So, I’m not ever sure what round I’m in anymore but, I was knocked down again. Hard.

I should know better by now but, I was almost starting to convince myself that I was “better”. My last surgery was in October. I took it easy for a reasonable amount of time. I have been eating good, exercising, trying to stay relatively stress free. I dared to hope that my life could finally, after all of these long nine years, get back to some kind of normalcy.

Until Wednesday, May 4, 2011. That is when, I was told by the fates once again, that I should never start to feel safe, that I should never take just living my life without fear and trepidation for granted.

I went to work that morning and started to feel funny around lunch time. It’s almost like I’m there but, not there. It’s like I am floating somewhere outside of my body. Nothing hurts – yet. Then, here we go; am I being paranoid? Is my mind, with its post traumatic stress, playing tricks on me? Am I just a little run down? When you have continual health issues, these are the kinds of things that can make you crazy. You lose the barometer on what is just a small, insignificant “normal issue and what can be an issue that can potentially kill you.

I leave work early, rest for a bit and then, do what I have to. I pick up one kid from school, one from the bus stop. I make lunches, help with homework, sign tests, referee Xbox battles. Finally, I tell the kids I am going to lie down and promptly fall asleep.

I am awakened an hour or so later by my husband, with his hand on my forehead. He immediately takes my temperature, as I am burning up. It’s high. Almost 103 degrees. We start with the Motrin/Tylenol combination. Al checks my back and there it is, the telltale blotches that taunt me.. They are red, they are hot, they are the infection, rearing it’s ugly head once again.

I am devastated. I am beside myself. All I can do is start the elephant antibiotics I have to keep in the house, cry and pray.

I head to the doctor the next morning. I am told what I already know; that it is the recurrent infection, that there is no way to know what brought it on (an open cut, being run down, on the verge of getting sick, too much exercise – it’s anyone’s guess). I was given two separate antibiotics to alternate and a narcotic for the pain, which has now become excruciating. I am sent home to REST.

I am so tired – I don’t want to REST. I want to work, go to eat with girlfriends, make dinner, get my nails done, go to the gym, play with my kids, walk my dog. I want to LIVE, not just exist.

I turn to my trusty Facebook, which is where I can reach, in one fell swoop, about 95% of the people I love. I ask for prayers, I vent my frustration.

One antibiotic gives me a constant, dull and throbbing headache. The other gives me stomach pains and cramps. The fever makes me feel weepy and whiny and sad. I don’t understand why. I really don’t.

I am good, though. I get up to get the kids off to school every day but, then, once they are gone I do rest.  I watch TV, I read, I sleep. After a couple of days, I check my Facebook and my spirits are lifted by my wonderful family and friends;  their prayers, encouragements, words of love.  Xs and Os.  I also get cards, phone calls, beautiful flowers, a “friend ornament and loving e-mails and texts. My best friend calls me every single day and makes me smile. It is this outpouring of love that sees me through these dark times.

My fever finally broke after eleven days and I started to feel like myself again. I went to my follow-up appointments, had my blood drawn, finished my medications and went back to work.

I guess my point is, my mind was at some pretty dark places during those two weeks. I railed at God, I cried, I felt pretty hopeless and dejected.

It was the power of all of the love that I received that helped me get through. So, lean on your family and friends. Let people know that you are hurting. Let them know you need help, even if it’s just a Starbucks coffee or a quick phone call.

And, most of all, I’ll say it again. No matter how bleak things seem, you can get through it. My mental outlook now is completely different than it was just two weeks ago, when I was lying in that bed with that fever and pain. Even in the worst of times, when it seems like things will never be ok again, remember this – they will. You will laugh again, you will feel joy, you will bring happiness to others.

It’s such a cliché but, bears repeating; “it’s not over until it’s over”.

So, before the final 10 count, I got my ass up to fight another round.

So can you.