Chronic Illness & Endometriosis Health

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.

chronic-painDoctors 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).

I am determined to share my journey of chronic living, young marriage, being a new lawyer, finding myself, figuring this stuff out… etc with all of you because if I can help even one person who is going through what I have experienced… well, then, God’s plan worked.

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9 Comment

  1. While I don’t have endometriosis, I have a rare syndrome called Nutcracker Syndrome. Also causes chronic pain, and I can relate to some degree about how you feel when you speak about your husband. My pain hurts more with activity and when I see my boyfriend I feel guilty because I almost rely on him to everything for him. He’s also super understanding like your husband is for you, we both seem very fortunate, but it cannot change how we feel at times. I think the best thing we can do is, show our appreciation when we’re feeling our best, and in little ways and tell them how much it means to us. As for doctors, I wrote a blog called Doctors VS Patients…you should check it out. Also explains part of my journey…the continuation of my journey is in a blog called Not Yet Defeated. Keep on writing!

    1. I have not heard of Nutcracker Syndrome. I will check out your post you mentioned and find out a bit more. It is so great to hear that you have a strong support system, even though the guilt does seep through no matter how hard we try not to allow it. Just keep pushing forward and we can follow each other’s journeys!

  2. @leah ,Focus on the things you can control now, even if it’s just what you’re eating on your next meal. Can you see a doctor about pain management? Rheumatologists treat arthritis and joints and such. Ever since my rheumatologist put me on a pain patch (24/7 pain management) my life has improved. I still need pain meds but it has become obvious I have no idea how much pain I’m in until I’m exhausted, cranky as fuck, or flat on my back.

  3. Stay strong, chronic pain can be a real trial. Are you on medication for the pain? If not, see a rheumatologist or a pain management specialist. I am on Tramadol, at the max dose of 8 pills per day. I also take a muscle relaxer twice daily. It does not take away all of the pain, but over time, it has become something I can live with.

  4. I have been diagnosed by a dozen doctors with a dozen different things and had more surgeries (8 or 9 this year alone) than most. Last year I finally went to pain management and I find now that I have to go there monthly and my pain is somewhat dulled I am less fired up about finding a cure for all the things.
    No job, no social life except for the people I encounter doing Mom stuff.

    1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear. It is definitely a struggle and I have gone through periods of giving up – not wanting to know or caring. However, the pain is too strong for me right now to not keep pushing forward. I am glad to hear your pain is somewhat dulled… maybe you could connect on here? I’ve found a lot of support through the chronic pain bloggers and some Facebook groups. Email me (julianeashley at gmail dot com) if you want some sources 🙂

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