I have some great news to report. That new pain med I mentioned a couple of weeks ago has allowed me to return to work! It has been so nice to go back and be productive and have some sense of normalcy back in my life. Learning how to manage my pain has been a lesson in trial and error. I've finally worked out what I think is the right timing. I set my alarm to go off between 2:30am and 3am, take the pain med, and then go back to sleep. By the time my "real" alarm goes off, the pain med has built up in my system sufficiently to allow me to move around with decent comfortability and to sit at work. Praise God! My GI doc and I are going back and forth on what to do next, since the pain hasn't changed in the month I have been on the stomach contracting meds. I've decided to get a second opinion because one of the options my GI doc is proposing is pretty "out there" and makes me nervous. So stay tuned on all that.
I found out the hard way yesterday that other timings of the pain med do not work. I turned off the pain med alarm went it sounded, but fell back asleep before taking it. I woke up at 530am, hurting badly, and took the pain med. Unfortunately, the pain med was never able to actually get ahead of the pain, so I had very uncomfortable day at work. When I am in pain, I tend to get very emotional, so I sat teary-eyed at my desk for a large portion of the day, sniffling and doing my best to focus on my work. Yes, I could have gone home, but I was being stubborn and trying to muscle through it - I just wanted to be normal again. I do have fantastic co-workers who have been so supportive and encouraging through all of this and I can share with them openly how things are going, so that made things easier.
I reached a point yesterday while driving home where I told God that I thought it was nice and all that He thought I was strong enough to handle all of this, but I really thought He was wrong, and there was no way I could keep going on in this fashion. I can't tell you all how tired I am of this trial, of hurting, of not being able to do the things I want to do. Enough is enough. I'm glad the Lord has patience with me and listens to me whine and whimper, and then graciously gives me the strength to continue through multiple ways. A dear friend sent me a John Piper (he's a pastor) quote that really encouraged me.
In Proverbs 31:25, it says "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come." Proverbs 31 describes the godly woman that I strive to becomend this is what Piper had to say about this verse:
She looks away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and she focuses her attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever he pleases (Ps. 115:3). She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows his promise that he will be with her and will help her and strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakable root of Christian womanhood. And Peter makes it explicit in verse 5. He is not talking about just any women. He is talking about women with unshakable biblical roots in the sovereign goodness of God—holy women who hope in God.
It was such a good reminder to me on what I need to be focusing on - not my pain, not my weariness, not my frustration, but the fact that I have a sovereign God who loves me and is working out His perfect plan in my life and that my strength comes from Him and Him alone. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly He can have me do a 180 in my attitude, but that happened yesterday afternoon, and despite the pain of the day, I arrived home at peace and feeling blessed.