It started innocently enough. Tendonitis in my typing wrist. I wore a brace, learned to move differently, too pain pills.
Then my back. Then my arms and legs. In April, at my last Boston birthday party, I ended up so stiff and in such pain that I could no longer ignore it. But I didn't talk about it til June. Felt like if I didn't acknowledge it, it would go away. Yeah, stupid, but when you're alreay dealing with so much - still on the Trileptal and declining, still struggling to keep from losing more weight, struggling to hold onto my job - it feels like one more thing will just break you.
Everything has changed.
I have a heated mattress pad to keep my core body temperature up. I have an array of bath and body products that are supposed to help relax my muscles. I have books and magazine articles. I have a TheraCane so I can massage the trigger points on my back. I've had to give up some of the kink I really enjoy, because parts of me are now too fragile. I do yoga even when it hurts, because not exercising, not stretching, will make it worse. I have a cervical memory-foam pillow and a body pillow, because it hurts when my knees touch.
My life revolves around pain management.
I try to make it subtle, try to be graceful about it. "I need to sit now." "No, I really need that pillow." "That hurts right now, honey." "I can't manage that today."
I try to not let it rule my life.
But it is always there.
When I say I'm in mild pain, or "It's not that bad today," that means that maybe I just have the ache in my legs, or that column of pain down my back, or that my hands are gimpy. Usually all three.
Moderate pain means it's hard to climb the stairs, or that just bending or straightening my arms or legs provoked an unintentional gasp of pain, or that pain is lancing down my neck, over my shoulders...
Severe pain means I'm in bed, cocooned in hypothetically-healing warmth after a bath with all of the products, popping Flexeril and hoping desperately for sleep,because the pain just isn't going away and sleep is my only escape.
Most days, I'm in mild to moderate pain. Yesterday morning was moderate, and yesterday evening was mild. Today it's edging towards moderate.
And I am so tired.
I'm launching a webcomic. I'm writing two books. And oh, yeah - I'm raising a child and running a household. I do not have time for this. I need to incorporate it gracefully.
I acknowledge it. I tell it to get in line. I have too much to do to allow pain to be my primary partner... but ignoring it will make it worse. So. Graceful accomodation.
I'm just tired today. *rueful smile*