I cannot

I do not know how much longer I can deal with this. I have tried everything I can think of physically, mentally, and spiritually to cope with what is happening with me and my chronic pain. And I cannot. I simply cannot.

I think it is the headache that is starting to break me down. This headache that I have had for over two years. That rears its ugly head every so often to let me know it means business. This pain that will not go away no matter what I do.

I am struggling. And my suffering may just be too much to bear.

 

 

 

<Emma>

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Hiatus

SO, my friends, it has been awhile.

I have been having some ups and downs lately. Not sleeping. It is effecting my mood and my overall desire to do anything. I just feel like I am drifting away. I am just floating in free space.

I get discouraged because I don’t see improvement in my condition. No one knows why I am in so much pain. I am simply treating symptoms without being able to touch the cause. My life is a series of bandaids on a wound requiring stitches.

 

Where do I go from here?

 

<Emma>

Sick and Tired

I am sick and tired, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. It’s generally not ideal to feel like walking death in some unbearable form or fashion. Remaining positive proves difficult when you just keep getting knocked down by the mega punch of bad health every 5 minutes. This crap is ridiculous. “Just hang in there” they say, “things will get better” they say, “you’ll catch a break soon” they say! Well excuse me for being ungrateful and impatient but I think a plethora of years is long enough to wait to feel “normal” for 24 mother f’ing hours. How am I supposed to remain positive when every small accomplishment (which I try to revel in) is met by a greater set back that crushes my spirits like a young child finding out Santa isn’t real. No one wants to be told that what they thought was good doesn’t really exist.

I am sick and tired of being too sick and too tired to keep plans and always having to be the one that cancels or changes or sucks it up for the good of the team. I am sick and tired of people saying to me “I just wish the doctors could figure out what’s wrong with you.” DOCTORS DON’T KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME and they are half the reason I feel so shitty now anyways. They throw medicine at all my symptoms hoping to make it stop when in fact they are now causing permanent new symptoms. And I’m sick and tired of everyone’s pretentious pity parties for me feeling ill and incurable and not wanting to hid it for the day. I am OVER IT, simply over it. Done, put a fork in me, I’m threw.

 

–Natalie–

Find your inspiration

“Toughness has nothing to do with it. This is physical agony, not weakness of character.”
– Jeanna Safer, Ph.D. in “The Will of the Weed” an article from Psychology Today magazine

It took a while for me to digest this quote. It struck me on a very deep, personal level. I have been battling this pain for so long, and for so long I have felt like I should be able to deal with this, I should not let this hurt me so much. When this whole time it has been a physical ailment, not some flaw in me. I have fought so hard to conceal how much pain I am truly in every single day because I think that people will see me as weak if I don’t. I think they will look at me over time and start to say “She is faking it. Her pain isn’t real. She just wants attention.” So I forge on and I say I am okay when I am not. That I can go on when I feel I can’t. That I can handle it when I know I will pay the price for it later.

I pretend it doesn’t hurt in order to maintain relationships. No one wants to spend their time with someone who is in constant agony and consistently has to stop things short in order to maintain the delicate balance of “it doesn’t hurt that bad.”

I pretend because if other people look at me and think I am not in any pain that means it cannot hurt that bad, right?

I pretend because I want to feel normal. Because I don’t want to see the pained face of pity looking back at me anymore.

And I pretend because no one understands. I have felt alone in this journey so many times. I have felt betrayed and abandoned by those I hold dear.

But this quote has given me something that often escapes me, hope. Hope that one day I will be better. That my physical body will find a way to heal itself. And it fortifies the idea that I do not possess a weakness of character, but perhaps even a greatness of character. That this is not the cause or result of some flaw in me. That I am beautiful and I am brave. That I look this pain in the face every day and I say “Give me your best shot. I will not quit.” I do not win this fight every day, but I fight it. There are days when I am down in the dumps and days when I soar. This journey has changed so many things about me. And although I am still in (too much) pain, I think I have been changed for the better.

 

weak v. strong

<Emma>

“Chronic Problems”

I got a report back from the doctor with the results of a recent test I had. On the front page it listed all of my “chronic problems.” Talk about a slap in the face.

  1. Ovarian cyst
  2. Metrorrhagia
  3. Dysmenorrhea
  4. Headache syndromes
  5. Somatic dysfunction of sacroiliac region
  6. Pain disorder associated with psychological factors and general medical condition
  7. Temporomandibular joint-pain dysfunction syndrome
  8. Shoulder joint pain
  9. Upper back pain
  10. Chronic pain
  11. Neck pain
  12. Cervical spondylosis
  13. Occipital neuralgia
  14. Decreased concentrating ability
  15. Myofascial pain syndrome
  16. Numbness of hands
  17. Conditions influencing health status
  18. History of concussion
  19. Vitamin B1 deficiency
  20. Insomnia
  21. Memory lapses or loss
  22. Post-traumatic headache
  23. Postconcussion syndrome
  24. Myalgia and myositis
  25. Somatic dysfunction of cervical region
  26. Sleep disturbances
  27. Psoriasis
  28. Other physical therapy
  29. Nonallopathic lesions of the occipitocervical region
  30. Nonallopathic lesions of the rib cage
  31. Cervicalgia
  32. Hypermetropia
  33. Foot pain
  34. Plantar fasciitis
  35. Pes equinus
  36. Sinusitis

Thirty-six conditions deemed chronic by my doctors. Thirty-six. I would never have guessed a number this high. It is interesting to see it on paper. Just a list going down the entire page.

I am not sure how I really feel about it just yet. I think shock is the best way I can describe it right now.

Below I have described some of the conditions.

<Emma>

me·tror·rha·gia
irregular uterine bleeding especially between menstrual periods

dys·men·or·rhea
painful menstruation

Somatic dysfunction: impaired or altered functions of related components of the somatic (body framework) system. It can include the musculoskeletal, nervous, or lymphatic systems. Physicians use this term commonly in association with soft tissue injuries like strains and strains, but they do differ significantly. Somatic dysfunction occurs from a mechanical restriction first followed by an increase in muscle tone or spasm whereas a sprain or strain would first begin with an injury followed by a mechanical restriction. Somatic dysfunction is a functional impairment

The sacroiliac joint is in the low back where the spine meets the pelvis. Sacroiliac joint pain is discomfort in this area. This pain is a symptom that may come from a number of conditions or diseases.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head.

Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck

Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition in which the occipital nerves — the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord at the base of the neck up through the scalp — are inflamed or injured. Occipital neuralgia can be confused with a migraine, or other types of headache, because the symptoms can be similar. But occipital neuralgia is a distinct disorder that requires an accurate diagnosis to be treated properly.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In myofascial pain syndrome, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body

Myalgia means “muscle pain” and is a symptom of many diseases and disorders.

Myositis refers to any condition causing inflammation in muscles. Weakness, swelling, and pain are the most common myositis symptoms.

There is no exact medical definition of nonallopathic lesions. A lesion is typically defined as a sore or bruise on the skin or under its surface. The term nonallopathic is found all over the Internet, but has no dominant meaning. At best, a cloudy definition may be found, but should not be relied upon as the actual definition of nonallopathic lesions or the term nonallopathic unto itself. It does not appear in any major medical dictionaries or publications, thus the reason no exact definition can be found.
Above it the best I could find in my brief internet search….comforting, isn’t it?

Cervicalgia is neck pain that occurs toward the rear or the side of the cervical vertebrae. It generally is felt as discomfort or a sharp pain in the upper back, neck or shoulders.

Equinus is a condition in which the upward bending motion of the ankle joint is limited. Someone with equinus lacks the flexibility to bring the top of the foot toward the front of the leg.

Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses.