Posted by: Kathy | June 9, 2010

Sometimes I Just Need My Mom

I don’t think I truly realized just how much I depended on my mom for support, comfort, and advice during hard times until a few days ago. Even though I “rejected” her advice many times, she always gave me good, solid advice and I took it without fully admitting that I had done so. She was always there for me. Now I need my mom’s advice. I long for her comfort and support as I struggle to deal with an illness that has been affecting me for over 6 years now. I know I can depend on my husband and dad, and I have some very supportive friends. But sometimes you just need your mom. And right now I need mine more than words can describe.

I live with chronic pain. I have pain in my shoulders, neck, and the back of my head, and I get a lot of headaches. For years, I would have pain flare-ups, but then the pain would go away. About a month before my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer my pain became an everyday thing and now it never really goes away. I’m in pain 24/7, even on pain meds. A little over a year ago, I finally found a doctor who could help me. I also see an anesthesiologist, who identified the cause of my pain as problematic cervical nerves. I have no idea what caused these problems. I wasn’t in a car accident or anything I can think of that would have damaged these nerves. My physical therapist has some ideas, but I don’t completely understand them. The anesthesiologist summed it up nicely when he said that pain patients are very complicated.

Over the past year, I’ve been in the operating room seven times for procedures to not only find the nerves that are causing the pain, but to also try to fix them. Each time I’ve gone to the hospital for a procedure, I wished that my mom could have been there with me. None of these “fixes” have worked and I’m down to my last option, an implanted neurostimulator. Basically, wires would be connected to the problem nerves and a neurostimulator to hopefully “shut down” or lessen the pain. The neurostimulator sends signals through my sensory nerves that would over-ride the pain signals going to my brain. So I will always be in pain, but my brain will be tricked into thinking there’s no pain from the problem nerves. First, I would go through a 5-day trial, where everything would be on the outside of my body. If the trial works, then I go for the real thing. This will be a long and detailed procedure since all of the wires and the neurostimulator would be placed underneath my skin.

To be pain free or in less pain would be wonderful, but the procedure scares me. I’m also scared that if the trial doesn’t work, what happens then. Am I truly out of options and facing a life of continuous pain and narcotic use? I’ve been fortunate in that through all of this I’ve been able to work since I work from home most of the time. But what if the procedure doesn’t work and then one day I can’t work anymore because of the pain? And then there’s my kids. I want to be the best mom I can be for them.

I’ve been crying since I left the doctor’s office on Monday. I have DVDs to look at and research to do before this procedure will be scheduled. I’ve talked with my husband, my dad, and several friends about it, but just a little. There are so many thoughts and questions running around in my head, so many emotions. But the strongest emotion I feel right now is the need to see and talk to my mom about this. I need her support, her comfort, and her advice. I just plain need her. It’s a longing that runs very deep, and I keep praying to God that somehow she can be with me, for just a little while.

My mom was the person we all looked to for so many things. and she took care of everything that had to do with her family. I never realized how much I looked to my mom for guidance or for help until now. I depended on her so much more than I ever realized. The sense of loss I feel is only deepened by the fact that I still need her. And right now I really wish she could be here with me to talk to. I have a lot of thinking to do and I know I will get through this with the love and support from my husband, my dad, and my friends. And I know my mom will always be with me in spirit. I just wish she could be here for real. I need you, Mom.



  1. Hi again Kathy,
    I’d bookmarked your blog on the anniversary of my Mom’s death, and just came back to see if you’d written anything new. I’m so very sorry for all your pain and difficulties. I hope your angel Mom will wrap her arms around you.
    Good luck with everything you’re facing.

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