I was in a car accident in 1998. Since then I have been in pain 24/7. Evidently I have a low threshold for pain. What is a threshold for pain you ask?
According to Wikipedia:
“The threshold of pain is the point at which pain begins to be felt. It is an entirely subjective phenomenon. The intensity at which a stimulus begins to evoke pain varies from individual to individual and for a given individual over time.”
I realize pain is different for everyone and a person can only relate to the worst pain they personally have ever had.
I grew up thinking you were supposed to feel pain when you went to the dentist. Those local pain shots never worked on me. I once had a root canal done feeling every bit of it. It wasn’t easy because I knew I had to sit still or risk having a drill go somewhere it shouldn’t. Then the dentist broke the drill bit off in my jaw. An hour and a half I sat in that chair, a good part of that time spent with the dentist trying to get the drill bit out. He finally quit for the day and a week later I had to go through another hour and a half of sitting still while feeling every bit of it. I didn’t know until at least twenty years later that he never removed that drill bit piece that was in my jaw. They broke my jaw getting it and what was left of the tooth, out.
I now have had all my teeth pulled because they just went bad despite all the good intentions of trying to save them. That was no picnic either.
Back to my car accident. I injured my back in several places and developed a bad case of Fibromyalgia. chronic fatigue and depression. Depression is common when you have to deal with pain every day. I went through two years of hell then I decided this is what life dealt me and I better get used to it.
It has gotten better over the years, I finally got doctors who believed I was really in pain. That in itself was a major hump I had to get over. I finally got put on the medication I needed to be on. I was still in pain which varied from day-to-day and moved around, but I was better equipped mentally to deal with it. My worse pain comes from my lower back. I have a torn disc that sits right on my tailbone, a tailbone that got broken when I was thirteen.
Three months ago I changed doctors. She asked me if I had ever been tested for Lupus. I said no. So she tested me and I tested positive. She sent me to a specialist. He tested me again and it turned out that the test I had taken before was a false positive. I did a little research on Lupus during that month wait to get in to see the specialist. It seems Lupus and Fibromyalgia have the same symptoms. They get mistaken for each other all the time. While I don’t like the pain I am in, I am so glad I don’t have Lupus. That is a hard road to travel.
The specialist asked me what was being done for my FMS. “Nothing“ came my reply. “What have they given you?” Again, “Nothing”
He seemed astounded by this information. He gave me three prescriptions, one being prednisone. One of the others was a muscle relaxer (got rid of my nervous legs, so nice of it to do that for me) and I don’t know what the other did. Will have to look it up later. I wasn’t pain-free but I felt so much better and was sleeping more than fifteen minutes at a time (the pain wakes me up and I have to shift). I was in Heaven for two weeks until the prednisone wore off.
You can’t stay on prednisone. When I first went to the specialist the nurse asked me what level of pain I was in. I told her that I couldn’t remember what it was like to not be in pain so I had no idea what level I was at. I know now. When that pain came back full strength it was ten times worse. It has to be an eleven on a scale from zero to ten.
During that two weeks of Heaven my grandsons got to meet the grandma who was not in pain (comparatively). They got to see a smiling grandma who smiled for no reason. For the first time….ever, they got to see that person. I am now back to not sleeping, walking oddly, having trouble getting up and down stairs….not being able to make my bed.
A couple of weeks ago I moved wrong or did something I was not supposed to do and something shifted in my lower back. I now have sciatica. I thought I was in pain before, but this beats even that. I am on prednisone for another three weeks but even it will not relieve this pain.
So pain is relative, it can always be worse. I also know my pain is not as bad as others go through. I have been asked how I do it. What can I do? I can bitch and moan but believe me that only makes you feel worse and it does not make any pain go away.
I make myself get up in the morning. I make myself get dressed. To me that is a mental signal that my day must begin, I cannot lay around all day.
By the way, I forgot to mention I am in a catch 22, if I move too much I hurt worse, if I stand still too long I hurt worse, sit too long or lay down too long. Worse. Migraines go right along with this.
At first I thought it was cruel that I got two weeks of an almost pain-free life, then had to go back. Now, I realize that my family got to see the real me. I hope they realize I am not a grouchy old woman for no reason. Heck I didn’t realize I was a grouchy old woman until now. I am working on that. My life is what it is. The worst thing for people to do is feel sorry for me, I can do the pity party just fine on my own. I don’t need company down in that pit.
Bottom line…I refuse to let this beat me, define me, to change what is basic of who I am inside.