I just wanted to share something with everyone. Most people don’t know that I live in constant pain, so much pain that I’m not even aware of it at times (but it shows itself in other ways like increased heart rate). I don’t tell anyone about this pain anymore. They know the story and roll their eyes so I’ve put on a smile, and go about my day. Fake most of the time but sometimes real. What frustrates me most is that the ones who are supposed to help me, believe me and understand me are the ones who deny me help and call me crazy. “If you were in that much pain all the time you’d be screaming and unable to do anything.” Not true, sir. As any ER doc would fail to understand is that those with chronic illnesses cannot simply cry out every time they feel pain, lay down every time they feel tired, nauseated or upset. What would life be? The difference between a real chronic sufferer and a fake one is the smile, compassion and understanding.
Why are there all these message boards and forums created by patients? Because we want to forget our problems, for they cannot be solved (for lack of trying by the medical field or for they truly cannot be helped – hospice), and try to help others through their problems, their reaction to the truth of their disease and just to be there for them when they need someone to talk to because no one else wants to listen. There is a definite difference between want and has to, and that was intentional. Most doctors have to listen, but they aren’t really listening because if they were really listening, understanding and believing, they wouldn’t have to listen, they would want to listen. The boards have been very helpful to me and the people visiting my site, e-mailing me and leaving messages there have been amazing. I could not say more about them. No one knows them like I do. The chronic sufferer.
The pain medication I receive acts only to take the edge off my pain. It is enough to allow me to move around as opposed to being in bed all day. However, most people make the false assumption that activity means absence of pain. It couldn’t be further from the truth. When you live with pain for so long, you build up a tolerance to it. I’ve even had this justified by my gynecological oncologist, who said that I was in a considerable amount of pain of which I was unaware.
This was mostly tested when, during my VEEG (testing for epilepsy through in-patient EEG…NOT FUN). They were able to reproduce my grand-mal seizure by slowly reducing my ativan (that I have taken for years for sleep and anxiety) to nothing. Bam, seizure, and a very bad one at that. I don’t know if they did what you should NEVER do, and held me down but all I DO know is that when I came to and asked about it, my back was in excruciating pain way above a 10 on the pain scale of uselessness. They refused to listen or provide proper pain relief medication. They kept telling me that wasn’t what I was here for (referring to my chronic pain). I wasn’t talking about my chronic pain but rather acute pain in my back that made it hurt even to breathe. I even had to wait for them to get a prescription from my neurologist for a HEATING PAD! What is that about?!
They kept me off my sleeping medications but instead fed me Ritalin after 9pm to sleep deprive me as well and once I had my seizure, I was allowed back on them and sleep I did. They immediately diagnosed general epilepsy. My epilepsy neurologist brought up the idea of getting tested for mitochondrial disease. It was something I have been considered for quite some time but with the recent events, it made the diagnosis very plausible. I have an appointment with one of the best geneticists in the state, thanks to a friend I found on Facebook for recommending her. My seizure was strong enough in the hospital to crush the L1 vertebra in my back. If you know where this is, you know it is one of the worst places possible. It hurts to breathe, let alone do anything else. I was given a brace to use if I’m not lying down but truth be told, I am laying down a LOT. I am not a fan. If taking away driving for 6 months wasn’t enough, I can no longer even preform simple household chores. The burden on my husband continues to grow but I hope that once my back heals properly, I can return the favor in some way.
I guess I’m not feeling all that well so it is hard to make or see the positives. This weekend my husband and I are going to the Seattle sympohy to watch them play Disney music. That should be fun and it is in the middle of the day so I should still be relatively feeling better than I do by the time evening rolls around. It is my first REAL outing in quite some time. Just to be out is a treat in itself. Maybe afterwards we could catch some dinner. I don’t eat but I completely enjoy the company. In any case, I’ve rambled on and most of it doesn’t make sense but I thought I would update on the VEEG and upcoming appointments and tests. My issues with my current PCP are for another day. If I commented on it now, I would 100% guarantee things would be said that I would most definitely regret. Let’s just say, I’m on the look for a new one and many of my friends have led me to the University of Washington (where my geneticist is, coicidentally), so I figure I would give it a try. Anyone is better than who I have now.
Thank you for all your support, prayers, thoughts and love through all my difficult times. I read them all and respond when I can. They mean the world to me and you are why I continue to keep my site active. To promote awareness and to give a place to those who may feel alone with a diagnosis that is poorly understood, not well documented, and contains patients who can be countries apart. Should you ever need a listening ear, encourage, or help, I am here for you all <3
Thank you all for everything and I hope you are having a good night watching the Olympic summer trials (my favorite thing to do aside from the real ones held this year in London!)