I have a pretty high threshold for pain. I don’t like taking pills and believe the mind is an incredible machine capable of many things. Working with mentally ill clients, I have seen first-hand what happens when the brain tries to sabotage the body. The line between reality and delusion is blurred and people will put themselves through hell in an attempt to have everyone else see their reality.
I have faith in my own mind to keep the ship on course. Most of my life I have ascribed to the phrase “mind over matter” and “your body gives up before your mind will.”
So when a couple of weeks ago when my joints started giving me trouble I leaned into the pain. I don’t avoid it, I allow my body to experience the pain, then work on a treatment plan for how to address the pain. Yoga? Diet change? Exercise? More sleep? Less sleep? More water? The list goes on.
I allowed the pain to seep into my hips, sacrum, knees, and ankles. The pressure building each day. But none of my typical mind games seemed to quell the pain. So I gave in and started taking my pain pill. I really hate how I feel when I’m taking them. My mind feels like it’s going in slow motion, so I end up trying to fight the effect because I hate the feeling of losing control.
In the past, when I get to the point of accepting I need pharmaceutical assistance, I don’t require much assistance in getting the pain under control. I’ll take the minimum dose, just to help support my wonderful brain and body to get on the same page. I utilize the pain medication as a supplement for my brain. Get the pain to a manageable point and then let the brain slowly tackle the beast.
But all good things must end. It’s been about 3 weeks since this pain started. I tried at first to control it mentally, but the pain was unrelenting. I couldn’t focus on anything, and I loss all appetite and had major concentration disruptions. Not to mention the rash and headache you get from taking the pain pills.
So I gave in and started with very small dose at night. Well after being woken up from the pain for several nights I moved up to start taking the meds on a schedule. Usually routine is what my body seeks. I get onto a routine and my body makes the required adjustments, then I can stop taking the pain pills.
But my body remains in chaos. Even taking a variety of pills to combat this pain, it is unrelenting. Sleep is almost impossible. My legs, feet, and back feel like they are having the life squeezed out of them. The pain pills make me feel like I’m dreaming or I hear myself taking, but it doesn’t feel like I’m talking. They also don’t take away the pain. I am still in pain, I’m just high and in pain. I feel mentally trapped, and I already don’t like driving, but don’t feel comfortable taking my pills and driving, so then I feel physically trapped.
The really odd thing is this isn’t the worst pain I’ve felt. And body pain is the choice I would make if given your choice of side effects from medications. This is pain is simply unrelenting. At least with the vomiting you get about 30 seconds of relief. But this is a charley horse that has yet to release. I imagine this is the same principal of Chinese water-torture, just dips of water on your forehead for days and days; until your driven out of your mind.
I cannot sit, stand, walk, ride in a car, take a shower, or ride my bike without pain running down the backs of both of my legs, into my feet, back to my knees, then running up and down my spine.
So now, I’m at a loss. I’ve tried everything I can think of to get the pain to let up. It’s psychologically draining to be constantly be in a pain that won’t let up, and feeling out of control from the pain medications, and being drowsy from the nausea medications. Medications for medications, for medications. This is a new thing for me, not being able to manage this on my own. Feeling completely worthless at home and at work.
On the bright side! I had my CT scan of my abdomen, pelvis, and chest. Everything looks “great” according to my doctor. Which is great news, but the real question will be my brain MRI next Tuesday. But we are confident they will be clear. Since I’m having so many issues with side effects, we’ve decided it would be really shitty if my brain is still housing any little bastards. So remaining positive and looking forward to going to Denver for Cancer Con (please share with as many people as you can, our fundraising page). This will be the first flight Dennis has been on in almost 2 years. So A LOT to look forward to, but really we cannot do this without your help!
And as always, I cannot thank you all for your continued support and positive vibes. We are overflowing with appreciation so thank you!