Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chronic pain

One of my best friends, Dayna, has three children with PIDD. They are always on virus watch, they do most things healthy kids do, but they are not done without extra thought and many precautions. All three Bugs take various medications multiple times a day. In addition, Doodle Bug suffers from dibilitating arthritis.

So when I think of my own personal health issues, I think of these guys first and try to remind myself that I have no right to complain.

But today, on day 3 of a migrane, and barely able to walk because of two recent falls, my knees and lower back hurt so bad that I am forced to take steps literally one at a time, I think about myself above anyone else.

This past fall, after a year of MRI's, Xrays and CT scans, and after a year of 2 hour sessions 2-3 times a week with a physical therapist I was finally diagnosed with a chronic pain disorder. I have Fibromyalgia and Arthritis in my knees, hips and shoulders. And I have constant head and neck aches, and frequent migranes.

I live in constant pain.

My muscles hurt to the touch. When my kids or animals climb into my lap and I go through the roof. I lay or sit in one spot for more then a few moments and the points of contact hurt. I sit in one position, or lay in bed in one position for more then a few minutes at a time and my whole body stiffens and aches. I get up from a seated position and walk like I am 80 years old because my knees and hips are locked.

The obvious answer is lose weight and excercise more. Its an issue I have grappled with for a long time. I have recently taken to making some changes. We got a puppy for Christmas. My favorite activity has always been to go for long walks. Now I take him on the mile loop around our neighborhood and I thoroughly enjoy it. But I am left barely able to walk for days after.

So now what? I cant sit. I cant lay down. I cant walk. I have a migrane for days on end. How do I break this endless cycle? Do I go back on medications that add other issues that I cannot stand to deal with so that I can break the cycles of pain? Do I continue to push myself knowing that the ramifications are hard to recover from? How long can I financially afford to spend so much time in PT?

I have medications that I dont like to mention because I dont want people to think I am a narcotic taking, addicted, excuse maker. I dont take those meds unless I am absolutely desperate. Still, knowing that I have them in my possession makes me feel weak. It makes me feel like I could take the easy way out, and rely on meds. But I dont want to. I dont like feeling like I have no control. That is why they sit in the bottles. And yet, I am still not in control.

So now what do I do? As I type this my shoulders are starting to hurt. My arms are burning. My heels feel like the skin is being torn off (because they are resting on the bed), and my hips feel like someone is pulling them out of their sockets.

And I hate it. And I want to cry.

I see other people enjoying life to its fullest. And I want to be like them. I want to set outrageous goals for myself and be able to do them. I want my "excuses" to be because I was lazy, not because I was in too much pain. I want the word "pain" to be something I have after I pushed too hard, not because I stood up. I want to put doctors, and medications an physical therapy in my past and take long walks and want to go further.

I want to be a mom that enjoys playing with her kids because it doesn't hurt.

I want to be a wife that looks forward to sharing in her husbands interests because it doesn't hurt.

I want to not feel like I am always making excuses for why I can't do something.

I want to live life to its fullest, not watch it fly by me.

So the pattern continues. I go to Physical Therapy. I take STS (Sympathetic Nerve Shock Therapy)and I wait. Wait to see if it will ever get better. And I will continue to take the dog for small walks and hope that one day I can make them longer.

And then one day I will come back on here and delete this message because it will no longer be a part of my life.
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