Tuesday, August 11, 2015
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 11, 2015 ~ "PAIN IN THE BUTT" or "SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED" ~
~ TICKED OFF TUESDAY ~ August 11, 2015 ~ "PAIN IN THE BUTT" or "SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED" ~ Today (as most every day), I'm ticked off about being in so much pain ALL the time. I know that I frequently grumble and complain, (and more than just on Tuesday's) about the chronic pain that I have been suffering with for almost 8 years.
I decided that I would vent loudly and vocally one last time and then try to limit my caterwauling to a bare minimum from now on!
Last Thursday I had one of the worst pain days I've had in a really long time. I'm sure it was a combination of a number of factors that tipped the scales, but before I get into that, let me briefly explain for those who may not know, my pathetic medical history of the past 8 years.
Prior to the day the pain started in my neck, I had been seeing a chiropractor a couple of times a week for a few months because of severe back pain. During my first visit with her, x-rays showed that my neck is a mirror image of what it should be and that there was a lot of old damage, deterioration, degeneration etc to several of the vertebrae in my neck. She asked if I had been in a bad car accident and she said, "I imagine that you must suffer from pretty bad migraines as well."
Of course, she was right about the migraines, which I have had since I was a very young child. However, I have never been in a bad car accident. The night of my first chiropractic appointment, I phoned my mom to ask about any car accidents I may not recall.
I knew that I had been physically abused by my biological father when I was a baby, I just didn't know the full extent of the abuse. That night my mom explained to me that when I was three months old, my biological father had broken two vertebrae in my neck, and that I spent the next several months in a body cast from my chin to my waist.
Over the years I have come to wish that I HAD been in a serious car accident! It really surprised me how each new doctor or specialist I saw was SO interested in the physical abuse, and wanted to delve deeper and have me "talk about it."
My biological father shot himself when I was 18 or 19 years old and even if he had been around for me to get angry with and blame, I have forgiven him. I don't remember the abuse, and I wasn't going to let finding out about it now define me or my life up until that point.
As I said, I wish I could say that I was in a car accident, because I only mention the abuse as part of my medical history and it holds as much emotional baggage as a random accident would.
After months and months of incessant back pain, I walked out of the chiropractor's office that first day in significantly less pain and standing a whole lot taller and straighter, not having to be hunched over in pain any more!
The chiropractor also noted my scoliosis, which is a slight curve to the left in my thoracic spine. Does anyone remember the book "Deene" by Judy Blume? The main character of that book had scoliosis and ironically, not long after I read the book, I was diagnosed. Fortunately, my scoliosis is relatively mild and apparently, I was old enough, at 13 years old, to not being likely to grow much more and therefore, I didn't need to wear a brace or have a rod inserted in my spine.
Because of these pre-existing conditions, the chiropractor said she would avoid my neck and the area of my back that was curved and we continued with biweekly appointments.
My last appointment with her was on September 28, 2007, during which she DID work on my whole back AND my neck.
I woke up in the middle of the night, four days later, on October 2, 2007, with a sharp, stabbing, burning pain at the back of my head, base of my skullI. What I could only describe as a really weird migraine. I called the chiropractor and she said she didn't want to see me again until my migraine was gone.
Well, that was almost 8 years ago and the pain has never stopped. I have had over ten MRI's, MRV's and MRA's, seen many doctors and every specialist and/or therapist you can imagine. I've seen neurologists, including the Chief Neurosurgeon in Ottawa, a rheumatologist, Cranial Sacral Massage Therapist, Essodynamics, Rolfing, Physiotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, many other I can't recall and even a carpal tunnel specialists (don't ask, he couldn't figure out why I was referred to him either)!
And aside from the MRI's showing progressive degeneration and deterioration, oh, and the discovery of a small aneurism in my brain, absolutely nothing can be done to help even relieve some of the pain.
I mentioned earlier that I also suffer from migraines. I'm not sure if the pain in my neck exacerbates my migraines or if my migraines exacerbate my neck pain. Regardless, it is not a good day when I have to try to cope with both at the same time.
My migraines are also affected by the full moon, the weather and any change in the barometric pressure. I am actually more accurate than the weather channel, as I can predict when we are going to get rain, thunder and lightening storms, just bad weather in general. I can actually even tell the difference between rain showers and lightening storms. I'm sure if you asked any migraine sufferer, they could probably tell you the same thing.
So, to sum it up, I suffer from a 24/7 shooting, stabbing and burning pain in one exact spot at the back of my neck; I also suffer from debilitating, wickedly massive migraines, about 3-5 a week. Throw in the occasional severe back spasms, oh, and I almost forgot, I'm going through peri-menopause and have far too frequent and such severe hot flashes that could boil water.
Let's just say that if I happen to have my period during a storm on a night that there is a full moon, I am completely up the creek without a paddle!!
Hey, you know what? I kinda feel better already! (Despite the fact that my migraine has gone from bad to worse to really, really bad). I had intended on writing about just how much MY being in so much pain ALL the time so completely and utterly affected every single member of my family.
I started this post by saying that I was ticked off about being in so much pain all the time. I think in reality, I'm ticked off at myself. At not being able to cope with my pain (despite doing everything I was taught through the Chronic Pain Program) and I'm ticked off at my inability to prevent the pain from controlling my life.
However, just going over (again, I know, for some of you) the facts and history of how I got to be in is place, almost eight years later, to where I am right now, has kinda made me feel a little bit better. It has made me realize that I have done every single, little, itty, bitty thing and then some, that anyone could possibly do and more to try to help myself. Including a four week outpatient program at the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Centre. I'm not exaggerating either. You name the treatment or medication and guaranteed, I have seen them or tried it.
I have long accepted the fact that I will be spending the rest of my life in some sort of chronic pain. Which, given my lifelong battle with severe migraines, is really nothing new to me. Sure, this pain in the back of my neck is 100 times worse, but ya know what? I'll just keep taking each day as it comes, minute by minute or even breath by breath, if I have to. I know, the typical saying is "day by day." For those of us suffering any kind of chronic pain or illness, "breath by breath" is often a more realistic comment.
In my mind, I have always said 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years, 7 years, now almost 8 years as "OMG, are you kidding me?? I'm still in so much pain after all this time"??
In writing this today, I just realized that perhaps I should be saying "OMG, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years, 7 years, now almost 8 years?? WOW, girl, you're still here! You're still getting up pretty much each morning, you even manage to get dressed some of the time, WAY TO GO YOU!!!"
Thanks so much for listening to me vent. Now it's my turn to listen and your turn to grumble. What's been bothering or upsetting you lately? What has you ticked off today??
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