I hurt. Not emotionally or mentally, but physically.
It’s a pain I know all too well, but one that has been distant for more than a year. The pain is most present in the area at the base of my skull, my neck, my shoulders, both elbows and the lower part of my back. In my skull, neck and shoulders it feels like hot razor blades are being constantly drug across my skin. For my elbows and low back, there’s a constant dull ache. I have headaches that spread up from the base of my skull to my temples traveling across my forehead and down to my ears. It starts in the morning and lasts until I lay down in bed at night.
The pain has been present for a few months and I have been trying to ignore it. Ignorance is bliss, right? I’ve been trying to maintain a mind over matter approach. But alas, I am ready to wave the white flag. I need something to make this discomfort go away.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It was a relief to finally get a diagnosis after dealing with the pain since I was a young teenager. But the diagnosis did not make the pain go away. The doctor’s speculated that the Fibromyalgia was a result of contracting Lyme Disease.
Over the last year I have worked on getting my mental health in check. In February 2016, I received the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder 1. For who knows what reason, the Fibromyalgia took a back seat while we worked to get me mentally stable. Not sure what I would’ve done if I had to deal with the instability of my mood and chronic widespread pain. I am grateful that I had the last year or more reprieve.
There are medications that can be taken to help with Fibro, like Lyrica, but they cause interactions with other medications that I am on, which poses quite the challenge. I get trigger point injections every few weeks into my neck and shoulders to break up the bound muscles. It is not pleasant, but it offers some relief. I also started to get a Toradol injection again. With it being an anti-inflammatory medication, it keeps me from going into a full-blown flare.
Life can be hard. I feel like every time I get my head above water, I have something grabbing at my feet to pull me back under. My family recites the phrase, “it’s always something” and that pretty much sums things up. I feel like th
is in unfair, but it is life, and I know I need to be thankful for all aspects of my life. Having gone through so much with my mental health, the re-occurrence of physical pain, although a nuisance, seems to be much easier to deal with than the mental anguish that I went through earlier in the year. I do get frustrated that getting treatment is complicated due to the medications that I take for my mental health. But nothing worth having comes without a fight.
I focus on my blessings. I focus on my three positive things a day. Today’s positives are: having affordable health insurance, having a boss who allows me to take time off work to tend to my numerous health issues and for the invention of hormone replacement therapy. An affirmation that I say to myself is: I have the strength and determination to get me to the place that I desire to be.
What are you thankful for today? How do you work through the tough times? How do you remain positive even when there is negativity surrounding you?