Pain Is Boring

 It goes without saying that in general, people don't like pain. I know what you're thinking; there ARE people that like pain; but that's not my point. In general, "people" don't like pain.

I believe I have a very high pain threshold. I have done all sorts of silly things to my body over the years, some self-inflicted, some accidentally self-inflicted, others just the result of various physical forces meeting in the same area as my body and damaging it.

OK OK, most of my injuries over the years are self-inflicted in some form or another. Gravity MAY have dragged me out of that tree, but were I not swinging from branch to branch in the first place...

My point is, is that I have snapped, cracked, splintered and shattered many things over the years. Additionally, I have slashed, cut, torn, ripped and shredded other parts of my person. I have had fluid ooze from places it shouldn't, seen parts of my body that only a doctor tells you exist, and put things inside me that either shouldn't be there at all, or have added too much of something outright.

And, as such, I can take a LOT of pain. I don't enjoy it, but I don't register it the same as "other people"

I do, however, have my limits. There is a big difference, say, between having your leg caught in the bannisters and tearing your tendons, versus a slow, constant, always-there-keeping-you-awake grinding pain in the bottom-middle of your spine. While with the former, I was laid up for a few weeks and hobbled around on crutches, the latter is ALWAYS there, regardless of what you do, how you sit or stand or lay.

And, it would seem, there is sweet F.A that can be done to get rid of the pain.

Now.  Imagine that every day for nearly eleven years. Yep, nice. Hence the title of the post, Pain Is Boring. Some days, I will say "I feel quite good today, I'll do THIS!" and people seem to think that when I say that, I am over it, not in pain and ready to run a marathon. What I mean is, is that I am STILL in pain, and it still hurts to do, well, most things, but it's either decreased a little for today, or I'm just too cheerful to let it get me down.

If you see me mowing the lawn, or hoovering through, or wrestling with children, that again does not mean that I am cured and better. It means I am having to do whatever I am doing and getting on with it as best I can. What you DON'T see, is the fact that once I've mown the lawn, I can barely walk for the next three-four days. What you don't see when I've hoovered through, is the handful of painkillers I have to take so I don't burst into tears when walking up the stairs. What you don't see after I've been playing with the kids, is me having to arrange my pillows just so, so that I can lay in bed and consider myself to be a little more comfortable than before.

When someone asks me "How you feeling?" or "How's it going, everything OK?" I could very well answer with "I'm in enough pain that I want to cry. My legs feel like they are made of molten lead and hurt to move. My hands have the strength of spaghetti, and the pain shooting up the back of my neck is akin to searingly hot needles being pressed into the base of my skull" but I don't. Why? Because that - or something similar - would be my answer every single day. What I do say is "Oh I'm fine, bit tired, but everything is good!" because I am sick of people looking at me like I am whining about it.

And it's not just the pain - it's everything that goes along with it. My concentration levels some days are non-existent. I can watch a movie and not follow it at all. I can read page after page of a book, but not have any clue what I've just read. I sometimes find blog posts saved as draft that I either don't remember writing, or it's is just a completely random rambling mess of words. Other days, my vocal skills are second to everyone on the planet coming joint first. I can't form a sentence, I can't remember words, names, places, times... Last week, I was writing notes for kids to take to school, and three times in a row, I put the year as 1992.  Why? I have no bloody idea. At all. It's like my brain is dozing off, and when I nudge it, it just blurts out whatever it was dreaming about.

I've been asked before if I am drunk while out and about during the day. Some days, my talky skills are not so hot. I trip over words, stumble over concepts, and occasionally slur. I can hear myself and I scream internally as to what the f$ck is going on. Last week, my status on Facebook was "I cannot brain today, I have the dumb" and while it is amusing to read, it summed me up perfectly. My brain is a danger zone some days, and I find myself trying to put the kettle in the microwave, or wondering why the microwave isn't microwaving, only to realise the START button needs poking...

I was talking to Kellie about it this morning, and I know that she understands what I mean and what I say. She knows that if I am talking about my legs hurting, then my legs are killing me. At no point do I ever say "My Body-Part is hurting" when I mean "I want sympathy" because to be honest, the last thing I want is sympathy. Understanding, compassion, realisation that I am in constant pain, but not "Aw poor Dan-Dan" It's very rare that I will change my plans due to being in pain - in fact, I'm not sure the last time I said I can't do something or go somewhere due to my pain levels. Why? Because I don't want people thinking I can't do X, Y or Z, that I'm "Being a wimp" or just trying to get out of doing something.

And therein lies one of my problems... Quite often, I push myself that teeny bit too far, and make myself feel ten times worse for the following week. And while I am feeling like crap, I try to do "little things" that need doing, making my recovery even longer. I find it very hard to say "No" to people, mainly because - and this sounds pathetic - in case they give me that look when I say "No, I can't because my legs/back/arms are hurting"  How pathetic is that? That I make myself feel worse by not telling people I'm a wreck.

Why is this coming up today? Well, last week, I got started on new medication to sort the pain, and I knew it was the low dose, and that it was only a low dose in order to get it built up in my system. "Start with this dose -" Mr Doctor Man told me "-and then in a month, we'll see how it's going, and increase it..." Fair enough - I've been after new painkillers for a while now, and these (Lyrica/Pregablin) are supposed to be very good.  However, less than a fortnight in, I am in a world of pain, and aside from the first two mornings that I woke up and thought "Hmmm, legs are less ouchy", they have done nothing.

Kellie doesn't like to see me hobbling around, wincing and catching my breath doing things like Sitting Down or Opening Doors, so she managed to pester the doctor into seeing me again today. I'm not sure I'm hugely glad that she did because he used two words that, separately, I don't mind, but together, fill me with dread: Blood, and Test.


So, tomorrow morning, after having to partake of a ten-hour fasting test, I'm have to have a battery of bloods taken, and he's checking for everything. Electrolytes, Liver Function, Bone (Calcium), Fasting Lipids, C-Reactive Protein, Glucose, Thyroid Disease, Blood Count, plus he's added additional tests; RF (Rheumatoid Factor, to test for some sort of Arthritis), Anti CCP (Another Arthritis test), ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate - tests for inflammation, apparently) and Autoantibody Score (I have no idea, prolly reading handwriting wrong!)

Kellie believes they are going to slash my neck and collect the blood in a bucket.

HOPEFULLY these results won't take forever to come in, but looking at it, he's going down the Arthritis route, which is nice... At 35 years of age.

On top of these, the next time I see him, he's going to refer me to the Rheumatologists, and I suspect, Orthopaedics and the Pain Clinic - obviously depending on the results from the bloods. While I am hoping that this is going to get me answers, I'm a little worried that they're going to find something I don't want to know about. I'm a firm believer in "If you examine something hard enough and long enough, you'll find something wrong with it" or, to put it another way, "If you peer at your burger long enough, you'll find that tubes/hair/spit"

On the other side of the coin, what if they don't find anything? Nothing to report, I'm just MENTAL. That's much more comforting.

In the mean time, my painkillers are increased, so fingers crossed the pain is lessened and become less boring. I'm getting fed up hearing my own voice whining about the pain I'm in... In the mean time, this post is mainly for my benefit, to vocalise to people that I lie to on a daily basis.

This post is my long-winded answer to the question, "How are you today?"

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3 Responses to “Pain Is Boring”

GreenCastle said...

so your fine then?


Anonymous said...

So you're not a big fan of the paingate theory then? That if you tell yourself there is no pain then you wont feel any pain? Go on, you know you want to try it - what's the harm lol.

Seriously though my mom had bad Arthritis and it was all down her spine, after watching her struggle I do know where you are coming from. It's the days she could get down and do her rockery that really made her life worth while, even if she was doubled up in pain.

I do hope it's all in your head, and that then someone can take it out for you.

Me I'm fine thanks - nothing to complain about :O)

Anonymous said...

I can totally understand bud... and I think the worst part is the people who don't have constant pain like we do. Well, they just don't understand and CAN'T seem to understand why you might do something one day and not be able to do it the next. I think you summed it up correctly with your blog entry. Two of the main things that really bother me is not being able to play with my kids because of the pain/crutches, and the short-term memory loss I'm experienceg because of al the pain meds.