Had a restless sleep yesterday. I kept tossing and turning hoping to get into a comfortable position but all to no avail. I find it difficult to sleep on my left side because of the cyst so l have to sleep on my right side. However, it gets crampy from sleeping in a particular position all night and my right hip starts aching so l have to change postion again hence the tossing and turning. I have been a “side sleeper” all my life and find impossible to sleep in any other position. So l decided to pray instead, thanking God for all His blessings and how His Grace has been a constant fixture in my life.
I haven’t always felt this way. When l was newly diagnosed, l broke down and asked Him to take away this curse from me. After the second cyst was found, l would fast and pray fervently, lamenting that my life wasn’t fair. I attended church services and midweek services regularly. I wouldn’t miss a popular Christian Festival which happened twice a year in East London. I even met the man of God who shook my hand and one of his pastors prayed for me regarding my problem. That month miraculously, my pain disappeared. Here l was on painkillers 4 times a day( l couldn’t even be bothered about my liver at this point; for me it was first problem, first served!) and then, no painkillers at all! Let me tell you a bit about this pain. It would wake me up at 6 am( yes, it was very prompt) ,a dull gnawing pain on the left side of my stomach which quickly spreads to my lower back, thigh, leg and foot. If l take the panadol extra on time-around 6.15- then l can continue my day till the next dose which has to be within 5 hours. If l happen to take it late, then l will be late to work or maybe even call in sick. This is because the pain takes no prisoners. I would be doubled over in pain on my knees, screaming , howling and crying because it takes time for the medicine to work. I remembered a time l forgot to take my next dose at work. It was humiliating to say the least. My manager had to call a cab for me to be taken to A n E. I couldn’t afford a repeat performance so that never happened again. Imagine if l were stuck in rush hour traffic on the bus or tube! So my 11am and 4pm doses were very crucial. l could not exceed 8 tablets in 24 hours so l would need to extend the time of the final dose which should be about 9pm. lf l take it at 9, that means the pain would wake me up in the middle of the night hence l push for 10.30, even 11pm sometimes. However, this comes at a heavy price but it’s a choice between pain before sleep or waking up with pain. Anyway, that was my typical day back then and this wasn’t even when l was on my period. On those days, l simply took time off work.
So imagine a whole month without pain or painkillers! Even more astounding, my period came and went with NO PAIN. It was unbelievable. I believed that God had answered my prayers. Then the next month came and the pain came back. My world crashed and l really believed then that God had abandoned me. I’ve always prided myself on being a good Christian. I have never been pregnant or aborted a child. I didn’t sleep around or lived a wayward life. Why would He then deny me the one thing l have always craved since childhood? So l turned to food. Looking back now, l simply realised that God has always been with me; l was just too blinded by pain to see it. He never said we wouldn’t go through problems but that He would be there for us.Why He chose this particular burden for me, l don’t know but l do know that when He closes a door, He opens a window. I thank Him now for the windows in my life- my husband who is my rock; my inlaws who are fantastic; my parents who are my strength; my siblings who make me laugh through my tears; my close friends who are fiercely loyal; my church members who accept my absences without question; my nieces and nephews who show me a glimpse of how amazing motherhood is and WILL BE.
Thanks for reading.