing. I’ll be fine.
A wonderful habit I picked up early in the year is to write down as many positive things as possible about topic on my mind; a super effective way to improve how you feel quickly. It’s likely I felt oppressed by the pain when I wrote this in my journal that week.
[features_box_grey width=”85%” + border=”2px”] 9/4/2012 – Positive aspects of the butt pain – sitting in the tub
- I’m becoming more capable of empathy and true love.
- It is enabling me to draw closer to God in ways not possible without the contrast of this pain.
- It is teaching me what I am capable of.
- It is increasing my capabilities. I am now more capable of relating to people who suffer pain.
- It is reminding me daily to express gratitude for all things.
- The Spirit of God is strong in my heart. I can feel His love, compassion, and support. I can feel of His desire for me to experience a fullness of joy. This is one of my refining and character defining moments in eternity!
- It is an amazing opportunity for me to strengthen my FAITH and thereby increase my power to be an instrument in God’s hands for blessing His children.
- What an honor and privilege it is to be counted worthy and capable of experiencing this much pain.
- God must have amazing joy in store for me which excites me immensely.
- There must be so much suffering of mind in the world right now that God needs me to help alleviate.
- I will do His bidding and His will.
- I willingly submit myself to whatever the Lord my God seeth fit to inflict upon me. I know His will is my everlasting joy.
- This pain is literally making me more like God. Thank you God!
- This pain is showing me a deeper level of my Faith and bringing me closer to God.
- It’s giving me lots of bath time! 😉
- It’s providing a fantastic contrasting life experience which greatly enhances my joy experiencing potential.
- It’s providing me with a compelling story to tell. A story of pain, suffering, trial, conquering, Spirit over body, Faith and its literal effects, and unconditional love for God.
- I have the privilege of personally living and sharing a story that can relieve suffering and bring peace, harmony & joy to other’s souls.
It’s kind of strange to me now reading that and remembering feeling the need to live this painful story in order help others in need later on. I don’t know exactly how this story will bring ‘peace, harmony & joy’ to others, but something inside compels me to tell it. And I trust it will bless you that read it, and bring you greater joy somehow.
It helped me to focus my attention on the positive side of things. Every time I did I felt peace and received strength. It wasn’t easy though. It took concentrated effort to start the process, but it was always worth it.
[headline_tahoma_small_left color=”#000000″]Accepting Defeat[/headline_tahoma_small_left]
Despite increasing pain and rectal bleeding, I still ran my usual loop most mornings; an enjoyable and automatic habit I guess. It’s hard for me to want to miss a day of running other than Sunday, because it feels so fantastic. Running is pure joy for me. I simply love everything about it. Some days I run slowly if that’s what my body needs. I love just gliding up and down trails, or around the paths around town, soaking in the sun. For me, running is like myself plugging in and recharging my body and soul. Other days when I’m rested and recovered I like to do a challenging workout as part of my run, so I’ll do series of hill sprints, or repeats around the track by my house. Those days are invigorating in a different way.
Regardless, running feels fantastic to me, which made it hard to let go.
But it became awkward and difficult suddenly. On September 11 as I ran past a local school I suddenly had to dive behind some trees as a mild explosion occurred; toxically fumed and bloody. Then two miles later, I found myself running as fast, yet as gingerly as possible, as another bloody explosion threatened to give me a huge mess if I didn’t get home fast. Phew! I made it just in time.
I could no longer run after that day. My situation took a nose dive directly into full debilitation.
Up until this point I had been teaching an early morning seminary class also since mid-August when school started. I was thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to teach the youth each morning about truthful principles that would guide them to greater happiness in their life.
And I felt a love growing each day for the kids, and a desire to see them grow in their ability to approach life with joy and achieve happiness despite all circumstances.
It took an hour or two of studying and preparing each night. But despite the sacrifice of time, and adjusting my morning work and running schedule, I thoroughly loved the opportunity.
But a severe challenge arose now that found myself not sleeping much at all during the night. Some nights an intense burning pain in my anus would literally curl me up in a ball of agony on the ground. I wouldn’t last long there, so I transferred to a hot tub full of water, which generally eased the pain substantially. But within minutes of leaving the tub, the sphincter muscle would lock down again leading to more intense burning.
I found myself laying, and shifting, and adjusting positions in my cramped tub in the basement for hours at a time in the middle of the night. And this now happened on a regular basis.
Not fun. But adding to the challenge, I knew I had to be dressed in my shirt and tie, and at the church ready to teach my young students at 6:30 in the morning. So by 4:30 in the morning, I could no longer fall asleep for fear of not waking up and leaving everyone hanging out to dry with no teacher.
Somehow I pulled off the balancing act for a while. I would get out of the tub after a looooong night of discomfort and no sleep, throw on a shirt and tie, and head to the church to teach.
And I had some of the most touching experiences on those days as I would teach those kids and help them discover principles of truth they could apply in their lives. The connection to them felt deeply fulfilling. And many touching moments occurred when I knew they got it, and appreciated the lessons they were learning directly from the Spirit as the scriptures and truths opened their eyes.
But just standing up became increasingly difficult.
After one particularly difficult and painful night, by six in the morning I could barely get to my feet. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand up to teach. Or even sit down to make the 90 second commute to the church a half mile away.
I sent an email and text cancelling class.
I realized then that I was stressed. And my commitment to be there each day teaching added to the stress that I didn’t really notice until now. But I sincerely wanted to be there with those kids. I didn’t want to miss that class for anything. And it totally bummed me out as I lay there in bed in pain. I think I must have gained as much, if not more, than the kids out of those early morning classes.
I thought I would cancel class just that day, but I never did make it back after that. From then on about 95% of each day I lay flat on my back or crunched in the tub. No more fighting it. Clearly running, teaching, and my businesses needed a vacation for a while. Time to accept a new reality: I’m sick. You win body. I give. Clearly I need to stop resisting and focus on finding a solution.