Hurting feels bad. When we hurt, naturally we can conclude we did something to ourselves, or someone did something to us to make us hurt. Damage has been done and hurting is a result. But when there is no one at fault, why is there pain? When there is no one who caused the pain, and I’m suffering, I get sad.
Intellectually I understand I have a condition which at this point gives me these answers to my pain; 1) Extreme sensitivity to pain, small pains can be debilitatingly big. 2) There is a pain-processing issue in the brain, where non-painful sensations can hurt. 3) Unknown reason yet to be discovered. I don’t know the reason why I hurt, but I do know, chronic pain causes an emotional rollercoaster.
Yesterday afternoon, we went for a dip in our apartment’s pool. Temperatures were in the nineties, it was sunny, dry, and hot. I felt pretty good and I was having a fun weekend with my man. We also did some socializing with our new friends on Friday.
I walked out of the pool and began squeezing water out of my short hair. That’s when it first hit. A sharp shooting stabbing nerve pain in my head. And just like that it was gone, I was ok. While my thoughts reeled to wrap my mind around what just happened, it hit again! From then on, it went back and forth like that. Striking randomly, but consistently in the same areas and same intensity. It was level 10 pain that lasted for a second or two. It is like the nerve pain of a tooth in need of a root canal, which I have experienced.
From 4pm yesterday, to right now about 9am, this nerve pain has taken me hostage. It evolved to a worse pain though. Now, I feel it in my cheek, my ear, and the front-top-right of my head. Yesterday it only struck in the right-top of my head. Now, it’s traveling. My entire ear and cheek feel super sensitive to the touch. This really fucking hurts! It came out of nowhere. Today is gone. Today is now a sick day and I can’t do anything. I’m surprised I am able to get this blog post out. I don’t have an appetite.
I had such a happy day yesterday. But in the evening, I sat in my livingroom super sad while being stabbed in the head by an invisible monster.
Sidenote: I have had this pain before. Believe me, it can be a lot worse. I used to get it nearly every day and night. It would make me cry it hurt so much. The time between the stabbing was shorter. In addition, there was a constant throbbing pain on the skin of my face. There was also shooting nerve pain across my face, etc. Covering the right side of my face and head with topical lidocaine gel helped a little. That was 3 years ago. There are some pains so bad my painkillers hardly did/do a thing.
Back to the sadness I mentioned earlier. I have come to realize some of the layers of having chronic pain. There’s 1) the physical pain, and 2) the emotional rollercoaster.
For instance, yesterday I felt happy, I planned, I thought ahead, I enjoyed the moment. Then the pain hit, I felt sad, hopeless, frustrated, helpless, victimized, a disappointment, mad, unable to be there for the one I love, scared.
Scared because… What if I have a job booked, and on that day I get a pain like this? What if my condition gets worse and my man’s needs are consistently neglected. What if I don’t get better and never have kids. What if I have kids but I get worse because of it (and those kids don’t have the mom they deserve). What if the pain keeps me broke and in debt for the rest of my life. What if I end up addicted to painkillers. I can go on, but I won’t.
I read about ways to cope with chronic pain/FM. They say, distract yourself from the pain. Watch the best parts of the funnest movie you love. Watch compilation videos of laughing babies on YouTube. Reach out to a friend. Do something you love. These are distractions, not cures. These are ways to keep yourself from being overwhelmed by chronic pain induced depression. But the non-cure distractions might be a “cure” for the emotional rollercoaster.
The emotional part of this condition is what determines my quality of life. It’s the difference between the sick person I want to be, and the sick person I don’t want to be.