I had a stupid day yesterday. A pear shaped day. The kind of day where Jake barfed right after I got him out of the bathtub and into his fuzzy jammies. And the dogs wouldn’t stay off the couch or out of my way while I was tidying. And I made a cake which turned out to be not only not needed but not very good either. And, our tenant, who is a thousand miles away and too far away to smack, turned off the pump to the koi pond again. And, all that happened on less than three hours of sleep the night before. It was an annoyingly discouraging kind of day.
I was also having a flare up of my chronic pain problem, but thanks to my new medication the pain was do-able and life didn’t come to a screeching, blaring, screaming halt like it did pre medication. However, the pain was getting worse in the afternoon and so I tried to stretch out a little. As I lay with my spine crunching against the hard wood floor, I remembered that I had a yoga ball, deflated, in the basement. I limped downstairs and trundled it back upstairs. I spent ten minutes pumping it up since I was tired and Jake wanted to sit on the ball and the dogs wanted to get in the way. I finally got it blown up and when I took a closer look at it, I slumped and heaved a sigh. My yoga ball was pear shaped.
And I feel like that pretty much sums up the way I have felt over the last few months.
(If this were an 80’s TV. sitcom, this is where the wavy-screened flashback scene would start.)
I’ve had a chronic pain problem most of my adult life, in the form of Mysterious Bone Melting Pain. It got really bad after chemotherapy since chemo really is an experiment in trying to kill cancer without killing you on accident. I can’t imagine that anything would get BETTER after having been poisoned six times. It got worse the few months after I had Jake, but for some reason, maybe having to do with high altitude or just to balance out how cool Colorado Springs is, my pain reached unbearable levels after moving to Colorado. Pain so bad I couldn’t even scream. I was on probably illegal doses of drugs and at times wouldn’t have been able to “Just Say No” to anything that would have helped. A massage therapist literally changed my life when he told me he probably wouldn’t be able to help me, but that he had this really great pain specialist I should see.
So, I saw a pain specialist and after testing me for all the scary diseases, syndromes, and disorders I’d ever heard of and some I hadn’t, we found out that it’s…well, actually we still don’t know. Which is why I’m taking a medication for seizures for some reason also helps Mysterious Bone Melting Pain Syndrome.
The problem with my new meds is that while it has helped my MBMPS, it also causes my brain to be somewhat blank. If I had to describe my pre-medicated brain using a color (can you tell I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook?), I would have said it was bright purple and green swirled with some sparkly bits thrown in. Now, it’s sort of taupe. The weird color they paint the halls of a hospital in the non kid friendly parts. (By the way, hospital paint-color-choosers, adults like bright, cheery, fun butterflies painted outside their rooms, too. But not in the psych ward. They should probably still have taupe.)
Did I mention I have trouble focusing?
Before I started taking my meds, I had a ton of things going on in my head all the time. I had essays fighting with each other to see which could pin me down first and be written. I had semi-interesting thoughts at least half the time. I was inspired to watch documentaries like Forgiving Dr. Mengele and having that hour and a half fill me with more thinking than I could do in a month. I wanted to read interesting things, listen to thought provoking podcasts. Basically, I was a smarty–pants and I liked it.
Now, I don’t care about much of anything. I watched about three seasons of Law and Order straight through because I didn‘t feel like doing anything else. I haven’t read anything, at all, in about three weeks. I haven’t written in a long time. And what scares me even more is that my brain is silent. There aren’t any words fighting to get out, no questions, no answers, no curiosity. I feel alone in my own body.
And, I’m cranky. All the time. Plus, I’ve gained five pounds. But, I don’t want to talk about it. And, this is my essay, so I’m not gonna.
People say to me, “Surely it’s worth the trade off. You are almost pain free. So what if you feel a little down. It’s got to be worth it”.
I don’t know that it is worth it. How do I trade being pain free for the worth of my brain and who I am? I used to think that I would give anything to be pain-free, but I’m not so sure anymore.
I guess the only answer is to lessen my miracle drug dosage (and yes, you crazies, I DID discuss this with my doctor) and finding out what happens. Maybe I’ll still be pain free AND I’ll get my multi-colored sparkly brain back. Or maybe I’ll be in some pain and I’ll be less hospital wall colored. Or, maybe I will find that I can’t stand being in pain and I have to fight through the taupe or at least learn to deal with it.
I don’t know what the answer is right now. And, I’m tired. And I’ve cried a few too many times while I wrote this essay. So, I’ll continue to quest for truth later.
I think what I need to do right now is go buy another yoga ball. The right shape this time. And maybe the rest of life will work itself out.