The last couple of days have been grueling for me dealing with a suicidal toddler in addition to pain that has hit new realms. My wrists, my hand and fingers, knees, ankles and feet are very swollen and it is not the usual pain, it is new and it is more like a feeling that I am being poked with needles in addition to the pain of swelling. I also get sharp pains and prangs in my sides, my ribcage, and chest (mostly my left side – starting from my shoulder down to my lower back) so it is muscle pain.
For the longest time, I believed that with medication my pain would not get worse, but a part of me was living in denial and understood that the pain would in fact get much worse. When I was first diagnosed, that was the most important question I had. Would things get worse? Unfortunately, as far as the medical community is concerned, that question is one they beat around the bush about. I knew the answers given to me were not accurate so I asked those who lived with the condition for quite some time. I was told yes, it would get worse. Would you believe I spent a lot of time researching this question and I never found the answer until I asked sufferers? Those words gave me a better understanding of what I should prepare myself for so as much as I am feeling down about the increase of pain, I was already prepared. Not finding answers within the medical community is an area that leaves sufferers struggling to make sense of everything on their own and I think that this is very unfortunate but reminds me how important advocating for myself is.
For the last two years, I had specific kind of pain that I learned to work with, and now, it is time to do some reassessing of my condition. I have also spent a lot of time educating myself and preparing for the worst should it come to that. I have to remind myself that even though my diagnoses happened a couple years ago, I was in pain for the ten years prior so my conditions are more far along than I would like them to be. However, I always keep my expectations high and I continue to plan for the future whatever it may hold. For one, I am halfway through completing my master’s degree. I only went back to college in 2000 when I was 24 and I started small with my associates in legal studies and now, my goal is a master’s in legal studies. Do I think my conditions limit and hinder my success? Of course, they do, but living with chronic pain every day of your life is bigger challenge than working a fulltime job, going to school part-time, playing an advocacy role and being a parent. The pain is an enemy that I fight everyday but the rest is what keeps me fighting.
Last night, I lied awake in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering how much more life could throw at me. It seems like I am always running in multiple directions and I don’t rest until my head hits the pillow. Most days, I don’t realize how bad I am hurting until I stop and rest. It makes me sad sometimes, but I understand how much my attitude reflects upon my own life and the lives of those I love. If anything, my attitude gives me strength when I feel like I am at the end of my rope.