Log in

No account? Create an account
Chronic Illness and Pain - Redhead Rantings [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Chronic Illness and Pain [Jan. 18th, 2008|09:24 am]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]

I wanted to write something for those of you who also might be struggling with chronic illness and/or pain. It's now been 12 years of being in chronic pain for me. The pain started just in my knee. We thought it was minor arthritis. I also had sharp pain in my pelvis on and off, but everyone dismissed my concerns and blamed my weight for both issues. Now at a normal BMI, we have conclusive evidence that I have Endometriosis, severity 3 out of 4, and also a nerve function issue in my right leg that comes from the nerve itself. The cause and cure of the nerve problem is unknown, but the fact that it exists has been proven. It has so much impact on my life that it is priority one to work on my health and keep my pain under control.

Mentally, it impacts most things I do, including my career, my relationships, and how I feel about myself. The one way I've found to be more positive, all the way deep inside, not just how I appear to the world is the remember this one thing: The pain is not me and it is not my identity. It is only the biggest obstacle I have to face. It is NOT me. Lanette is something else. Also, I'm a better and stronger person for having faced over a decade of nerve pain. When I have those terrible days, I don't think that I'm weak or terrible, nor do I stay in that place of a pity party for long. I just try my best to realize and accept that for now, this pain is something I have to do my best to both fight, contain, and work with. I'll never give up hope that it can be cured. It may not be today, but I believe it will happen.

Separating myself from the pain helps when I have the worst possible days. I used to feel like my life wasn't worth living if I was going to spend it in misery being a useless burden to other people. Now I realize that because I have a terrible day painwise it doesn't negate everything positive I am or have to offer. I no longer wish my life would be over due to pain. I get weary from dealing with it sometimes, but now I just want the pain to go away, not my life.

Those of you not in chronic pain may think that this is crazy or there is something wrong with my mind that I ever used to wish for my life to be over because of pain, but I promise you that I'm not the only one. If you have your basic health, realize what a gift it is. It offers you freedom to deal with any number of things. I think I appreciate my life more than I would if I never was faced with feeling so badly that I couldn't enjoy conversation with my friends and family, and being on such bad medication that I wasn't myself and had no personality.

[User Picture]From: kill
2008-01-18 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing this. As you will guess it really touched close to home. I'm still in the early stages of my chronic pain and struggling with my identity as a person and my place in this world. It is good to see that alternatives exist.

As a funny sidenote, I realized recently that when I'm watching television and watch people do things that might hurt their backs I cringe and my head yells, "Be careful!!! Don't mess up your healthy back!!!" Heh.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-18 05:50 pm (UTC)
That's a riot! It's a good actor/actress if you can put yourself in their shoes that much.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: the_new_perfect
2008-01-18 06:40 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry that you're dealing this, and impressed with your balance and perspective. I have a friend who's been dealing with pain issues and increasing fatigue for over a year, and I've watched her go through similar places in her mind. I don't doubt people when they tell me they're in pain.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-20 01:23 am (UTC)
While there ARE cases of people faking pain, they are rare.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: vivaine666
2008-01-18 09:06 pm (UTC)
I think everyone, whether they deal with chronic pain or not, has at some point felt like they wished they were dead just so that that didn't have to deal with something. Whether some people have more and/or better reasons for feeling that way is a matter of opinion. I, for one (and I know there are many), am thankful that you have toughed it out because having you as part of my life makes it better. And I love you. I'm right there with you hoping for a cure. If they had a walk for nerve pain I would do it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-20 01:24 am (UTC)
Having you as a part of my life makes it much better too! I am glad that in general, most days, my pain is well controlled. I also know that we all have our challenges, it just isn't always the same for every person.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: anomalous_girl
2008-01-19 01:12 am (UTC)
I agree with this im a lot of ways. Since I was 16 years old, every month was like a nightmare for me when my period would come. I saw a dozen or so doctors and they either told me that it was my weight, that it was in my head, or that there was nothing they could do. In the end, they did decide it was endomedtriosis but also said there was nothing they could do. i fall alot because of my eye sight so once a year or so I would end up with a sprain or something and get Vicodin, like twenty pills. I would ration them out to last all year, saying screw the pain that got me them in the first place because that would be nothing in comparison to the cramps. Cramps that landed me in the ER more than once. Cramps that made me throw up and once even faint. I have been cramp free now for the past two months and I feel so liberated and renewed. I know what it is like to have horrible pain and have to plan your life around it and at times be a prisoner. I hope someday you feel that liberation and renewal.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-20 01:25 am (UTC)
I hope so too! I've been in the ER with endo flare ups and ovarian cysts too. It's so annoying when people do NOT believe you are being honest about your pain. Congrats on 2 months being painfree as far as cramps!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-19 05:53 pm (UTC)
My ex-husband thought my pain was all in my head. Really, it was the start of the end for us.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mstorijones
2008-01-19 10:00 pm (UTC)

I wonder

my hubby has lower back pain and the doc spoke of doing a nerve block so that he would not feel the "pain" from those nerves.

If they can't fix your pain can't they block it for you? It seems that this pain only gets in the way of a very full and productive life and I can only imagine where you could go and what you could do if this pain would leave you to it....you already live a wonderful life despite this pain.

you are one to be commended for not letting this pain take over I know it has been a long hard road and still is at time. Thank you for allowing us in your life if only through these posts.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starrynytes4me
2008-01-20 01:26 am (UTC)

Re: I wonder

Well, I wouldn't be able to walk if they blocked the nerve that is the problem, unfortunately. Luckily, I've been pretty stable on the pain treatment I have, even though I have flareups of pretty intese pain down my leg still. You are right, I do have a wonderful life and I appreciate my doctor for making sure to protect my mind while trying to treat my pain.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)