Exhaustion……

Exhaustion…

“Exhaustion without reward is torture.”―Kerlynne Ferrer

*The “reward” is having a tiny little kitten curl into my side each night or whenever I’m in pain and need to lay down, who just lays down beside me purring. The “exhaustion” is chasing her around the house (I never realized how much room this actually is for someone under three pounds!) trying to keep her out of trouble because she’s about half the size as her photo showed. I strongly suggest anyone with any form of Chronic Pain or Fibromyalgia skip kittenhood altogether, and adopt a cat that is at least a year old, because I’m ready to fall on the floor, or sleep for the next six weeks, one or the other. I’m running myself ragged cleaning up after her (it’s minimal, but the bending down to constantly scoop her up is KILLING an already badly injured lower back), keeping her out of trouble, and keeping her safe. She has some weird fears, fears she will either outgrow as she continues to adapt, or fears she might hold on to if I don’t remain attentive to them, so I’ve got “escape route” scratches everywhere from my collarbone to my hip, and a couple of small ones on each arm that were her “jumping off points”.

I have tried to be sensitive to others in naming her because sometimes you hear a name and it makes you think of your own life and the things you’ve been through and lost, be it a home, a loved one’s life, or anything really. No one wants to hear an animal’s name and have it be a trigger for them, myself included. I like very unique names, so this is a difficult process as her personality is ever-changing. Officially I am trying out four different names, and I like the idea of giving her a first name and a middle name, which helps inspire some of the nicknames she has already gotten. I think it’ll be a few more weeks, possibly a month, until I make a solid decision. I don’t want to be hasty about it at all. For now, all I can say is she is wonderfully exhausting, sweet, playful, and hyper as all hell. But when she’s calm, she’s 100% by my side or in my lap. That’s pretty good considering she’s only been here since Wednesday evening. However, I KNEW she was trouble when she walked in. LOL.*

I Am SO Tired!!…

I Am SO Tired!!

“I am so tired – so tired of being of being whirled on through all these phases of my life, in which nothing abides by me, no creature, no place; it is like the circle in which the victims of earthly passion eddy continually.” ―Elizabeth Gaskell

*I’m unendingly exhausted. I’ve reached that point in the year where, right before the time change, my body thinks 4:00 PM is a good time for a nap, and by midnight, I am ready to fall on the floor or fall asleep wherever I happen to be sitting or standing at the time. Even as I write this, I’m having the damndest time keeping my eyes open. It would be nice to sleep for a week without thinking about all the things I MUST do, but for today, I’ll have to settle for a few hours of rest and then turn back to the task at hand. Never a dull, easy, carefree moment.*

The Pain Game

The Pain Game: Trying To Stay Sane & Keep Yourself From Exploding

 

I don’t find anything even remotely amusing about pain. I couldn’t be any more unamused than I am right now. By pain I don’t mean a paper cut or your cat scratching you, I mean mind-numbing, nausea inducing pain. Suffering from a spinal injury, I am constantly being told that my injury is inoperable. That’s fine, because I’d never agree to surgery. I saw what it did to people I loved, and I continue to hear horror stories, which pretty much gives me a number in my head that the success rate for such operations is nowhere near as successful as surgeons profess. None of these “it will fix the problem” surgeries improved their quality of life or range of motion. If anything, it deprived them of a more complete life, but I understand that when you’re in pain and suffering, all you want to do is find a way to alleviate your suffering.

Last weekend (Saturday morning) I reached a very critical point in my own pain levels and decided to take a medication that is being used off label for Chronic Pain. That was my first mistake, because for the first time in a long time, I took the “Very high success rate for Chronic Pain sufferers.” statement and the numbers at face value. I didn’t look too deeply into the medication until it was already in my system, and by then it wasn’t like I could reverse it because it’s a time release drug with an extremely long half-life, one of the longest I’ve ever seen in any drug, be it for pain or not. For the record, I’m usually very on the ball about this sort of thing to avoid problems and potential allergies. The pain was just so bad, and I was irrational in my attempt to rid myself of it and be able to function. Instead, I was pretty much bed ridden for over a day and a half, in between dealing with some pretty vile side effects. Because I’d only heard ½ of the prescription instructions, and no one had ever told me to not drink water before and after taking it, the medication released into my system much too quickly. Less than 30 minutes after taking it, I damn near threw up on my laptop before returning to my bed to pass out for a few hours. After several trips to throw up and return to a passed out/asleep phase, I woke up at one point and realized I was completely pain free. I did not hurt at all from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. My muscles, which had been killing me earlier that day, my spinal injury which had been screaming for months on end, was completely silent. No migraines, no muscle pain, no physical pain, but a complete inability to eat or keep fluids down (big problem, since this medication makes me thirstier than anything else I’ve ever been on. Water does NOT aid nausea though, so I had to switch over to iced tea at some point. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep that down either. Ginger ale wouldn’t stay down, fluids were becoming pretty hopeless.). As it slowly started to trickle out of my system, I was finally able to eat and drink without problem, but I was still really concerned and waited until I thought I’d pass out from hunger before I allowed myself to eat. I did not want to endure any more “fly out of the room” moments to puke up my guts. It’s not something I’d like to relive anytime soon.

By Sunday night though, the pain had become unbelievable. I was fine and completely pain free, and the next thing I know, my lower back was completely shot. It felt as if I’d been doing heavy lifting for weeks without a break, lots of bending, digging ditches, you get the drift. The pain was so bad I could not sit, stand, and could barely walk. There was no relief in sight. My mind was screaming “partial paralysis” at me in a very bad way. I used a topical roll-on product easily found at Walmart called Max-Freeze. In the past, this product has worked for me and worked quickly. I’d apply it, lay down, and by the time I woke up the pain would be gone, or at the very least manageable. The problem this time around is that I couldn’t even feel the product working, because even though I know I applied it directly to the source of the pain, I couldn’t feel it activate on my skin. I panicked a bit and after a while, resorted to ice packs. I probably should have made my ice packs hot, but because of the Max-Freeze I chose not to. Eventually I was able to get in my bed, some of the medicine still coursing through my system, and I was able to fall asleep, but Monday morning I was still in pain, and still experiencing that “What the hell did I do to my lower back?!” moment. My brother asked if I had tried doing anything out of the ordinary while on the new pain medicine and I said “I could barely walk from the bathroom to the bedroom. Do you think I was lifting weights at the gym, or doing something that I already know would aggravate my lower back?! What damage do you think I did in a less than ten foot radius?” I probably sounded insane, especially with the slurred speech and sudden whiny tone to my voice. I tried really hard to hold solid in my belief that my lower back would eventually loosen up and I’d be fine, that maybe I’d twisted wrong or caught an air conditioning chill. With Fibromyalgia, you simply never know.

It is now Friday and I can sit, which is a huge bonus. There’s still some pain, but I’ve got other pain to focus on too. Pain in my head (the migraine that just won’t quit. I’ve had it for two days. It’s trying to break me. I’m determined to break it first,), pain from wisdom teeth (Yes, I still have both of mine. I never saw the need to have them removed. They shift and cause some pain a dozen or so times a year, but outside of that, they do not affect me much. Plus, I am not a big fan of oral surgeons. They creep me out. They simply take way too much joy in pulling teeth and ripping your mouth open. Some people are fine to go and leave with pain medicine, but I’m not one of them. If something has to be done, they’d better bring in the anesthesia because I really don’t feel the need to see, hear, or feel what’s going on.), pain in my spine, and that emotional pain we all know called depression.

In my attempt to rid myself of pain, I ended up wasting a week of my life. That’s extremely upsetting to me. Life is short, pain makes it feel so much shorter, and I want to live. It’s hard to live when you can’t sleep, or you sleep, but you sleep too much. It’s hard to live when your body is geared up for every twinge that hits you and becomes the next great battle. And outside of the pain you experiences physically, you still have a real life. Bills to pay, things that need to be done, fixed, etc. Pain makes you feel like your life is a disaster. When you feel this crappy, faking a smile, pretending you’re fine, and lying to yourself to get through the next hour is just plain unacceptable to me. If I don’t feel good, I say so. Not because I want someone’s attention, a response, sympathy, pity, or anything else, but because it’s the truth and I refuse to feel ashamed because I suffer from more than one form of Chronic Pain. People usually say “I’m sorry you don’t feel good.” or “I’m sorry you’re in so much pain.” and my response is always the same. “Did you cause this pain? If not, don’t apologize for it. It is what it is.” I am a firm believer that I probably take on pain for those not strong enough to handle it, but honestly, I’ve had enough. I’d like to check out of my life for the next ten years, pain free, and do what I want to do. I want to live, I want to get up and go, I don’t want to deal with stress, anxiety, or all the other things that come along with the pain. I don’t want a half-life.

Am I being a kvetch? No, I’m being honest. The “pain game” is not a game I want to play. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone (except maybe Hitler, but honestly, Chronic Pain is too good for him.). I appreciate having a voice and a forum where I can say “I’ve had enough.” and no one judges me for my honesty, but I’d also like to use that voice and that forum to discuss happier, more successful things. I’d like to be able to say that I can get out of bed and feel good each day, or simply that I can get out of bed. I’d like to say “I laughed ‘til it hurt.”, but not because the pain is unbearable. Unfortunately, the pain IS unbearable, I’ve had enough, and I’d like a new alternative that doesn’t kick my ass and torment me. Doctors and scientists are making all kinds of advancements, yet they claim they know too little about the brain to help Chronic Pain sufferers. That’s bullshit to me. If one in every three people that sufferers from some form of Chronic Pain got a grant and became a doctor or a scientist, I guarantee we’d have better medicine and eventually, a cure. I’d like better medicine and a cure in my lifetime, and I’m sure everyone else that suffers would too.

I’m sick of all this crap. It’s time for a change.

Thoughts Often …

Thoughts Often Lead To Exhaustion

“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and—if you’re not careful—those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.” ―Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker

A great quote with a splash of humor.

Moon Rise Musings

Last night I went to bed early, which has been a real problem for me over the last month. Going to bed between 4:00 and 8:00 a.m. is not “normal”. I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve had the most bizarre nightmares, and my internal clock is totally screwed up, AGAIN! I hate being awake during the day, it’s almost unnatural for me (Definitely not a fan of the sun, but I’m fine with rainy/snowy days.), but I also dislike not being able to sleep when I should be sleeping. It’s fine for me to wake up around 4:00 or 5:00 each morning and be in bed before 9:00 each night, even if it’s a bit Grandma-ish, but not being able to sleep properly for weeks on end?? Not cool. Under “normal” circumstances a person might recommend a sleeping pill to put me “back on track”, but all of these pills that people claim work like a charm don’t do a thing for me. I can’t remember the last time it took me so long to reset myself into a normal groove, but I am determined to get back on track so I can get back to living my usual life of sunscreen by day. Wish me luck, and I hope you are all sleeping far better than I!