I’ve been away from here for about a year. Things were just too intense to think about writing. But I’m going to give it another try. I think writing might be therapeutic and give me an outlet for all my emotions, thoughts, etc. It was good for me before. So we’ll see how it goes.
I am 59 years old, going to be 60 this September. It’s surreal to think that I will be 60 years old. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and although it’s cliche to say it, but it’s true…I don’t feel like I’m that old. I’m starting to look it though. lol
I’m a chronic pain survivor. I’ve had chronic health issues for almost 35 years. It started with Graves hyperthyroidism, then endometriosis, then fibromyalgia, then osteoarthritis, diabetes….along with many other odds and ends thrown in for good measure, such as carpal tunnel, sleep apnea, eye problems, and so on, blah blah blah.
My worst problem lately has been my feet. Yeah, my feet. I have chronic and severe tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and tendinosis. Basically, if I had to describe it, my tendons and ligaments are ripping apart. In the beginning, there was what they called “micro-trauma” from “overuse” going on in my feet. It started when I took a walk in bad shoes and started having pain (probably 20 years ago).
Actually it started earlier than that because I am an antique dealer and used to go to antique markets that would take hours & hours to get through and I just ignored the pain signals my feet were giving me. This went on for years. (I’m an idiot, or else another way to look at it is that I am driven by the hunt for good antiques….nothing else seems to register when I am shopping, or else, yeah….I’m an idiot)
Anyway, I’m trying to give a timeline for all this so you will understand the length of time all this has been going on. Seems like an eternity but it’s only been about 25 years. lol
So……from there to here……
The past few years has been pretty much touch and go. I have a bad flare up, I get knocked off my ass, I ride out the pain, I wait, I stay off my feet for weeks or months, then I start feeling better and hit the road running at 90mph and then inevitably…..BAM….I get knocked off my ass again.
Well, several months ago, I was cruising along, enjoying my life…..(for about 4 months this time) and suddenly from out of the blue….BAM. And I thought Oh Shit. Here we go again. And yes, it was yet another flare up. But this time, it was horrific. The pain was beyond bad. To make it from the bedroom to the bathroom to pee was like crossing the Sahara desert. Felt like walking on hot coals. Felt like scrubbing a brillo pad on open wounds. Felt like I’d been skinned alive then the brillo pad thing. I knew right away that this was truly a “bad” like nothing I’d experienced before.
It took me 8 weeks to be able to walk through the house without excruciating pain. And even though I had vowed to myself to never, EVER let myself get to that point again….I knew that this was a life-changer for me. This time something happened and things would never be the same for me. My feet were not only trashed, they were devastated. They were beyond redemption.
Then….as I slowly, hesitantly began to walk around the house, I thought….okay….I think I have crossed the hurdle. I think I have passed the test. I think I might be able to maybe get from the bedroom to the living room and back again without wanting to pull my hair out of my head from agony.
And so off I went….at first slowly, then as is common for me, I totally forgot all the fear and terror and pain and agony….and began to live my life again.
For about a week.
I had a small sinkful of dishes to do, that my hubby did not get done before work. And the stove had really gotten cruddy over the course of the 8 weeks I had been laid up. So I thought to myself, I think I will do the dishes and the stove. That shouldn’t be too much. It’s a lovely day and I think I will just get this done. Then I’ll sit down and take it easy.
Well, I started on the dishes…..no problem so far. And then I began taking the grates and the metal pan things off the stove and soaking them in the sink. If I had been listening to my inner voice at that point I would have let them soak and gone to sit down for an hour. But, being me, a type A personality….I saw that underneath the pan things was a lot of gunk and so I proceeded to ignore my inner voice and wipe down the stove.
By that time the other pieces had soaked sufficiently so that I went ahead and scrubbed them down (about a 15-20 minute process).
At that point there were warning bells going off in my head…..which I succinctly ignored.
I wiped down everything with a towel and placed all the metal pieces back on the stove. Let the water drain out. Wiped down the counters. Stepped back and looked at the kitchen that I had cleaned up. Felt a sense of satisfaction. Turned and left the kitchen, and went to sit down.
And then my punishment began.
Slowly, with the stealth of a lion on the prowl….the pain monster began working its way into my feet. I tried not to think about it. I tried to think that it was not going to be too bad. I tried to ignore the anxiety bells ringing in my head. I tried to not regret with every fiber of my being what I had just done in the kitchen. I thought to myself, surely….seriously….40 minutes of working in the kitchen is not going to throw me back into the fire??? Are you shitting me?
Which brings us to today. This is day 5. I have been knocked off my ass again, with unimaginable pain that there are not enough descriptive words to make someone understand the severity, the intensity. The first night the pain made my eyes water even though my feet were off the floor. Not crying, just my eyes, watering.
The past 3 days, I have been only able to do the very least of things, like go to the bathroom, and grab the sandwich my husband made me and left in the refrigerator. I also have to give my diabetic cat his insulin which has to be refrigerated so that makes two trips to the fridge just for the insulin and one for my lunch. Then I either head to the living room where my desktop computer is or my bedroom where my laptop is.
I am an avid reader so when I am laid up I try to read, and I have been reading a lot lately. But when the pain is mind-numbing, screaming pain….I cannot concentrate on the words. So I just lay around, stare at the walls, try not to go crazy, and wait.
Now that I’ve been laid up for technically about 9 weeks….my back & my hips are starting to really hurt because of all the sitting. I have fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis and those things make moving around a must. But when you cannot walk, you cannot move around….therefore now it’s the domino effect. My feet, then my back, then my hips…..and sooner or later, my back or my neck will “go out” and then I will be completely out.
So that’s where I am as of right now. I am contemplating taking a shower which will require me to be on my feet at least a little bit. I have a shower chair which helps a lot but even the short amount of time I will have to maneuver on my feet in the shower, and out….will do me in for the day and night. I will probably need the entire day tomorrow just to recover from the shower. At least.
I take three to four vicodin a day plus ibuprofen, also 2700mg of gabapentin a day, plus 4 blood pressure meds, thyroid hormone, anti-depressant, etc., plus supplements. I can’t take any more pain meds than I already take. So it’s basically just try to survive and gulp pills all day.
Well, I guess I better go and try that shower. I’ve been putting it off for three days. It terrifies me. I know I will be in terrible pain, much worse after than I am in now. And that thought is mind blowing. But ya kinda gotta shower….. so I just grit my teeth and do it. That’s all I can do.
Til next time….. wish me luck.