Living My Worst Nightmare—Twice

Twenty years ago, I was bedridden due to chronic pain after an accidental fall down the stairs in our home. I injured my back in addition to already hurting from fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome. To top it off, while lying in bed, I developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, which is a debilitating nerve pain disorder. I was a wreck and in a heck of a lot of pain. I was living my worst nightmare.

My nightmare took me away from fully engaging with my husband and two small daughters. I spent a lot of time alone. Time seemed to have stopped for me, but life went on for my family. There were soccer games to play, school to attend, and playdates to occur. In my aloneness, I felt hopeless. I kept getting worse, no matter my efforts to get better.

I lost significant weight because I simply was not hungry. If you’ve experienced a lot of pain, you understand pain depletes hunger. Additionally, I developed osteopenia (thinning bones) in my legs because I could not bear weight. Because of my thin bones, I broke a toe when I tried to walk. I had nerve pain surging through my right eye and developed dystonia (neurological disorder, involuntary muscle contractions in my back and face). I was a medical encyclopedia. Then I became severely depressed.

My life was not life. I was barely surviving, approaching death. My lack of eating caused life-threatening malnourishment. Loads of medication did not help my various maladies.

Thankfully, my counselor also happened to be a nutritionist who safely helped me detox from opioids, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and the like. She taught me about alternative therapies, which I implemented almost nonstop into my days—meditation, EMDR, deep breathing exercises, reframing, forgiveness, healthy eating, amino acid therapy, using assistive devices, etc. I also began physical therapy in a warm water pool.

I took a particular interest in nutrition therapy because before this whole mess began, I had enrolled in a master’s program for Holistic Nutrition. I hadn’t had the chance to start my program until after two years of trying to recover. Pool therapy helped strengthen me so I could sit up and read. It took six years, but I finally earned my Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. God, counseling, nutrition, and warm water therapy healed my broken body during those six years. My fibromyalgia disappeared, CRPS vanished, malnourishment resolved, restless legs settled, and bone bass was restored as I learned to walk again.

Before opening my nutrition counseling business in 2008, I practiced nutritional remedies on myself. I was my first client. I served my clients with empathy because I could understand suffering. My painful experiences enhanced my ability to help others. In addition to meeting with clients one-on-one, I worked with high school athletic teams to up their game and give them a competitive edge by teaching them to eat healthily. My daughters’ soccer, cross country, and track teams were included in those I instructed.

God brought me back to a place where I could be the wife and mom I wanted to be. I was restored. But little did I know, fourteen years later, I would revisit my worst nightmare a second time. You’ve probably had recurring dreams too, but this is the kind you don’t awaken from. They are day terrors.

I am disabled again after a chair fell on my foot during clean-up at my daughter’s wedding three years ago. I can hardly walk again. After countless doctor visits and MRIs, I have no diagnosis.

However, I have faith in God – that he has good plans for my life. I am stronger now than when I could walk. I don’t know if I will ever walk again, but I will always be able to walk with him.

I don’t know if I will ever walk again, but I will always be able to walk with him.

Suffering has taught me many valuable lessons and given me many gifts in my despair. The rest of my story is told in my upcoming book, Beauty Beyond the Thorns: Finding Gifts in Suffering.

Please subscribe to my newsletter here for chapter sneak peeks. You, too, can find blessings amid your pain. Beauty Beyond the Thorns is currently with an editor, and I will update as we get closer to a release date!

If you would like to consider being involved with the launch of my book by joining a virtual party, or writing a review on Amazon, please let me know in the comments or through my contact page. I’d love to have your support! Blessings, Darci

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