It demands to be felt.

I spent some time last night reading through a few of my old posts. Recently, I’ve become incredibly bitter about my situation, and part of that bitterness is centered around my inability to write properly now. Writing has always been my way of dealing with things; before the painkiller addiction came a writing addiction, and up until recently it’s been all I know. Now… my brain just can’t process the words properly. I read every single comment, but the energy it takes to consider and type out a reply just isn’t there.

Tomorrow evening, my mother is taking me to see my GP.¬† I asked her to come with me after last week’s disastrous appointment, so I have a buffer against the almost-inevitable meltdown. The point has come where I’m too distressed by the pain in my foot and ankle (a hot, burning, stabbing, pulling feeling, demanding my attention 24/7) to keep my emotions in check, and honestly, I don’t think I care anymore. I’ve become so used to crying in public – something which used to mortify me – that I’m almost blas√© about it now.

crying_woman

 

Over recent months, my health has gone very downhill. I’ve become almost totally unable to walk unaided, and only leave the flat once a week or so. After a short walk (sometimes only ten minutes), I’m left in crippling agony for days on end. I’ve had to stop taking the tramadol because it made me feel so sick, and although I’ve managed to find a small number of prescription-strength co-codamol which we discovered in the bedroom when we moved in, the relief only lasts an hour or so before surging back into my heel, ankle, calf and toes. It’s something I can’t describe; imagine the worst pain you’ve ever been in, then magnify it by ten. Every single step is like climbing a mountain. I have to brace myself each time my foot touches the floor.

My mother says I have to go through this; I have to be bitter and angry and resentful, so I fight back. I admit, I have started to consider the possibility of this pain not being forever (for months, I’ve believed that this will be my life until I die), even if it’s unlikely. After all, everything I’ve read and the words of both an orthopedic surgeon and a rheumatologist back that belief up. Still, there’s a chance. I want to believe in that chance, so much.

Two years is a long, long time to be in constant, burning pain, and my mother says she will speak for me at tomorrow’s appointment. I don’t think I can make sense of this anymore, and everything I say comes out wrong. A while ago, I wrote about how I have difficulty admitting weakness to those in authority. Ever since, I’ve tried to remedy that but the problem is too deeply ingrained to fix overnight, or even in six months. So I need an advocate. My mother and may have had many, many conflicts and we may have a tainted history, but she knows me better than anyone else, and she’s seen me falling apart over the recent weeks and months of increasing pain.

feeling pain

She was supposed to visit today, but I sent her a text saying it wasn’t worth it because I’d been up all night. I did get to bed at a reasonable time after hours and hours alternating ice water and heat on my leg, but woke at 2am. S was awake, and asking if I was alright. The pain screamed through the back of my ankle and heel, and apparently I’d been crying out in my sleep. Clearly, I wasn’t going to get back to sleep so I kissed S, waved off his offers of doing something to help (really, nothing can help) and told him to go back to sleep. I set up camp on the sofa with a cup of tea and a joint, raising my leg as high as possible with a construction of pillows, cushions and my old duvet. I’ve become incredibly attached to that duvet, as I always do when I’m struggling.

I watched iPlayer all night, spacing out doses of co-codamol to avoid taking too much. I’ve learned too many hard lessons regarding that. It’s difficult, being in the living room while S is asleep in bed. I miss him terribly. We’ve always slept very closely, waking up most mornings wrapped around each other in all sorts of bizzare contortions, so to be alone on the cold sofa is pretty depressing. It’s happening more and more often now, usually because I can’t make it to the bedroom. It’s only a short distance through the hallway and there are no stairs, but it’s incredibly difficult trying pull myself along the walls and balance on one (also painful) foot to avoid making the pain worse. So I bed down on the sofa, hoping S won’t see it as a slight. I’ve explained the reasons to him, but I know I’d be devastated if S didn’t seem to want to sleep with me. I just pray he’ll never take it personally, because I need him right now, more than ever.

need you

The pain has lessened for now. I took a painkiller an hour ago, and I’ve been smoking dope all night to try and calm the pulling feeling in my calf. It works, but it takes a lot. I can’t help thinking that I shouldn’t have to spend money on illegal drugs when there’s a health service out there… but what else can I do? I no longer enjoy being stoned. I don’t like the tightness in my chest from smoking so much, or the effects on my memory. Without it though, I’d end up cutting my own leg off.

I told my mother that I wouldn’t be upset if I somehow lost my leg in an accident. How awful is that? I hate myself for thinking that way; it’s so unlike me, and it’s a horrible thing to think of. I just… I’ve never hated a limb before. I’ve grown to utterly loathe it. I don’t recognise my own foot anymore. I can’t really identify it as mine anymore. It’s just a painful, hateful alien creature. A punishment, although I don’t quite know for what.

Everywhere I look, people are dealing with pain in rational, sensible ways. Then there’s me. Why am I taking it all so badly?

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13 Comments

  1. Two things. First, I know it looks on the outside that everyone else is dealing well with the stuff in their lives, including pain. Remember though that you only know the outside. You can’t know what goes on inside. The only head you get to be in is your own. I used to think all the time that I could get a handle on everything if I could just see inside other people’s heads and know if I was normal and how they coped. But you never get that, so instead, try to give yourself a break by remembering that they might not be coping quite as well as it appears.

    Second, you’re not JUST dealing with pain. You have a lot more on your plate than that and we both know it. There’s only so much energy to deal with All The Things. And having screaming agony up and in your face all day every day? That’s legitimately exhausting.

    I really hope they figure out a way to help you, because this is out and out nuts, that you live with this and can’t get help. It’s not remotely okay. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping. *hugs* No, that one wasn’t big enough. *HUUUUUUUUGS* Much better. ;)

  2. You’ve been in agony from your foot for as long as I’ve known you. I’m surprised (but pleased) that you’ve not done a Sir Ranulph Fiennes and gone for the hacksaw. I cannot imagine how difficult constant pain is to live with, because I haven’t experienced it.

    I’m so glad your mum is able to go with you to your appointment, and that it seems that your relationship with her is getting better now you’re not under the same roof.

    *sending love and hugs* (and I’m still praying)

  3. I do not personally struggle with chronic pain, but I live with my boyfriend, who does. Terrible stuff and no relief. Even when it feels like you are not coping well, keep in mind that there are many out there who appear to be coping now, who have not always. Time heals most wounds.

  4. Good morning, and love from a cloudy morning in Maine. Of course, this constant pain scares you, and wears you down. Consider walking down the hall to the bedroom with S. just one time — then he’ll have a more visceral understanding that it’s not him keeping you on the couch. If you are worrying about him feeling slighted, this might set your mind to rest, at least a little. Remember, chronic pain is so awful because, well, it’s chronic. It is always there, somewhere in your body. What do you do all day? Maybe get out your knitting or start painting or something to distract you. I hope you work this out with S.

  5. I’ve been using a “Tens unit” for six months and it supplements the fentanyl patch Which is a God send. Combined I’ve been able to better control my chronic pain. Ask your doctor to better explain. It’s listed on google You can purchase this over the internet as well.
    Michael

  6. Remember that you are not only dealing with overwhelming physical pain, you are also still dealing with the emotional pain that haunts. This is a huge difference in what many people deal with. While physical pain can be excrutiating, add emotional pain to that and it multiplies by 100. Hang in there and know that you are loved.

  7. One of the HUGE lies to Women is just that “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. Pull out those tissues, feel that pain that IS demanding to be heard, felt, embraced . You are in a battle for your very Life, Dear One which you yourself recognize part of as bitterness. Not being flippant, or know it all. we CAN overcome the emotional pieces, if not the physical. I came across your blog researching my own post “When Pain Becomes Your Core”. I’ll be back. :) Shandra

  8. I can’t imagine being in pain for that long a period. If you think people are dealing with pain in rational, sensible ways and you aren’t, then I don’t know what I would ever do. I suppose I might actually chop off my leg.
    You haven’t done that so far, I think that means you’re dealing with it pretty rationally ;)

    Maybe what you can do is get in touch with other people who are suffering from similar problems as you, and talk to them about how they deal with it. Just knowing that there are others like you out there who understand what you are going through, often works.

    Good luck. I hope you can get out of this.

  9. I’ve just been catching up on your posts and it strikes me that we’ve been going through some of the same stuff. I wish I’d been up to reading other blogs sooner, it may have helped me to connect with you and share in these feelings.

    I don’t suffer pain like you do, and I suspect the reason you think you’re not handling it well is because the pain is extreme!! No one can handle pain like that well. And not knowing what’s going on? That makes it all the more frightening. I have pain, but not like you. My biggest problem is overwhelming fatigue, to the point of exhaustion. It was ruining my life. I felt like I wasn’t living. I was bitter and angry at people who had nothing wrong with them, and no one seemed to care or take it seriously…and the fact I had to go through it pissed me off. It drained me of life and creativity and good feelings. But slowly things changed and I’ve felt more alive in the past two weeks than I have for this entire year. I hope the same for you.

    Sending you love,
    Sara

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