Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pain trumps ego

I spend 7 days with a headache that has me in bed, fetal position, unable to move. There are hours of relief in between because of Zomig nasal spray (prescribed for migraines), in which I can function, but otherwise, when it comes back, I can barely breathe. It makes me nauseous, my neck and shoulder are stiff and swollen, my uterus and lower back hurts, my muscles burn and ache, my upper back is inflamed and burning. It's a party in my body.

I am still on lots of supplements and they are still definitely making a difference, but when this headache comes and I am so sick for so many days, I wonder again if I need to go back to a lyme disease diagnosis. It seems like at this point after a Q Fever diagnosis (which in theory is gone because of the 4 months of doxycycline), and now 2 months of supplements, I shouldn't be feeling like crap on a daily basis. I am definitely better, but still not the healthy person I was before I got sick. Every day there is something; burning in my muscles, twinges, pins and needles, painful upper back, muscles that feel tired and sore, not sleeping again, irritability, depression, and searching for words. F@#K!

I decide to see Dr. X, an integrative medicine specialist, who was actually recommended to me a year ago but I didn't see him because I had a doctor and felt I was being treated. Dr. X comes highly recommended again and so I take that as a sign I should see him. I'm waiting for an appointment. I fill out the 20 page intake paperwork and it is the most comprehensive I have seen. There are questions on there that not one doctor asked me ever in my journey. I also take that as a sign he knows what he is doing. It is depressing also though to be preparing for yet another doctor's appointment, having hope that maybe this doctor will have some reasonable and helpful ideas as to how I can stop feeling like crap. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!

I spend a weekend feeling very sorry for myself. I cry for 3 days and can't stop. I think the prolonged pain has taken it's toll and put me on my knees. This seems familiar though because I've been here before. Finally, I have a meeting with myself and decide that I can keep crying or I can take matters into my own hands and get moving. I go grocery shopping and buy only healthy, organic foods and make a promise to myself that I am going to eat no sugar, no dairy, no bread, no glutamates, no aspartates, no preservatives etc, for the next month. I may not be able to control what is happening in my body, but I sure as hell can control what I am putting into it. I decide that I am going to start going for long walks again, and find a way to exercise more, even if it's just slow stretching. I will think of this as the Olympics of my body, and so whatever it takes to make me well, I am going to do it.

The silver lining in all of this pain is that I realize my ego has shrugged it's shoulders and taken a hike. It's kind of a relief. That amount of prolonged pain is so intense that it demands attention and literally everything else goes away. I can't read, watch TV, or even talk on the phone. The only thing I can do is lie there and get through each painful second, which seem like an hour, waiting for it to subside. It makes the moments when I feel well so much more precious. Pain has kicked my ego's ass, and I suppose I am being held down by it because I still hadn't gotten the message. But after these last days of pain I am finally, after a year and half, starting to get it; slow down, stop resisting, mindfulness, stop being so hard on myself, relax, stop trying to control everything, give in, give over, breathe. Terrifying.

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