Saturday, July 31, 2010

I don't know if the Disabled Guy still thinks I'm "exaggerating the pain" after today.

As I've mentioned, I don't like to take my Vicodin during the day. I get a certain amount of pills per month from the VA. They give me enough to have a few extra, but I don't like to get into the habit of daytime pain meds. There are exceptions, of course. If I have to go grocery shopping for more than a couple items. If I have to go to Wal-Mart, which I hate doing, I take daytime pills. I hate Wal-Mart not only because they're a globally-dominating conglomerate that seeks to stomp out every bit of originality from a town, but because EVERYTHING is so far apart. I can't just pop in and get a bottle of human shampoo and some dog treats. I have to go from one end of the store to the other. And deity forbid I order photos... that's all the way at the back of the store.

So yeah, not thrilled with having to go to Wal-Mart.

Thursday, we did the big monthly grocery shop. That's two pills around ten or eleven AM. That evening, I took my usual six PM pills (followed by the muscle relaxers at 730). Then, on Friday, it was payday and Wal-Mart day. Two pills as we leave the house, so they'll be in my system good by the time I reach Wal-Mart. And of course, the six PM pills.

Today, I didn't plan on leaving the house. I didn't even put shoes on- which I'm now regretting, because when I go shoeless, my feet are sore. That's my own fault. I made Chef Boy-R-Dee pizza for dinner tonight. Which means I had to mix the dough by hand, mush it into the pans by hand... you see where I'm going? And the pizza is so messy (I do the thick crust method) we use forks to eat it. I took my six PM pills ten minutes late.

About ten minutes afterwards, what felt like... well, I can only describe it as static electricity on high crackled through my arm, down through my now-sore wrist and into my hand. Simultaneously, the same sensation jolted through my right leg, down to my foot. As this static-crackling feeling is going on, I had sharp, stabbing pain that throbbed through my hand, near my knuckles and in my foot, near the ball of the foot. I couldn't get it to stop. It sort of freaked me out. And the pain. There are no exclamations I could utter that would convey how it felt. I clutched the arm of my computer chair with my left hand. I gasped for breath and clenched my eyes to keep the tears from flowing. I curled my right arm up, cradling my hand against my chest (well, between my breasts, it sort of happened that way). My hand looked claw-like and I was afraid to bend or straighten my fingers. I know I was doing some kind of writhing thing, because I was trying to use my left foot to "push" the throbbing pain out of the right foot.

I don't know how long this went on. It couldn't have been too long, because NASCAR was on and it was on commercials. Had I been making that much noise, the spouse would have gotten pissed off and he didn't. He actually asked me what was wrong. I couldn't explain it.

I didn't actually cry, but I did have tears fall, but it was more like my eyes were too full to hold them back, if that makes sense. Here I am, an hour and a half later, with a residual ache in my wrist and hand- it feels slightly hot, like a low-grade burning feeling (which I've had many, many times before) and the parts of my foot that typically ache on those days I go without shoes are also aching, but they seem a little more tender than usual. I'm not sure if that's actual tenderness or if my brain is just more aware of it now.

I've had my hand hurt before. I've had my arm hurt. I've had my leg and my foot hurt. But I've never had all of them, simultaneously, jolt in the same way.

On top of all that, I've spent most of the day with the itchy skin... I considered taking just one Vicodin to settle the itch down. And no, Benadryl won't work. A lotion won't work. The itch is inside, under the skin. Like there are a thousand bored spiders, all twiddling their spider thumbs at the same time.

So now I'm not so sure if the Disabled Guy thinks I'm exaggerating anymore. Of course, I'm not going to have a spell like that deliberately just to prove it to him. In fact, I'd like to live pain-free for a while. I don't even remember how that felt.


  1. Patty, I have fibro too. It started with me with a sensation much like the one you describe. It was in my neck and down my left arm. I thought I had a pinched nerve. I took Vicodin like candy, and would still sit up nights and cry, just a little bit, to myself under my breath. Couldn't lie down all the way, couldn't get to sleep. IT was awful. That when I started the round of Doctors and neuro and pain and spine specialists, that eventually led to my diagnosis.

    I get some "skin issues" with my fibro too. I don't usually have that phantom itch, thank GOD, though I do know a couple of other fibro sufferers who do. However. All my clothes must be cotton, and fairly loose-fitting. I pretty much live in knit t-shirts (the soft, thin kind like from Old Navy), and long cotton skirts, or loose-fit khakis; jeans are too heavy a fabric. I also wear all my undergarments inside out - i cannot STAND to have any seams touching my skin. So my socks, underwear, and even bras are all inside-out - and they all must be cotton only; no nylon, no satin......

    Oh, and my husband, to his everlasting credit, has NEVER suggested openly to me that he thinks I'm exaggerating any pain. He remembers what I was like before I became ill; my energy, my stamina, my strength, and he knows I would never choose to live like this.

    So, anyway, none of this offers you any help or anything; just wanted to say I've been there, adn I sympathize!

  2. Thanks. Its good to know I'm not alone. People like my husband don't understand that there's comfort, even a small amount, in knowing there are others.

    I do have to say, SLIGHTLY in his defense, part of his problem is the stroke. He doesn't respond properly to stressful situations. I'm not sure he remembers me healthy, I've been a medical mess for about five years now.