My Chronic Pain & Invisible Illness Story
My name is Julita – with the “J” pronounced as a “Y”. It’s a Slavic thing.
Welcome to Strive To Heal – my corner of the blogging world where I want to provide inspiration, motivation & hope to my fellow chronic pain, chronic illness and invisible disability warriors.
My official diagnoses list so far includes SIJ (sacroiliac joint/pelvic girdle) dysfunction, chronic pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, myofascial pain syndrome, depression and a bunch of other issues that come with the territory like sleep dysfunction, fatigue, inhibited muscles & brain fog.
In my previous life before chronic pain, I worked as a Clinical Genetics Laboratory technologist at a major downtown Toronto based hospital. During my career, which was cut short because of chronic pain, I spent time performing molecular genetics testing, research & development on implementing new genetic testing methods, and sub-typing non-hereditary breast cancer cases based on their genetic status for one of the main breast cancer biomarkers.
It never occurred to me that one day I would be relying on my science background to help myself on my own healing journey.
My chronic pain & chronic illness story begins in January 2011.
I found out that I was pregnant, and then I was barely functional
I found out that I was pregnant and then within weeks I could hardly move or sit. I was only in the first trimester with almost the entire pregnancy still ahead of me. I experienced incredibly severe pain in my low back and hip. I could barely sit, stand or walk. Lying down wasn’t a walk in the park either.
Things got better once my daughter was born, then worse once more when I became pregnant with my son who was born almost exactly two years after his older sister.
After my second pregnancy, my body was just not quite the same. But, I was absolutely positive that it wasn’t anything that a bit of physio and massage therapy couldn’t fix.
my life was about to crumble down all around me
When I returned back to work in the autumn of 2014, never in a million years could I have imagined how my entire life was going to crumble down all around me.
Let’s just simply say that my body did not respond well to my return back to work. I can’t elaborate more without turning this into an incredibly long blog post or two. I will have to save that story for another time.
Throughout my healing journey, I fell through the cracks over and over again. I fell apart physically and mentally. All the while trying to be the best mother I could be considering my situation.
To be honest, when I think back I don’t even know how I survived through the worst of it.
at long last I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel
Once I finally stopped falling through the cracks, it took about 3 years to at long last start seeing the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
It is now 2018, and although my healing journey is not over, I have hope that I can rebuild my life. It will be a life very different from the one that I had imagined for myself prior to all my chronic illness troubles. But I think that I am finally okay with that. I am learning to accept my circumstances.
acceptance is not the same as surrender
I still need to remind myself fairly often that acceptance is not the same as surrender. I am not giving up on myself and my dreams. I am simply at peace with letting things just be. I am no longer fighting against what used to be before chronic pain set in, or what could have been if chronic pain never highjacked my life.
I have invisible battle scars, that many times I thought would be the end of me. But now that I am seeing the light, I know that I have made it through to the other side, a stronger, wiser and more compassionate woman and mother. I am also so much more grateful for the simple yet priceless things in life.
together we can strive to never stop healing
I want this blog to serve as a platform to shine light into your dark tunnel. To give you a sliver of hope, inspiration, motivation, a rope even as thin as a spider’s silk thread, ANYTHING, to hang onto, so that you don’t give up on regaining your health and wellbeing. So that together we can strive to never stop healing.
I have been where you are. I understand.
this fight is just too hard to fight alone
Give me the privilege to share my story with you. To share all that I have learned along the way, and all that I still have to learn. Now that I have seen the light, I want to help others who are in the same darkness I once was. I want us to strive to heal as a village because this fight is just too hard to fight ALONE.
My struggle with chronic pain is not over. I have 1001 ideas waiting to burst forth from my mind and into this blog, but my pain still limits how much I can do.
So I ask for your patience, as I put thought to keyboard and hopefully create something in Strive To Heal that will give you the courage and motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how small the steps and no matter how big the setbacks.
A good place to start is learning all you can about your chronic pain. Check out The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Chronic Pain | Part 1.
I stand united with you-with empathy, compassion & a beacon of light out searching for my fellow warriors.