Life is hard sometimes

21 pills a day.

I go back and forth between wanting to do every possible thing there is to do in the world and wanting to kill myself because the constant pain and the constant stream of pills is too much to bear.

I calculated it last weekend, and I’m on about 21 prescription pills a day. That’s 21 pills every single day just to survive. It’s 21 pills just to make it from sun up to sun down.

Every single day, I wake up in horrible pain because all my medications have worn off.

The hydrocodone and the gabapentin from the night before are no longer in my system, and my right rib hurts so bad that it’s hard to breath. It’s hard to even reach over and grab the bottles of pills and count them out and put them in my mouth and then grab the cup of water I put there the night before knowing I would need it and then take a gulp and swallow it all down.

I have to use every ounce of strength I have in my bones to get up and reach over and grab those pills every morning. And of course it doesn’t help that my brain is fighting off the fog of the sleeping pill I took the night before.

I hate it. I really hate it.

I want it all to be over so bad.

I don’t understand it, and the doctors don’t seem to either. The pain specialist and Loyola told me that he doesn’t know what caused it, he doesn’t know what will cure it and he’s pretty much just hoping it will go away on it’s own.

My primary care doctor told me to make an appointment at The Mayo Clinic, and after realizing that I just can not live my life by depending on two hydrocodone every four hours, I decided to take his advice. So I reached out to them this week, and then they said they would need a referral, which my primary care doctor gave them. But then they said they had to decide whether or not they would take my case.

Did you read that? They have to decide if they going to take my case or not. The Mayo Clinic is just about my last resort on this stupid blue planet and they could end up deciding that I am not worthy of their care.

They said they would tell me their decision in 10 days.

Whatever.

Just like everyone else, they think 10 days is a short amount of time, but they don’t seem to understand that for someone in chronic pain, 10 days feels like 10 years.

I’m so frustrated.

I hate dealing with this every day.

I know it could be worse. I know I need to pray and lean on God. But it’s just so hard to get up out of bed every single morning and reach over and grab those pills.

And then to have to take a bunch more four short hours later because my right ribs are screaming in agony.

I want to be healthy. I want to do all the things I used to do. I want to be awesome at both my jobs. I want to be an over achiever.

I want to be able to hop in a car and drive out to see my mom on a moment’s notice, or help my boyfriend clean out his office, or decorate the youth room or go to the grocery store anytime I want without having to calculate how much pain I’m going to be in at the first stoplight I hit.

I want to reach over and give my boyfriend a big hug without horrible pain radiating throughout my body. I want to cover a candy show without having to lay down behind the booth throughout the day because the pain is unbearable and I can no longer stand up. And I want to love being alive again.

And I can’t do any of those things right now. In fact, I can barely get out of bed.

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I’m still in pain. And I still don’t know why.

I’m still in pain.

Like all the time.

I haven’t killed myself.

I figured I should a write a post saying that in case you’re the one reader here who’s not my friend in real life or on Facebook and you’re worried I ended it all based on my last post. 

I haven’t.

I’m still in near constant pain though.

My only symptom seems to be horrible stabbing pain on my lower right ribs all the time and then it hurts when you even slightly touch anywhere on my right rib, including my right boob. (I can say “boob” right? Even though I’m a youth leader? Or is there a more Christian term for that part of my body? I can’t think of one).

Anyway, so they laid a small tube across my right chest during the MRI I had of my spine and my throat Monday and the tube was connected to something I could squeeze if I needed help. Within minutes I was crying from pain because it was too much pressure on my chest and I had to have them move it. And I can’t wear a stretchy tank tops because it’s too much pressure on my chest and it hurts like hell. (“Hell” is in the Bible. I can say that).

The pain has been very hard to deal with.

My friend told me yesterday that his dad used to say that nothing deteriorates your mental health faster than constant physical pain. He’s right.

If you seriously knew how often I genuinely considered killing myself over the last couple months you would be shocked. I’m shocked.

I’m trying to sleep a lot and I keep waiting for the next doctor’s appointment hoping that I will finally get some help, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Prayers are appreciated.

Basically, the MRI’s of my spine and my throat came back clear, which means I don’t have a pinched nerve. They don’t think it’s costochondritis because it doesn’t seem to respond to anti-inflammatories. They’ve given up on the idea of shingles. They have no idea why the intercostal nerve block didn’t work.

The pain specialist basically told me on Monday that it’s nerve pain. They don’t know what caused it. They probably will never know what caused it. They don’t know how to make it stop so they’re just going to keep trying different medications to see what works. And they have no idea how long it will last, but they’re kind of just hoping it will go away on its own.

I cry a lot. But crying hurts.

I tried to Google some things. But my official diagnosis of  “intercostal neuralgia” is rare enough that not much comes up. It was like the first page of results that suggested marijuana might help.

I want it to stop. I want my life back. I want to be able to take a full shower without crying. I want to able to wear a regular bra again. I want to be able to drive into work without sobbing. I want to able to walk around a Wal-Mart without feeling like I’m going to die.

And I want to know why the heck I was fine on Feb. 2 and by Feb. 4 I was in the emergency room with stabbing pain in my right ribs and nobody can tell me what caused it.

 

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Confessions of being in near constant pain.

I feel like I’m going to die all the time.

Actually, really, I feel like I want to die. All the time.

It really hurts that bad right now. This horrible, horrible pain in my right ribs that I’ve been dealing with for more than two months now.

There’s a saying about food poisoning. “At first you’re afraid you’re going to die. Then you’re afraid you won’t.”

I don’t have food poisoning though.  I have nerve pain in my ribs. And I want to kill myself.

I think about it a lot.

The thoughts started during the long nights when I couldn’t sleep and even the blankets seemed to hurt my body and there was nobody to help me and breathing hurt. When breathing hurts you can’t help but go to dark places because literally every few seconds you have to think about the pain.

I have since found that two codeine helps with that though. It gives me the most crazy, vivid dreams, but it knocks me out. So I take it as early as I can. I sleep 11 hours a day because sleeping is the only time I don’t feel like someone is stabbing me.

Now though, I think about killing myself mostly while I’m driving.

That’s when it hurts the very most. It’s when I try not to take too many drugs because I’m operating heavy machinery. I haven’t worn the top of my seat belt since Feb. 3 because when it lays across my ribs it feels like it’s simultaneously suffocating me, and stabbing me. But even without the seatbelt, there’s something about sitting up right, and stopping abruptly multiple times, and dealing with traffic that makes me want to be dead.

I mentioned it to my boyfriend once in passing while I was in rush hour. “I want to kill myself,” I said. I just wanted to see how the words sounded in the air. But I could tell he did not want to hear them the second I said them. “You do not want to kill yourself,” he said matter of factly.

I don’t blame him. Nobody would want to hear those words from their love.

I promise you though, it hurts so much. I think it about it all the time. I’m ready to be dead. I really am. I’m at so much peace with it.

I don’t know if this means the pain is at a point that I should be taking myself to the emergency room, or if I should just take another codeine. I try to only take one at a time during the day.

I’m writing this post because I feel very alone. I feel like I’m in a dark place. And it hurts when I breathe.

When I’m at work, I can’t sit at my desk the whole day, so depending how many drugs I’m on and how good I’m feeling and how much I did the day before, I take breaks throughout the day to literally lay on the floor by my chair on my stomach.

I push my chair aside, and lie face down on the thin carpet by my desk. Usually, I use my coat as a sort of pillow.

I try not to cry at work though because it freaks people out.

Standing used to be more comfortable than sitting, but now, really, the only comfortable thing is taking a gabapentin, two codeine and going to sleep.

I know that everyone wants me to be back to my old self. But all I can say is that I promise, they can’t possibly want it more than I do.

I’m not going to kill myself. Not today.

I heard this story on NPR on after-death experiences. And it was about this doctor or something who studied all these people who had died and then come back to life.

He said every single one of them had felt a warm light or something after they died. That all of them basically went to Heaven. All of them except the ones who had attempted suicide. The things those people saw were too awful for words.

And that’s not to say people who kill themselves can’t go to Heaven. That’s not really for me to judge.

But just to be safe, I’m not going kill myself. Not today.

I’m just reaching out. Trying to tell you something. Trying to say that it hurts really bad. And that if you’re in pain too, and you’re in a really dark place. You’re not alone.

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