Sunday, April 27, 2014

Realizing You Are Not In Control, Again

As I write this, my laptop is perched up against my knees. My knees have two pillows beneath them and their are three pillows behind me as I am reclined in my hyperbaric chamber. The pressure dial has just reached 4lbs per square inch and my ears have been popping all along the way, just as they do when my flights reach cruising altitude. 

My hyperbaric chamber treatments are in full swing now as I have completed my second week and have 4-more weeks to go of Monday through Friday, 9am to 10:30am sessions. When you add the time for getting me situated as well as the depressurization phase plus drive time, it is well over 2-hours a day of commitment. As I mentioned in my last post, the idea is to build blood vessels so that my tongue can heal and recuperate from the radiation treatments that ended this past December.

I really hope this therapy brings me relief soon though as I never expected to be in the amount of pain I am experiencing now. It's past the middle of April now, for crying out loud. What's the deal? As I brush my teach each evening, blood leaks out from my gums surrounding each tooth and splashes into the sink. I'm not seeing the evidence of healing, but I know I am healed. My body hasn't received the message just yet. 

Literally for the past 3-weeks, I have been on the most pain medication that I have ever had to take in my life. For the second Sunday in a row, I've found myself sobbing at a family meal. My parents, my three daughters, my oldest's husband and middle daughter's boyfriend. They watch me folded and broken from the pain, not knowing how to help, not knowing what to say. I love my girl's attention, but getting their attention because I am unable to control the emotions that come from debilitating pain isn't okay with me.

On more than a few nights I have found myself being wide awake at 3 and 4am, the searing pain nudging me, reminding me that I have a ways to go before my healing is complete.  But the fact that it lingers on... it makes me realize that maybe we are all in a state of continual healing. Life happens and we recover to varying degrees, dealing with the ramifications of what each stage brings. It feels like we are never completely well, but thankful that we are not as bad as we once were.

I have been so frustrated too. I love being productive and getting a lot done, but pain medications make it hard to concentrate and get my work done. Even writing this blog... I fall asleep as I type, wake up and continue on again, trying to regroup and get my train of thought back to continue on. It's like drug-induced Alzheimers. My dad calls it "Haase-heimers"

It is nearly May, nearly five-months since my chemo and radiation treatments were complete and here I am still dealing with pain from the treatment itself. Seems hard to encourage others when the strength that has held me isn't always there. I'm a grown man and should be able to handle all that life throws at me, but I'm not doing so well lately and while I know I'm not a failure, I also know I am not in control of this process either. Learning to let go and realize that I lack control has been an ongoing struggle. 

Seems like a platitude... but "one day at a time" is all I can handle right now and sometimes, it is hour by hour.

Thank you for your prayers. They mean the world to me. 

~Robert B. Haase,
A Blessed Man

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