It has been a while since I have exercised the discipline of blogging and sharing this journey we are on. My blog at is on a platform that no longer allows an iPhone app for convenience and has a new program I need a degree in something techy to understand.  So here goes the transfer to this site for blogging; The Soldier and the Squirrel was born from my health challenge, so essentially they're related! 

I started blogging because I found it therapeutic for to process everything but also because when I was first injured and boarded this roller coaster it helped me tremendously to find videos and blogs written by others going through a similar challenge. It is my hope to begin blogging again soon.

It has been five years since my incident that started it all. But this month, one of the most difficult and painful periods I have ever experienced in my life, I have been diagnosed with Arachnoiditis complicated by CRPS. I don't quite know how to explain it except that it is the inflammation of the nerve bundles within the spinal column Dura or outer lining of the canal then scar tissue forms among these nerves and bond them together resulting in excruciating pain such as hot ice and butcher knives filling your pelvic region and running down and throughout your legs and out your feet while being pressed to the limits in a vice. This is complicated by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome essentially resulting in pain on the level as if you were giving birth to a child through the lumbar spine. 

The good news is we do have an answer, the bad news is now we know what the diagnoses is. 
Arachnoiditis is a neurological disease. In looking it up there's not much good you can say about it or the repercussions of it, but in an odd fleeting way it is comforting simply having an answer no matter what it is. However, with this condition, flares can last from a few days to months. This current flare I am currently at week 5. I want to cry and kick and scream one day, and then thank God for all of my blessings and my beautiful life the next. This is the roller coaster. Yet it is not a roller coaster that I take alone. I would not change my husband and my babies and my parents and my brother and my extended family and my beautiful friends for anything in this world. But a girl can dream that they could somehow take a path where they could be free of this anchor of mine that so often pulls them underwater with me. However, isn't this also what life is about? Our lives move along at a steady pace with joy and laughter and freedom for lengths of time and we look at others who seem to be facing an unbearable challenge and say "There but for the grace of God go I". Until it is you. It is you that others walk by and say There but for the grace of God go I. And yet in my own mind I may say the same thing. About others. Because for all the pressures myself and my loved ones endure, in many ways I would not change it for anything in the world. Because of this challenge and this journey my family has grown so much spiritually and emotionally and there is no way that could have occurred without being placed on this roller coaster with his ups and downs and loops and rolls. I look at my relationships with my children and my husband and my parents and my friends and I see a depth I could never have known had this not happened to me, to us. I look at others who look down on me as I roll by and and feel their glance and sense them wondering what happened.  It is taking time for me to feel secure in who I am in this chair with my dog and shoes that never soil. I may only have a good day once a week or in present state once a month. But those are such precious days when a clarity flows throughout my mind. It is on those days I can see all that is good and right and beautiful in my life and it is those days that carry me through the dark ones. These good days I think about the fact I never have to worry about panty lines. I can wear high heels anytime I want and my shoes always look new. I have toilet stalls big enough to party in and parking spaces I use to drool over. I have Blue Belle by my side to break the ice and make children stop to share a moment with us. I am able to speak to schools whose children go home and share with their parents which gives me a sense of hope. Every moment with my children is bliss and my husband is my rock and my safest place to be. Life is no longer about disciplined diets and clean your room. It is about loving as hard as you can love to simply make it through another day. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a mom and order them around, but the battles I pick are from a place of love and guidance whereas before life seemed a chronic manic phase of trying to do everything right and winning a race with a blindfold on waiting to reach the finish line and feel that tape across my chest. What no one told me is there is no finish line we will ever reach to be able to touch and tear. That there is one, is only a myth. The only one that exists is on the other side of life and only a glimpse of that can be seen when the life you knew is gone and in its absence is the seed of a vine planted by a challenge, no matter what shape that challenge may be. And during the growth of this vine you are able see but for a moment what no one else can see because life is simply too large, a land where peace exists because all life used to be is now a mist. It is time now, when this vine is still searching to plant its roots, to remember all that is right and blessed in my life and it is this that will pull us through the ups and the down, twists and turns a vine itself chooses to make. If you ever pull a vine's roots off a wall that stem of the vine will wilt. But if I love that vine and gently guide it as it reaches into the light, it just might take root and perhaps even the most beautiful of flowers might bloom. A flower I may have never noticed before. But now I do. 

Arachnoiditis (courtesy of Wikipedia) is an inflammatory condition of the arachnoid mater or 'arachnoid', one of the membranes known as meninges that surround and protect the nerves of the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. The arachnoid can become inflamed because of adverse reactions to chemicals, infection from bacteria or viruses, as the result of direct injury to the spine, chronic compression of spinal nerves, complications from spinal surgery or other invasive spinal procedures, or the accidental intrathecal injection of steroids intended for the epidural space.[1][2] Inflammation can sometimes lead to the formation of scar tissue and adhesion that can make the spinal nerves "stick" together,[3] a condition where such tissue develops in and between the leptomeninges.[4] The condition can be extremely painful, especially when progressing to adhesive arachnoiditis. Another form of the condition is arachnoiditis ossificans, in which the arachnoid becomes ossified, or turns to bone, and is thought to be a late-stage complication of the adhesive form of arachnoiditis.[5]






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