A Month to Forget

Hey friends, here’s an unexpected Saturday post for you. This one’s coming from my lil bitty heart after a lot of conversation with friends (both personal and blogging friends) during the most unexpected month. We all came to the conclusion that raw and unedited honesty seems best for now.

I’m really frustrated, in a whole lot of ways. A month ago, I sat down and planned all of my blog posts for the month of September. I had all of the outlines written and even had the whole first week written and scheduled (which is why you got posts for a few days earlier this month). I even had a few brand deals in the works, and I was so excited.

And then I got sick. Like, really sick. Sicker than normal. It always starts as a sinus infection, and ends with much more extremes than that. Two hospital trips within 24 hours, my parents even had to come down here and stay with me for a while. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I have very few memories of that week, and I know that is probably for the best. I remember crying a lot. There were a lot of literal and figurative pills to swallow. A lot of phone calls to be made. A lot of things to figure out.

Less than a week after the first trip to the ER, I found myself in the office of a new pain management specialist. Meeting new doctors, filling out millions of forms, retelling my story dozens of times. I’ve gone through this stage of treatment a few times in my life, and it never gets easier. I hate telling my story, believe it or not. I can do it in bits and pieces, but when I have to look someone in the eyes and tell my 9 year long story in one breath – that takes more strength than I currently have.

This new team immediately scheduled my first surgery. They said it would be my first of at least 3 (but more likely 6) before Christmas. I drove home running through all the memories I have of being in the OR – none of them worthy of reliving. The procedures I am currently having done were done on  12 year old Ally too. They didn’t work back then. The “doctor” I had at the time told me it was my fault. He ruined a lot of potential healing for me.

One week later: I’m in the OR. They took my dog away from me, even threatening to kick her out of the building for not having “papers” (remember: theres no such thing as SD papers). They had drugged me enough to make me forget why I was scared. I don’t remember going to sleep, but I remember waking up. I remember the gold fish crackers that the nurse fed me.

I remember feeling warm. CRPS takes away my ability to regulate my body temperature. I have been about 3-4 degrees colder than a normal person for 9 years. I was warm.

For a minute, the surgery worked.

That night came the fever. The headache.  The infection. The pain in my back that prohibited me from even feeding my own dog. Friend’s were in and out – feeding me, walking my dog, holding my hand. It sucked. A lot.

The pain in my back is still not gone. My legs are no longer warm. But my doctors see some hope for me.

So I’m having the same surgery repeated in 5 days. We’re hoping for the same warmth, and maybe even some pain relief. We’re just hoping. Or rather, everyone else is hoping for me because I’m currently still frustrated and hurting.

A few weeks later will be the big surgeries. A “pace maker for my nervous system” (aka a spinal cord stimulator) is being implanted to replace the pain in my legs with a more tolerable and less painful sensation. It’s a two part procedure that is meant to last 8 years. This is my big hope. This is my biggest chance.

Enough of my month long sob story, I guess what I’m trying to get at is this: I don’t know what to do with this space now. Some days I’m just too tired (or drugged) to write and edit. Some days there’s nothing to say. I can’t commit to a schedule, and I definitely can’t commit to content. I have no idea what is about to happen with these upcoming surgeries, but what I do know is this:

Writing is often my only outlet, and even the only way I can form words at all. I’ve been encourage to share this journey, and to be honest. I’ve been reminded that there may be one other person out there, or millions, who need to hear my story. Why not tell it as it’s happening, rather than wait for an outcome that may or may not occur?

So here I am. I don’t know how often I’ll be here, or what I’ll have to offer. But I’m here now, and ready for whatever is next.

I hope you’ll stay here with me.

With all the love,


7 Replies to “A Month to Forget”

  1. Ally, my heart hurts for you so much reading about what you’ve been through lately! I really want to encourage you to not feel badly when you can’t stick to a blogging schedule the way you would if you weren’t battling chronic illness. I actually missed two weekends of posts because of much smaller things, a minor flu and a crashed computer, so don’t feel bad, it happens to us all! It’s great that you are sticking with something that’s inspiring to you, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you write in the future. Praying for you during this tough season of surgeries!

  2. Ally, i’m so sorry this month has been so sucky for you! I understand how you feel about having tons of content planned for a month and then not getting to work on it! I had big plans & tons of content planned for my blog this month and then my grandmother’s cancer got really bad and she passed away. We had to make like 4 trips, 400 miles each way to see her & attend the funeral, so I got hardly anything done this month! I hope you feel better soon, let me know if you need any help with anything!

  3. You’re incredible, truly. I’ve just discovered your blog as I am looking into getting and training my own service dog, but you and your story are astounding both in how you’re somehow carrying on and how awful things have been.

    I have gone from at one point posting daily to having a month (or a few) between posts. It is awful to lose that sense of having an outlet and incredibly frustrating, but it’s also ok. All those who follow your blog (myself now included) will still be there when the posts resume their regularity and everywhere else in between.

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