Living With Chronic Pain

Every night before I go to sleep, I lay in my bed and pray. The first thing I pray for is my son; that he will have a good sleep, a good day, and that he’ll be happy, healthy, and safe.

The rest changes depending on the day, but the one thing I seem to feel guilty about asking God for help with is my health. I keep telling myself that God has more important things to concern himself with than my whining; there are folks out there who have it far worse than I do, and why should I get any special treatment?

In January of 2012, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after ten years of chronic pain.

Every morning of my life, I wake up in pain. Some days are better than others; some days I can barely get out of bed without a whimper, and occasionally tears. The worst of the pain usually subsides into a dull, aching throb by mid-day, and then gets progressively worse throughout the evening. But the mornings are by far the worst.

So far I have found nothing that helps alleviate the pain. I’m unable to work in a job where I have to stand all day (or even for semi-long periods of time) which is why I’ve stuck with Administration for so long. It’s the lesser of two evils; I get incredible lower back pain (especially in my tailbone) from sitting all day, but at least I’m able to put my feet up on something to help with the knee pain. If I stand for any significant length of time, my entire back throbs, my shoulders hurt, and my knees swell.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve started to develop a new “pain point”: my left wrist. This is especially brutal when you work on a computer for 9+ hours a day.

I went to my doctor last week, thinking it was carpal tunnel (I’d never had it before). But the doc said that usually people get C.T. in their *right* wrist (from using the mouse) and that it starts with the thumb and spreads to the center of the hand. My pain starts at the outside joint and travels simultaneously between the upper part of my hand and the upper part of my wrist (I don’t know how best to explain it other than that).

He told me to wear a wrist brace to bed for a week, and if it doesn’t improve, that he will order some nerve testing.

Well I’ve gotta be honest”¦ I didn’t have the money to buy a wrist brace until that “week” was almost over. When I did finally purchase one (for $40!), I woke up the morning after putting it on and the area around my thumb was red and swollen. This brace was meant for ladies with small wrists (aka me). The thumb hole itself is not adjustable. I didn’t have the brace on super tight, just enough to immobilize my wrist. I also have the exact same brace for my other hand (from when I worked in a broom shop), and never experienced this problem before.

So I returned it to the store and haven’t bothered with trying another, as all the other braces were huge, bulky, and difficult to get on without assistance. It didn’t seem to help much anyways.

I called my doctor’s office yesterday and left a message with one of the nurses, asking him if he could order those tests for me. I haven’t heard back yet, but that’s also likely because of the long weekend.

But today is another one of those days where I woke up in so much pain that I simply wanted to cry. My ex took my son out of town for the weekend, so I am totally and completely alone until Monday. You’d think I would sleep in, right?

Wrong.

My body is programmed to wake up any time between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. because that is when my son usually wakes up, and that’s when I would normally be having a shower to get ready for work.

So without a job to go to (I was laid off last week), and no son to wake me up, why on earth am I sitting here are 6 a.m. writing this?

Because of the pain.

The pain makes it impossible to sleep sometimes. All I want to do is lay in bed and drift off, but the pain is so sharp that it’s all my brain can focus on, and then I just get angry and frustrated (both by the pain, and the fact that I cannot get back to sleep).

I would really love it if one day, I could wake up completely pain free. Ten years is a really long time to be suffering”¦ and what’s worse is that I keep developing new pain points. I fear that my wrist tests are all going to come back physically fine (as has always been the case when I’ve been tested for any of my pain points), which will then mean it’s simply another spot I’m going to have pain for the rest of my life, with no way to cure it.

That, my dears, is a depressing thought.

7 thoughts on “Living With Chronic Pain”

  1. Hey!
    Just had to comment on your blog post. Have been looking for people who are going through the similar pain that I have been with my carpal tunnel syndrome. I was wondering if you had any supplements or medication you were taking to deal with the pain? I have tried a combination of Tumeric and Bromelain that seems to help a bit. Also, what type of brace are you using? I have been using a AWESOME brace I got from this link: http://www.braceability.com/wrist-braces-wrist-supports-wrist-splints-hand-and-wrist-braces
    Hopefully some of my suggestions will help a bit!
    Good luck!

  2. I have some pretty bad not carpel tunnel wrist pain. Mine is tendentious and the pain is largely in the back of my hand top of my wrist. If tendons are the source of the pain, what has helped me the most was a hot pad followed by ice. The heat will loosen up any fluids in your wrist and the ice will help reduce the swelling. Of the two the ice is both the more beneficial and the less pleasant (read: the ice hurts like a sonofabitch before it starts working). Massage was also helpful as well as, as odd as this might sound, stretching my shoulders and upper arms before bed. Don’t know if any of that is useful to you, but maybe some of it will help? My pain isn’t gone, but it’s a lot better managed.

  3. Mine was not fibromyalgia but back pain. And I know the feeling. Pain that is not in the background but jumping in front of everything you do. Friends have been a god-send. Taking the calls when I was alone. Helping when I needed help.

    I’ve been fortunate, a back surgery and I’m much better. All I can do is send you the love and understanding that you deserve.

  4. I’m so sorry you have this. I am also a Sara-with-no-H but with fibromyalgia, and you’re right, it sucks. My doctor gave me a medication that is technically an anti-seizure med, but it is used off-label for fibro. It takes the edge off. The pain isn’t gone, but it’s not quite so bad, which is good since I think I have 9 out of the 11 pain points that are usually diagnosed as being fibro-related.

    I hope you’re able to find something that works for you sooner rather than later. Maybe you’ll have to be more proactive with your doctor, or see a pain management specialist (I know, easier said than done, especially if your insurance situation is up in the air), but there might be something that works with your body to make it slightly better.

    1. Thank you for the suggestions my dear! I have tried a few different meds, but my body generally does not react well to medicine… and I always seem to get those “worst-case scenario” side effects! :( Boo. But it’s nice to know I’m not alone! *hugs*

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