Learning to live with limitations

posted in: Blog, Face Pain | 2

I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve been unwell, I live with pain and sometimes you just have to accept that things are just as they are supposed to be.


This year has been a rollercoaster for me. Battling my demons, taking on my body and fighting between duty and self respect.


I’m not here to share my struggles or my achievements with you, I’m here to let you know, even as you sit reading this, feeling scared or assured in yourself, anxious or calm, in pain or pain free, stressed or relaxed, tired or rested, lost or empowered, weak or strong, ashamed or proud, sad or happy, hopefully or hopeless that every moment you are living… you are doing just that. Living! You are awesome! You (your body) and your mind are doing several million processes all at once; breathing, smelling, sitting/ laying, standing, holding a phone, tablet or sitting with a laptop or computer, reading, seeing, holding your head up, healing, digesting, your heart is pumping oxygenated blood around your body. And a whole host of other processes!  You are just awesome! Yes your body might be in pain, or behaving in a distressing way or not working at a optimal level, but you are here, reading this, possibly searching the internet for answers, learning, connecting, communicating, influencing. You are here and you are doing the best you can.


What has 2017 taught me?


If I were to summaries what this year has brought me, I would summarise it as a sense of oneness and a little bit of acceptance. Not fully, but a little.


My limitations may always be there, but my body is amazing and I need to be thankful for that. The immense pain, the stress, the exhaustion, it’s me and that’s ok. It may have taken me 7 years longer than it should have but, I respect my body and what I do every day just to get through. Thinking back to just a few short years ago when I couldn’t even hold my “fat head” up for more than an hour, or stand in a queue for longer than 2 minutes or walk from my house to my car or get dressed unaided. Heck there was a time when my mother had to hold my phone up (because it was too heavy) just so I could text my friend’s and family. I should feel proud of that and not be ashamed. Sometimes things regress in life, you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Where one day after the other is just a cycle of pain, medication and a pure struggle to just get comfortable or sleep. But there will be moments (be them seconds, minutes, hours or days) where you will do something different. You’ll open your mouth a little wider, you’ll try a chip or a piece of bread, long term pain sufferers, you’ll take one less pill or get yourself out of bed, or call a friend. All while, breathing, pumping blood, thinking, planning, moving. How amazing!


Never belittle your achievements and please try not to compare yourself to others. You are special and amazing and you need to look after yourself.


I know things aren’t perfect, but where possible eat and drink well, open the curtains and the windows and get some fresh air, go for a little walk (if possible), surround yourself with glorious fragrances and beautiful images, quotes or photos, drink water, moisturise your skin (even if it’s just your hands), do your nails, or go any get them down, take a shower or bath, meditate, be proactive. Enjoy the small things in life and be kind to your body.


Lessons Learned


A few weeks ago I worked myself into a horrible bout of illness. I was sitting on the bathroom floor, in tears at 3am, bladder on fire (girls you know), kidneys in agony, vomiting, shaking, sipping water waiting for the antibiotics and pain meds to kicked in. I crawled from the bathroom to the bedroom, picked up my blue bunny (the one my nanny bought me and my favourite pillow), my phone and a lighter. I literally crawled back into the bathroom, lit the candles by my bath, turned off the light, sat on the floor, put on some soothing meditation on by Louise Hay and cuddled my teddy. I stayed there for some time, waiting for the meds to kick in and trusted everything was ok and I could trust my body to let me know what to do. I made a decision right there and then, enough was enough, I had to put myself first. Running my own business and working 60 hour work weeks was not sustainable. And what was I achieving. I had no quality of life, no friendships, relationships, hobbies, or self care, it had been months since I went for a massage, saw a psychologist or eaten properly. What was I doing to myself?


I was so scared of work drying up, letting my clients down, or worse letting myself and my family down that I was on the treadmill. I need to be able to pay my bills and I was scared that if I did get off that treadmill, I wouldn’t be able to get back on. I thought a few hours off a week will work ok, my body had other ideas. I was enduring the face and neck pain daily, pumping myself with pills and Sumitryptan nasal sprays. I started amitryptline again, dulling down my nerves and sending me to sleep every night. But now, I sat on my bathroom floor helpless and out of control. The only way things were going to get better was by partnering back up with my body and working as a team. I couldn’t keep mistreating it and not listening to it. After all it’s the only body I’ll ever have.


I’m back on the road to recovery now, eating better, working less, drinking more water, topping up with vitamin rich foods and supplements, signed back up with a psychologist, go for a massage every 2 weeks and I’m starting with a personal trainer on Wednesday doing 30 minute sessions per week.


So what I’m trying to say here is, whether you are recovering from jaw surgery, dealing with pain or just not treating yourself right. Acceptance of the current state of things and putting yourself and your mind and body first is so important. Trust me you deserve it. Be patient with yourself. You know you are doing a bloody great job!


This marks the start of a new phase in my life and I am looking forward to getting back to you all and my blog. I have several blog post ideas lined up and I am excited to get writing again.


Speak really soon!

I am back!


Steffie x.x.x

2 Responses

  1. Linnzi

    This all sounds so familiar… it’s hard not to feel complexly alone sometimes. I follow Louis Hays work as well, it gives me hope. When you were having the heavy head problems and not being able to stand or sit for long was that before the surgery or after surgery? I haven’t had surgery yet I’m actually sitting at the orthodontist waiting to get braces put on as I’m typing this… I’ve dealt with my crooked jaw/face for 32 years and been through braces before only to chicken out of getting surgery since it wasn’t causing many problems back then. I have numb arms, hands and my trigeninal nerve is irritated in my face and my jaw joint on the left side is on fire. Doctors here can’t figure me out but I think it all relates to my jaw. Please tell me it gets better after surgery? Thank you for sharing! Best to you!

    • Stefanie Grant

      The pain started a year and half before surgery. Started off as a head and face pain and just increased in severity and never went away. I was put on heavy pain meds and muscle relaxants. I became really weak after that. When I had the surgery I woke up and wasn’t able to lift my head or lift my arms and that was when it got really bad. I was a weird case for the neurologists, orthodontists and MaxFac surgeons too. I do not regret getting surgery. It has been a log recovery. I am still recovering. But the pain is less now than before surgery. Before surgery it was criplling pain 24/7 no let up. Now I have pain 24/7 but it varies from a 3/4 standard to a 7/8 when its bad. Before surgery it was 10 every minute of the day. The surgeons all warned and said the surgery could have made my pain worse. I couldn’t contemplate pain being any worse than it already was. So I went for surgery. I have a few jaw friends who have put off surgery a few times. It is a really big and scary decision. Always around if you have any questions. May take a while to get back to you… with work and pain, but I will get back to you 🙂

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