It has been a really weird month as I look back on it. Although it went by quickly, I realize I have spent most of this month trying to ignore my level 9/10 chronic pain, as I look back at what I have accomplished and how little I have actually done.
It is really strange adjusting to my life for the past 12 years living with chronic pain. The last five years without pain medication, which, although it did help to a small degree, I feel so much better without all those chemicals inside me.
Having to pick and choose what I can do, when there never was a question of my ability in the past, free to do whatever I wanted, the limitless energy I seemed to posses, replaced instead with not being able to commit to things I otherwise would have readily done!
It comes in spurts, the high pain levels, having constant level 5/6 pain is my normal, and due to my defense mechanism, usually easy to distract myself from. The past two weeks however, it has been much higher all of the time, with my little tricks not working so well for me. My neck and back are toast and sleeping has been hit or miss, and restful sleep is non existent.
I guess I am fortunate, not to be worse off. I can tell you however, that I am looking so forward to meeting my new doctor in July. Getting myself checked out and maybe on a better path, with hope picking up some new tools and tips to manage my pain better without medication ~ fingers crossed ~ because I really do not want to go back down that road.
My adventure with my friend Lisa on Friday was a huge distraction. While it did nothing positive for my pain, it was nice to be in another state around people I have never met, listening to a band I had never heard and dancing and laughing and having a good time!
When you have chronic, constant pain, you have to pick and choose what is worth increasing your pain for. Even the simplest tasks can increase pain and leave me laid up for a minimum of three days! I really do not like this change in my abilities and would rather like it to just go away and leave me alone, but we all know that that is not going to happen!
I was lucky, when I lived in New Ashford, I got to barter with an acupuncturist from Williamstown. Let me tell you, after one visit with Beth, the next day I could actually feel hot water on my back, neck and front. If you have ever had the experience of not being able to feel heat (unless it was scalding hot) or experienced nerve damage, it is quite a trip! After 5 or 6 years of not feeling those sensations you could not imagine the complete joy of not having to burn your skin to feel hot water.
Even though I have lost a cup and a plate, and almost dropped a mostly empty box of food over the past three days, had a weight limit of 5lbs you are supposed to adhere to after 30 years of no limitations you have not been challenged! Not one to cry over spilt milk, things dropping without warning, falling to the ground from a stand still position, and while it can be frustrating as hell, I am thankful that my spirits and attitude have been fairly high most of the time.
Since I did not choose to get in two accidents within four months of each other (not my fault), it is frustrating! I had finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life and was looking at a promotion to lead room manager when the first one hit, which really sucked!
I have been on a mission to learn to adjust, fit in, figure out what I am able to do and not beat myself up over the things which I am no longer able to do. As my first pain counselor said, this could be a blessing in disguise, a time to work on me, and that is what I have been wholeheartedly doing since 2001.
It has not been easy, but it is my journey. Thanks for joining me!