Warning: These may be the crazy ramblings of someone in severe pain… read on at your own risk 😉
When I was young I remember really hating any kind of pain, actually more like fearing pain. I avoided any activity that might somehow result in pain. Most kids dislike pain, but I can only speak for myself in that I did not react well to it.
I also hated being sick, still do. We all hate getting the flu or a cold. For me it was usually strep throat, as for some reason I was prone to that. I was miserable when I was sick, whiny and needy. I think my husband might say I still am when I get sick like that.
Looking back though I think about how fortunate I was. I’d get sick and then I’d get better. The pain or illness would pass. It never felt like it would at the time during the pain or illness, but it always did and then I could just be me again. I could go back to playing and being a kid.
The pain or illness would pass and then, after a time, you’d forget about it. The memory might be there enough to know you didn’t want to get hurt or sick again, but time would pass and it all seemed foggy and vague.
When you are someone who lives with chronic pain and illness the idea of the pain passing or the illness going away becomes something of a dream. What becomes foggy and vague is the memory or living without pain. And in those rare moments when there is a reprieve you don’t get to play and do your thing because you have to be so careful not to do something to cause yourself pain.
Unlike when I was a child, when avoiding things like falling off my bike or out of a tree were the concerns, I now have to worry about bending wrong, sleeping wrong, lifting something a bit to heavy and that weight can change from day-to-day.
Today for instance I woke, after sleeping for maybe 2 hours, with pain in my shoulder and neck which was causing a terrible migraine. My insurance no longer covers the ONLY medication that has ever seemed to help me and my doctor doesn’t do ‘prior-authorizations’ for anyone, so I’m left to try to live with over the counter meds for now. So I took some Aleve and prayed. It didn’t do much. I put on an over the counter pain patch I’ve found that helps some, again not much relief. I wet a washcloth and heated it in the microwave for my neck…. ahhh how nice, for about 5 minutes anyway, but I’ll take it.
When my husband woke he layed with me and rubbed my neck until I finally managed to fall asleep. That helped, but again I woke with pain so I’m back to trying anything I can to try to alleviate it.
This is not even a ‘bad’ day. This is one of my mid days, I guess you’d call it. I have better on occasion, but there are also much, MUCH, worse.
It’s not every day, some days I can function almost normally with minimal pain, though it is never really non-existent. Some days the pain doesn’t cause migraines, instead it’s nausea. Sometimes I don’t even realize there is pain until my body has a physical reaction to it, like tossing my lunch.
This morning I was laying here crying and trying to watch a movie while I waited for a momentary reprieve in the pain level. I saw a guy get beat up really badly in the film I was watching and thought how lucky he was. He was in excruciating pain and all black and blue as well as bloody, but all I could think was in a few days the pain would pass and in a week or so it would be a faint and foggy memory.
Then I thought about how many times I’ve heard a doctor say their office doesn’t “do” chronic pain patients or they can’t help me because they don’t “do” pain management. They don’t care that I can’t take heavy pain meds because I react badly to them, they simply cannot help me. I wonder how they can live with themselves, why did they become doctors if not to ease suffering. It makes me sick that people have abused ‘pain’ in such a way that those of us to suffer every day can’t get the help they need.
I wonder how the insurance companies justify not covering medications that could help someone even just a little bit, and yet they will cover those heavy duty pain medications that are so much harder on a person’s system.
This doesn’t even begin to describe a day in the life of someone with chronic illness or pain. I couldn’t do that in just one blog post, but it gives a taste or what I was thinking and feeling today. I didn’t share all of my thoughts because honestly some were too dark for me to put words to. More often than not, people with chronic illness will suffer in silence. What they put to words or tears is often only an iota of what is really going on.
So for now I sit here and struggle through. Life is about dealing with massive amounts of pain and trying to live ANYWAY!