This past week I feel as if my bravery has really been put to the test.
Due to my recent pain spike, my treatment plan was adjusted and my pain medication was increased to 100mg every 4 hours (or 3x a day) and Tylenol as needed. My previous dose (100mg 2x/day) did not leave me with many side effects, but this new dose caused a lot problems. I would take it around 4pm and by 6pm it was difficult to concentrate, my head was heavy, my stomach hurt and I really did not feel like myself. I hated this. It made studying nearly impossible. I’d have to read the same sentence 3 or 4 times just to understand it.
The ridiculous part is that my pain significantly improved while on this dose, but the side effects made me feel so awful I couldn’t even benefit from this result. I reached I point where I knew the side effects weren’t going away and it was back to the drawing board for a new medication.
I felt like I lost my bravery during this medication adjustment period. At a certain point, constantly feeling like crap started to wear down my mental toughness. I was tired of fighting my body. I was scared and worried that nothing would ever be a good solution to my pain. I didn’t want to go back to a new medication. These thoughts did not make me feel brave.
I took to writing to search for clarity on this feeling and started my writing process by reading some quotes. It was then I realized bravery doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. Bravery is being afraid and still moving on despite the fear. You are human. You have feelings and vulnerability within you. It’s equally as brave to admit you are tired of the fight and need a break, as it is to forge head on into the fire.
The world is filled with scary and difficult things. I don’t know why I often tell myself that being afraid means I’m no longer brave. Because you know what? I am scared.
I’m scared of medications that make me feel like a shadow of myself.
I’m scared we will never find solution to my spine pain.
I’m scared about the lack of research for EDS.
I’m scared of having a rare disease.
I’m scared of pain, even though I face it every day.
So yeah, I’m scared. But when I fall, I always get back up.
I might be scared now, but I’m still brave.