Tag Archive: chronic pain

Just another doctor’s appointment

I’m not exactly sure what I expected to happen today at the doctor’s office.

Honestly, I genuinely thought I wasn’t expecting anything at all.

But when I looked at the man who’s been treating me for the last few months, and told him that I had indeed quit my job at the church, and would be moving in with my mom who lives near Rockford and that I needed a referral, I guess I just thought he’d have some sort of reaction.

But he didn’t really. Or, well, he didn’t have the reaction, I guess I wanted him to have.

He just gave me the same stupid nod he’s been giving me all along.

The same stupid nod he’s been giving me at every appointment for the last four months, no matter what the situation was. The same stupid nod he has used to say hello or to pathetically try to reassure me when my eyes were filled with tears of desperation, or to falsely tell me he was working as hard as he could when I couldn’t sit upright long enough to ask even one question.

That same stupid nod.

I don’t know why I expected anything different this time.

He said it was probably going to be a good thing for me that I’m going to be quitting my job at the church and moving in with mom. I’m assuming it’s because he thinks the extra rest will be good for me, but he never actually articulated that.

He rambled on about how I would need to request my records once I got settled in with  new doctor and specialist out there. He told me how the doctor or the institution couldn’t request the records, but how I had to request them myself. And how I could probably fax a request, or if it was easier I could call in a request, but either way, I would have to make the request.

And then, because he was at least self-aware enough to know that he was rambling, he apologized for sounding so convoluted about something that neither one of us really cared about.

Then, he just said he’d be available if I had any other questions before I moved, and he scurried out of the room, like he was relieved to be getting rid of me.

I guess I can’t really blame the guy. Everything he tries to do to fix me fails miserably.

It’s just, I realized, in that moment, as my eyes started to tear up, and I was suddenly hyper aware of the constant stabbing pain in my lower right ribs, that I had hoped for something more from this man.

I hoped that when I told him I was quitting my job at the church, and leaving behind one of my true passions, that I would get some sort of a reaction. That maybe then he would finally understand the severity of the situation. And maybe he would suddenly remember some new treatment, or pull some magic pill out of thin air that he hadn’t mentioned before and he would try it on me, and it would work and I would be better and I wouldn’t have to leave the church after all.

Or maybe he would apologize. He would cry with me, and hold my hand and tell me how sorry he was that he couldn’t help me find relief after all this time. That he would tell me that he knew how hard it must be for me to go through so much at such a young age, and how being in pain all the time must be near impossible for me to deal with. And he would tell me he wished he could have done more to help me.

But he didn’t do do any of those things. He just nodded, and then he had his resident refill a prescription for a sleeping pill I’m on.

So I grabbed my huge medical binder, my tablet with all my questions for the appointment listed on it, and my purse and walked out the door with tears in my eyes.

And it hit me.

I really am quitting my job at the church and moving in with mom.

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I’m finally getting some sleep, so I don’t want to kill myself anymore

So, sleep is freaking important.

And, I’m finally taking some medicine that is strong enough to overcome the stabbing pain in my right ribs and help me get some of it every night. YAY!

I mean, sure, whatever, I sleep for like 12 hours straight no matter how many alarms I set. But hey, at least I’m not suicidal anymore.

Seriously, it was those long nights awake in pain that were driving me down to Hell. When each long minute seemed like an hour and each night seemed like an eternity and the pain was at its worst and I was all alone.

That’s when I couldn’t think clearly.

That’s when I would lose all hope.

And it didn’t really get much better when the sun came up, because functioning on no sleep makes you insane. It just does.

So I would spend all day, still in horrible pain, dreading the night time, thinking about suicide. Laying on the floor in various places, because I was so tired and in so much pain that I couldn’t sit upright.

I remember laying on the floor in a dining room and being able to see into a bathroom where a jug of Drano sat on the floor. And I remember thinking, maybe I could just drink that and this whole thing would be over.

It was awful.

I kept clawing for help, reaching out in anyway I knew how. But I didn’t know  what exactly it was that was making me crazy. And I assumed it was the horrible, daily pain. And I couldn’t seem to get help for that.

I did know I needed to get the sleep thing figured out though. I knew, for example, that it was at least a third of the reason I would cry for the first hour after I got to work everyday. (The other two-thirds being equal parts horrible stabbing pain, and a cocktail of medications screwing with my brian).

Unfortunately, Advil PM is just not strong enough for me right now, but thankfully, my doctor finally put me on 50 mg. of amitriptyline.

And I’m finally getting some sleep every single day.

And I’m finally thinking just a little bit more clearly.

The other good news about that medication, is that it’s also supposed to help with my pain. I mean, I don’t think it really has yet, but I’ve been told that’s going to happen, so YAY!

I also went to see another doctor yesterday who put me on an anti-viral medication, just in case this is shingles without a rash. And he paired it with a steroid pack so that it’s more effective and so that I can get better at hitting baseballs and eventually play for the Cubs.

If the anti-viral/steroid thing works, I could be cured before the huge candy show I have to cover for my job at the end of May. And let me just tell you that I really, really, really, really want to work that show with all of my sugar-coated heart.

If that doesn’t work, well, then I’m pretty much screwed. And I do not use the word screwed on here lightly.

Let’s just say visions of The Mayo Clinic are dancing in all my doctor’s brains right now. And I thought they would think that place was like some sort of drastic measure. But no. They were like, you should probably make an appointment now just to be safe. And I was like, Crap.

Anyway, I hope the anit-viral medication works.

It probably will.

And now that I’m getting enough sleep, even if it doesn’t, I won’t get so defeated that I’ll end up killing myself. So yay.

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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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