This blog is supposed to deal, at least partially, with the chronic pain issues that I face regularly. I feel like I’ve touched on it, but only briefly. So here we go!
The idea for this post came to me while I was listening to Linkin Park’s “Numb.” Naturally everyone can and will interpret a song as it suits their situation, but just lately it’s starting to remind me of the whole chronic pain thing (which, by the way, you can find information on in earlier posts or on the links page; information on fibromyalgia is here).
Just like the song says, I’m numb. Some days, it’s all I can do to pay attention to the world around me when I’m sore and my brain is mush and I’d rather be curled up in bed. I’m growing accustomed to feeling tired or poorly rested almost constantly, which drives me crazy, and yet at the same time I’m hyper-aware of whatever’s going on with my body. Am I too warm? Too cold? Is my back starting to seize up and get painful? Is that a headache coming on? It’s endless!
And don’t even get me started on Friday’s fainting episode–people have been asking me all day how I feel, and while I know it’s out of concern, it’s driving me BANANAS. No one in my apartment building knows that I was in the hospital on Friday. I like it that way. If they did know, they’d have been checking up on me all weekend, when all I wanted to do was rest. Which I did. I’m all set to forget it ever happened, and the kids were so great about not asking me anything at placement today that it makes me suspicious that the teacher must have spoken to them. Instead it was staff members asking me questions all day: how was I feeling, had that happened before, did they find out what the cause was…. blargh! I know it was out of concern, and I know they couldn’t ask Friday since I went home and thus they have to ask today. But it drove me batty!
(If you’ll recall this recent post, you’ll already know I’m a bad patient, and my bitching shouldn’t be a surprise.)
At times, I’d almost prefer to have visible symptoms, rather than pain that only I really notice. At least that way, when I need help opening a water bottle or a jar, people would understand why instead of cracking some stupid meant-to-be-a-joke-but-actually-indicative-of-their-jackassery comment. But no. It doesn’t matter if I have a migraine, if my wrists refuse to function, if my legs are refusing to hold my weight, if my back is so sore that anything hurts. I’m sure some people think it’s all in my head, or that I’m just lazy. Or a wimp.
Believe me, I’m not. Let’s see you go about your day when your hands are curled into claws and won’t work. Or when just sitting in a certain type of chair changes your posture and makes your back hurt like hell. Or the days when you’re so exhausted that you feel you’ve earned a medal just for leaving your bed, let alone getting dressed. Life is exciting and exhausting as it is; I don’t need my own body fighting against me on the way through it.
What bothers me most of all, and the heart of this post, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen when I move. I’ll be living directly beneath my boyfriend’s house in a separate basement apartment. Because of the long distance aspect of our relationship, he’s seen me deal with minor aches and pains (I tweeted about it this weekend), but he’s never actually been present while I’m dealing with a bad flare up. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t let any health issues stop him: cold, flu, sprained ankle, he keeps going. And there are days when I feel like I just can’t do that, though I normally would. He lives with three other guys. All of them are your typical country boys who don’t let anything slow them down. If they can’t see the problem, it’s probably not there.
If I’m being honest, I’m worried about what’s going to happen the first time I have a flare-up while I’m there. How it’s going to be dealt with. Will they all be understanding and goofy as they usually are? Or will they join the camp who makes a “joke” that really just reveals how little they know about what I’m dealing with?
I don’t want them to treat me differently. Not a single one of them. I don’t want to be seen as fragile. I just want them to understand–all of them, because one, they’re people who are close to my boyfriend, and two, they’re like big brothers to me. (Very dirty-minded big brothers, but big brothers nonetheless.)
They don’t need to act like I’m going to break. They just need to understand that sometimes, I can’t do all the things I’d like to, and even though they can’t see what I’m feeling, I promise it’s there.
I really hope this worry goes away. Until then….