Last post I was trying to figure out where acceptance and resignation end and where giving up begins. Many times in life we have a hurt or a challenge and sweep it under the “carpet” and move on as if it isn’t there. In the early stages of PCS I did that as well.
I think the biggest challenge was not being able to fully explain what was taking place in my body and people….doctors even not believing that I was actually in pain. I even started to doubt myself.
I mentioned I’m a Psychologist. I studied Psychopathology and read all about various disorders in DSM IV and now V. On many days I said to myself “you must be a hypochondriac” or “you must have Munchhausen”; you must have something wrong with your head because there certainly is nothing wrong with your body. Then I would answer back “but there is something wrong with your body, you can feel it. No matter what anyone tells you there is something wrong!” Then I would go on for a few more days and do the same thing all over again. then I would say “girl, stop talking to yourself!”
I’ve found that in the midst of the most horrible physical pain the emotional pain becomes more intense. It hurts when I have to constantly say no to my children OR I can’t do that with you now OR I just don’t have the energy; then I see their expressions and it breaks my heart. It hurts to see them crying out of pure frustration with a situation they don’t and can’t understand. Then I begin to cry as well.
It hurts when I look at all the things I can no longer do or am afraid to do because of the anticipated pain. Case in point, for the last few years I participated in several 5 km walks and had decided last year that I was going to run this time around, whatever the race, whatever the route. This decision was made in the 6 “good” months after the first embolization where I thought “wow, this procedure really worked; it’s miraculous!” Well 6 months passed and I started to realize “worked…..not so much”. So since then I have been struggling with exercise. Truth is I love to run, I love the adrenaline rush and the burn. I can still run on the “good” (I use that word extremely loosely) days. I have the capacity to run. Running is not the problem. Its what will happen after. As soon as the levels of adrenaline and endorphins drop in my body the pain sets in. Most days I have 10-15 minutes tops after any physical activity before I’m struggling to walk or “running” for pain meds. Then people will say ” you really need to exercise” OR “you putting on some size though”. I fake smile and keep moving but it cuts me to the core. So I can exercise but the fear of pain cripples me….in more ways than one.
Even when the physical pain is somewhat under control the emotional is ever present. I can sweep it and cover it and pretend not to see it but I know its there under that carpet.
My doctor always says “chronic pain isn’t easy”. Its true because most persons focus on the physical aspect but for whatever reason neglect the emotional.
So what do I do? I cry, I stay away from people, I mope, I wallow and then I go to therapy myself. I go and talk it through with someone who does what I do; knowing full well that for me its not about what they say but just about getting it out, about “speaking my PEACE”
I do the things I like doing when I can. I make memories with my children and I focus on whatever positives I find. Then I start from the top again. It’s an everyday struggle, what works one day doesn’t necessarily work on another. I handle it how I can and that’s enough for today….it has to be; tomorrow will take care of itself….