I am a chronic pain sufferer.
I have been suffering with chronic pain around various parts of my body for the past decade. For five years, that meant I spent most of my time in bed. For the other five years, that has meant picking and choosing where to go, what to do and what sacrifices to make, to appease the pain.
I’ve been on a host of prescription drugs. I spent the longest on Tylenol 4 with codeine, until it made me so sick, I couldn’t see straight. Symptoms I had were uncontrollable itching, irritability when the drug wore off, confusion, lack of memory, vertigo, nausea from vertigo. Eventually, it was too much. I tried vicodin, percoset, and a selection of other drugs before settling on tramadol. I have no memory loss, and am only mildly fuzzy-minded, on it, but it only just takes the edge off the pain a little bit. I do, however, have severe itching and irritability when it wears off.
Having chronic pain makes it hard to feel happy. I don’t think I even remember how to smile anymore.
Having chronic pain means I often go right home and get in bed, missing out on opportunities around town or spending time with friends.
Canceling plans with friends is common, and often leaves me left guilt-ridden. Nobody wants to wait around for the guy who is always canceling plans.
Having chronic pain means I often send my family places without me.
It means I sleep every night shrouded in ice packs, hoping to reduce swelling.
It means I’ve turned to cannabis, because often, it is the only time I find any type of relief. Often, it’s the only way I can manage to get out of bed.
Having chronic pain has made my morning routine twice as long – sometimes taking 2-3 hours to get ready each day.
It means I dread any type of movement and have panic attacks at the thought of getting out of bed, getting into bed, being shifted in my wheelchair.
It means some days I don’t wash my hair because it hurts too much to move my head.
It means haircuts and shaving aren’t always accomplished in a timely manner and I often look like a wild Mountain man.
Having chronic pain means I can’t hug my girlfriend when I’m sitting up without hurting and my kid knows not to touch me – in fact lack of touch has become a part of my life, when in my wheelchair.
It means I feel miserable, all the time at all the ways I’m failing those I love and care about.
Having chronic pain sucks.
I refuse to give in.
I refuse to let it win.
I refuse to stop living my life.
So I sit…and suffer…and hope people I care about understand that every day is a battle…one I fight in hopes of one day winning.
[tags]chronic pain, suffer, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, dominick evans, shoulder pain, hip pain[/tags]