Chronic Pain Chronicles

Rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 with these really cheesy, not very helpful faces.

 For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived with chronic pain. I don’t know what it’s like to live a day without pain. It’s so far out of my grasp that I cannot even envision it, I don’t remotely know what it would look like. I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia last fall, but I’ve had the signs pointing to it for years. Interestingly enough, emotional trauma can cause fibro and I can’t help but wonder if my childhood played a role in my development of the disorder.

It’s hard. Some days, just a simple chore like doing the dishes takes everything out of me, and then the trash still leans against the door to be taken out, the clutter spreads over the floor, and I flop in bed with a n64 controller or a TV remote. It’s hard. Some days just crawling out of bed to do a chore as simple as get a glass of water takes every ounce of effort I have.

It gets downright soul-crushing at times to know that all your friends are out having fun and living their lives, yet you are curled up in pain. Your life is on your computer, because being in the real world and interacting with people is far too painful. You ache and you hurt and it’s to the point where you just plead with the doctors for a relief from the pain.
What sucks? The relief for my pain is out there. But my insurance refuses to cover it. Living in pain and knowing there are drugs out there to help but you cannot afford them is a real kick in the spirit. I try to keep upbeat and positive about the struggle, hoping maybe this treatment will help, maybe this drug will help. But I’m not Molly Clock from Scrubs, I can’t keep rolling with the punches and keep upbeat and happy. 
It takes such a toll on my spirit. And it makes me hurt inside as well as out. I am sick and tired of being 24, and living in chronic pain. I’m sick of it. And I just want relief from it. I don’t care if it’s a drug, a treatment, a surgery. I don’t care what it is anymore – I just want to live pain free for once. Some days I think just one, just one pain free day, completely pain free, would be enough. Just so I know what it’s like. Just so I get a taste of what it could possibly feel like to not live like this.
I’d be happy to get the pain down to a tolerable level. I even told my doctor I’ve given up hope of ever being completely pain free.
But oh, how I wish it were possible. 

And she fools all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong but she still sleeps with the light on

My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end has no end
A downward of  spiral of dispair
That I keep falling in 
I need you how, how I need you 
Your silence is like death to me,
so won’t you hear my desperate plea?
-I Need You, The Swift

It’s hard some days to get myself out of bed. My alarm goes off, a few swear words slip past my lips, a stuffed animal may fly across the room. I’m not a morning person by nature, never have been. But when you’re trapped in depression, when your greatest enemy is that reflection in the mirror, sometimes hauling yourself out of bed is one of the most difficult things of the day.

I suppose I make it sound like I’m drowning in depression. Some days I am. Some days I wonder why I get out of bed when I’ve barely slept the night before and daytime is the only time I’m able to actually sleep. When I’m running on two to three hours a sleep a night, and a couple hour nap during the day. Why I bother even trying to hope, trying to dream, when it seems like my hopes and dreams and wishes will just be crushed. It’s hard.

Living with depression is like fighting a monster every morning. My days and nights are reversed. I just want solace – just some relief from all the pain I’m trapped in. It feels like just doing simple things – hanging out with friends, eating, hauling my butt out of bed, doing the laundry, drain all the effort and energy out of me and I’m left alone with my thoughts.

All I want to do is be free from this demon I battle. I want to be truly happy again, and not a person that I want to hide from. But I don’t know how. I don’t know how to open up about the past and allow people – friends, therapists, pastors, et al, help me. I don’t know how to let people understand and even begin to give me a chance to have hope again.

For as much as I want to hope, dream, laugh, love, and carry on with my life, it scares the everliving shit out of me. All I’ve known for over a decade is depression. All I’ve known is bleakness. All I’ve known is living in fear and terror. And as exhilarating and thrilling the other side might be – it’s completely unknown. It’s something I’ve never felt before. What if it’s too much? What if I don’t like it? What if I taste the other side, and I don’t like it at all? What if it hurts? What if I get a sampling of it, and I wind up falling back into depression? Would the relapse be that much worse because I’ve tasted the other side? Or would it be better once I pull out of the funk again, because I know what the other side is like? 

I get sick of trying various antidepressants. I get sick of feeling like this – I don’t WANT to be like this! But how do I attempt something I’ve never tried, how do I try something I just don’t know? How do I even attempt to spread my wings and fly, when every time I’ve tried to fly I’ve fallen?

Depression sucks. I’ll leave you with Adventures in Depression because that sums it up better than I ever could.

Just take eveything down to highway 61

I hate how my theology class is taking over my blog! So, I’m taking a break from that to do some REAL blog writing. After all, we know I love to write. And babble. And ramble. But that’s okay, because that’s me, and who I am, right?

My friend and I went up north for the weekend. And I realize how much I fully LOVE nature! I love it I love it I love it. I mean, it’s hard for me because it’s hard to get around, but gosh, I love it. I loved walking around the outside of split rock light house. I loved walking around and seeing Lake Superior. I LOVE BEING OUTSIDE. I love nature. Even though I hate the cold, I love the feeling of the wind whipping my hair around. Being outside just makes me so HAPPY!

Granted, it’s difficult with crutches. Walking is painful, and my weak leg makes things difficult, as well as my off kilter sense of balance. But it doesn’t make me not enjoy nature any less, it just means I have to enjoy it differently. I can still climb trees with just my arms (I love climbing things!), and I can limp around and enjoy it.

But gosh, nature gives me such a sense of happiness. It doesn’t judge me for being depressed, it doesn’t judge me for not being as physically nimble as other people. It lets me take my own pace (until it gets too bitterly cold for that, but you know what I mean). It makes me HAPPY!

but I can’t have that happiness often, but for those few glimpses I get to grasp of nature,
for those for moments outside,
it’s peace. it’s happiness.
it’s where I’m meant to be.
I’m able to be outside and see lighthouses (I’ve always loved lighthouses) and think of how the same way the light saves the ship, there’s a light shining head for me, that I’m reaching for, yearning for, leaping toward, that’s just waiting for me.

And in that same way… maybe hope, love, grace, joy, peace, all these things I yearn for and dream of are waiting for me.
Waiting to accept me.
Waiting for me to just walk out into them.

Six Week Surgery Update

So I decided to hell with it, and made my blog public again. I like having a public blog, and I figure there’s a report button for a reason, right?

This marks six weeks post op. I look like this these days, as you can see up there. Well, I usually don’t have a random 3 year old with me, but she’s there sometimes. And I chose this picture because you can tell I’m sitting straighter. I did have to get new crutches, because the old ones were way too heavy after surgery and I could barely walk with them.
My insurance still has me listed as a patient at the rehab place, when clearly I’m not, so I’m starting to raise hell. I still live in horrible back pain, and I think my scar might be slightly inflamed but I can’t tell. I find out at my post op on Thursday. And will hopefully find out who whoever medicated me and landed me in the ER on oxygen.
I’m doing two summer classes. I’m finally learning algebra. I’m a little behind, but I took today off because I needed a day off. I’m also doing health, which is proving to be interesting. My life is currently juggling health and school and therapy, which is exciting.
My next update will be a real update for the real purpose of this blog – exploring my faith during a broken time. But I thought a six week post op update would be a good thing so there we have it.