Living a Chronic Life
Chronic pain is a fickle thing. It is not always the pain that keeps you down. Sometimes the pain is manageable and it is the fatigue or brain fog that makes the day difficult to power through. You learn how to manage because you have to do it. However, there are lapses when your pain spikes and you find it extremely difficult to get out of bed and even walk out the door. This week is one of those episodes for me. I am now on about day five of this relapse of pain… if it goes into tomorrow, I will be calling for a doctor appointment, as Tylenol and heating pad regime is not cutting it.
My pain level has increased so drastically that I am on the edge of tears at almost every second. I do not know how people do this constantly. I am lucky that my pain is not 100% of the time. The work week was rough – my pain has been so intense at times that I have found it nearly impossible to concentrate.
According to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Health, nearly 50 million Americans adults report significant chronic pain or severe pain.
That is the number of adults so this does not take into account adolescents who have been diagnosed with endometriosis, fibromyalgia or other chronic pain illnesses prior to the age of eighteen – as was I.
Over the last few years, my pain has intensified and has begun to no longer be focused in only my abdominal area. This change in pain intensity and location has caused me to question my original diagnosis. Yes, I do believe I have endometriosis. I had a surgery that showed the tell-tale scar tissue. However, the other symptoms I have been experiencing are so beyond the symptoms of endometriosis that I have been trying to explore an explanation for some time now with no luck.
Doctors either think I am imagining the pain, exaggerating the tremors, being over-sensitive when it comes to the headaches/migraines, and just complaining too much about my leg and arm pains.
Living with someone with chronic pain is probably the worst, too. I mean – I feel like I am always trying to put on a happy face, especially as a newly married woman. My husband has been super supportive of my health issues from day one of our dating life, but I still feel awful when I ruin an evening out because I cannot hide my cringe after a sudden twinge of pain, or double over before I can stop myself and he ends up taking us home to let me rest. He is doing what any good significant other should do… but somehow, I still feel the annoyance creep in every so often. May be I am imaging it. I probably am. I simply hate that my body stops me from enjoying life.
I FEEL TRAPPED INSIDE MY OWN BODY!
Being a lawyer, a wife, an online fitness coach, friend, and chronic pain suffer are a lot of hats to wear. The husband and I are hoping to add mother to the mix sometime in the next year or so, which is another area of concern (not knowing whether it will be something my body will allow me to do easily).