Suck a rock? You may be thinking, “What is this lady talking about?” It literally means “to suck a rock”. I read somewhere that Native Americas said that a person could run 100 miles without water by sucking a rock but that is not where I got this phrase from. When I married my husband, Jason, 20 years ago, his family would often say “suck a rock”. For their family, it originated many years ago with hikes in the California mountains. Jason’s grandfather, Grandpa McConnell, would tell his four children when they got thirsty to “suck a rock and you won’t feel so thirsty.” Grandpa McConnell, being a well-read man, may have got this from a Native American info guide but most likely it was from his camping background or as a leader of “Indian Guides” (which is like the Boy Scouts we have today). Well, the McConnell kids (my mother-in-law and her 3 siblings) are somewhat of the joking type and began to apply it to everything as a joke putting it to mean “get over it”! You have 5 hours of work left...suck a rock. You didn’t get any sleep last night…suck a rock. It may sound insensitive but to me it is a reminder to not take life so seriously and when it gets hard (which we all know it does) never give up.
When I decided that I would start writing this blog (my mother-in-law kept persisting) I spent an entire month trying to come up with a name. You’ll see, if you continue to read my blog, this is not that slow for me! I finally enlisted my family and the first thing my brother-in-law, Chris, came up with was, “suck a rock”. Of course! Why didn’t I think of that??? It fits my life perfectly. I, like most people, have had some “rocky” (figured I would stick to a theme) spots in my life. One of those rocky spots turned into an avalanche… I woke up one morning and my life had changed forever. Only I had no clue. During college, I started having hip and leg pain. Not thinking much of it, I went to the doctor and he adjusted me as if I had a chiropractic issue. Pain continued and spread and five years later I went to another doctor and he diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. Finally, a reason! But really just the beginning to doctors dismissing me, medication making me sick and a total lack of motivation to live my life. Fast forward, 15 years and I decided to do something different and went to a functional medicine doctor. He spent time with me and wanted to figure out what was going on. After actually listening to me, he realized that I had spent a lot of time back east with my family and asked “Have you been tested for Lyme Disease?” My reply, “I have no clue. I can’t even remember to put underwear on in the morning.” I am a Colorado native so I continued with, “What is Lyme Disease?” Anyway, after a simple blood test I discovered that I had Lyme Disease and over the past 20 years it was having a good time destroying my nerves, my organs, my muscles and most of my life. I began treatment and ended up with double pneumonia. My immune system just couldn’t handle the treatment or the die off of the Lyme and associated bacteria. I couldn’t sweat or go to the bathroom so how in the heck was I going to get rid of the toxins that riddled my body. After $10,000 and several months of isolation, we were no closer to me feeling better. I had given up and knew that our time, energy and pocketbook couldn’t handle anymore. Several months later, my parents offered to pay for treatment with a doctor in Wisconsin that was having good results. I agreed, after much hesitation. He “cured” the Lyme! Some of the associated bacteria is still floating around in me and I continue to fight it but the truth is I will never be that healthy, vibrant, “Type A”, 20-year old that contracted Lyme and actually I will never be a 40 something (my actual age), as I don’t walk well, and my body is riddled with pain, arthritis, extreme fatigue, sensitives to everything and neurological stuff that just “ticks” me off. I am still a “Type A” and this blog is my attempt to come to terms with my disabilities, my inadequacies and my utter hope for healing or for being okay with me (not just because my mother-in-law thought it would be a good idea). This blog is my steps for survival in a world I never asked for or never even dreamed could be my existence. I’m not bitter, I’m sucking a rock!
By the way, I guess it actually works, sucking a rock that is. By putting the rock in your mouth it creates saliva taking away the immediate need for water. I don’t think I will be sucking any rocks literally anytime soon but I will continue to try and do the proverbially “suck a rock” as long as I can.