Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pain & Fear

Here I go again,

and again,

and again.

My pain free days are good days and ones I take (very deservedly) for granted. I've begun to journal my pain levels because I have a very high tolerance and a very short memory when it comes to pain.

I find it tends to sift into my consciousness and then out again as if it never happened, although I always know a pain free day when I see it.

Sometimes it's my gut, sometimes it's my muscles, sometimes it's some heinous menopause symptoms and sometimes it's my prednisone induced arthritis.

My joints ache and bother me like I'm twice my age and it can be uncomfortable at the best of times. The cold seems to be the worst for it and my joints stiffen like I've been hit with a freeze ray gun (how cool would that be?) When it's at it's worst I can usually slide into a hot bath and the heat soothes it. At the recommendation of my pharmacist I've been taking fish oil pills but the pain is getting steadily worse.

I've noticed that my right hip gets hit the worst. Sometimes it feels so bad that it seems like a whole other pain. It feels like it is deep within the bone and the pain radiates down my leg.

It's getting worse despite the fact that the weather is getting hotter and hotter. My mother commented on how strange that is because it's been so warm. Last year the summer gave me several months reprieve with little to no arthritis so what's up now?

I've started taking Tylenol and that doesn't even take the edge off. Yesterday I started to become concerned but it's Friday and my doctors office is closed until Monday. Now that the pain is in the forefront of my thoughts I'm getting downright scared. The pain in my hand has become a stabbing one and my fingers are going numb. I am unable to function or get anything done. Holding a pen sends a stabbing sensation. My eyes are so dry that this extra heat makes them feel like they have been burnt.

Unfortunately long term, high dose use of predisone can cause something else that's a lot worse...

Avascular necrosis. It's bone death. It tends to happen in hip joints and leads to bone destruction and eventually needing a hip replacement. The fact that I even have something like this to be scared about just boggles my mind. I'm only thirty fucking seven.

I used to be a runner. I was a healthy eater, I never smoked, did drugs or drank alcohol. I cleaned my home with natural cleaners. I exercised every day and lived a healthful life. What the hell happened?


Anyway, despite all that, here I am. This is my life and this is what there is to deal with. Suck it up as usual, shove the fear away and make sure I get into my doctor office ASAP.


Caroline said...

Oh, what a bummer. But I live in pain too - from degenerating disks in my back. I have been told this is chronic and will never go away... How wonderful is that?? Two years ago, I had no pain and was active. Can you go see a pain specialist at a pain management center? Medical professionals who understand pain can provide lots of options. Also, see this article on cnn I found it helpful as I am also being treated for depression - my anxiety and inability to cope with my ongoing health roller coaster. Good luck to you!

BaldyLocks said...

Thanks for the info Caroline.

Toboggan said...

I too live with chronic pain -- fibromyalgia (all-over pain) and scapularthoracic syndrome (back and shoulder pain). Symptom management treatments are spotty at best, and since the cause for these is not known, there is no cure. So far I have been able to avoid heavy-duty pain meds, thank goodness. But I get ever so tired of having to be a "hero" every day and to fight a "war" with my own body every day, 24/7/365.

BaldyLocks said...

Chronic pain sucks to say the least. Living with what you're living with, Caroline & Toboggan, is hard. I was okay thinking it was arthritis but now that it's getting worse and could be something other than arthritis is flipping me out.

Sometimes the pain seems to come from nowhere which I would imagine would be completely frustrating when you have to live with it all of the time.

I really hope there will be solutions for all of us.

Tara said...

Me too! Isn't it odd when you 'forget' the pain on your good days, but I find on the 'bad days', I forget what it's like to feel good any more >:(. Stupid cancer indeed!!
I hope you feel a respite soon! I have appreciated the hot summer this year since my joint pain is so much less when it's hot and humid. When everyone else is complaining about the weather; I'm sweating and loving it!
Take care! :)