I’ve been in pain (between 1 and 7.5 out of 10) for over 2.5 months now. That’s just this year. Last year I had headaches – crippling, all day every day headaches – for around 5 months. And previously there have been other pain manifestations on yearly basis, give or take.
Now we all get killer headaches or backaches or whatever from time to time and if they drag on for 3 or 5 days we bitch but then the issue resolves and we get on with life.
Then there’s pain that lingers. And this is what I am sitting with again now. And frankly I am sick to frikken death of it. You want to have fun with friends or plan a night out or just get through a day at work without having to worry about how much pain you’ll have to deal with on that day. On any given day. And you just don’t know. So you have a good – great day even when pain is down to a 1 or 2 and you think Yay! I am free!! And plan all kinds of fun outings with friends and by the time the day rolls around you’re on a 6 or 7 and curled in a ball on your bed and making up excuses why you can’t make it because you’re tired of people commenting that you’re sick AGAIN? Or saying that you don’t look sick… or whatever.
So why, you may be wondering, am I in so much pain? Funny enough I often wonder the same thing.
I have a maybe-answer – 6 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (if you don’t know what it is it’s basically like ME (yuppie flu) but with the added bonus of lots of pain all over your body, among other fun symptoms such as forgetfulness, muscle twitches, random pins and needles etc). That first bout lasted around 6 months and the worst thing was the ridiculous exhaustion that wouldn’t let me walk from one end of Long Beach Mall (which is small) to the other without 2 or 3 breaks en route. I felt like a really old women though I was in my early 30s. I was prescribed painkillers and anti-depressants which I never took, and a whole lot of vitamins and other supplements which I did take, and I came through that and went back to normal.
But approximately once a year since then I go through some or other shit (pain, usually, somewhere) which I always put down to a ‘fibro flare’ and I go back on said vitamins and supplements until it passes.
This time I want to know for sure there’s not something else going on though. This time the pain is really, really bad. Even my skin hurts sometimes, just, you know, pulling on my jeans. On really bad days I hurt in both legs, both arms, wrists, hands, fingers and toes. Thankfully those days are not often so I can usually get through the day by stretching, walking (sitting is the worst, so a desk-based job is a killer) and trying to smile. Beer helps (temporarily).
Tomorrow I am seeing the dude (rheumatologist) who initially diagnosed me for the first time since then to check that this is *just* a fibro flare up. I hope so. It’s crap but there are lots of worse things I could have. And if it is, then I will know it will pass.
Meanwhile, if you’re a friend of mine and you think I’m getting boring, or am a party pooper or whatever, try understand that most days I am smiling though quite intense pain (think knives stabbing me repeatedly in my back or muscles being torn apart by unseen hands in my legs) and trying to not show it to you or my son or colleagues. Trying to be a fun girlfriend (you try having sex or even feeling sexy when you hurt all over) or a great to be around Mom. And it takes a lot of work. It’s exhausting.
Please, don’t tell me I need to just work out more (I am DYING for a good long run along the beach) Or to snap out of it. Or focus on something else. I don’t want your advice, or your sympathy.
And no, I don’t want to talk about it.