Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What else could hurt today? Well, some perspective...

I have been complaining a lot lately. If you read the two previous posts, you know this. For almost three straight days, I hurt so bad I could barely walk. The pain was so intense that I fought tears. And then I woke up on what would have been the start of the fourth day... and was nearly fine. (I found out later in the day that the pain that felt like my muscle was shearing away from my bone sort of lingered a bit, but was more like an afterthought).

I woke up today and I had my usual achiness and now, hours later, I'm having pain in my hip (where one of my "hot spots" is located) and the tendinitis in my shoulder has flared up. I had to get showered and dressed at the same time the kids do for school, so we rotated our shower times and I was waiting for one of them to finish their shower so I could brush my teeth. And I got tired standing there, so I sat down on my bed. I winced because my hip hurt. I raised my arm to rest it on the pile of pillows that I elevate my legs on at night and I winced again because my shoulder hurt. And that was when the perspective came to mind.

There are so many other things that I could have. Finding out you have fibromyalgia is a process of elimination. They don't just stamp you with "fibro" and send you along. To get there, you have to have a slew of tests to rule out a bunch of other stuff. Blood tests and scans and other scans that require you to drink stuff that claims it has a "pleasant mint taste" but it lies. Yeah, I had to drink two of those and the scan itself took less than ninety seconds. They ruled everything else out and then I was stalled for two years- but that's not the point. The point is, they rule out everything else before they finally say it's fibromyalgia.

I'm lucky. I'm damn lucky. I only have fibromyalgia. I have days where I'm in pain and I'm exhausted. But there is treatment to help. I can take Vicodin for my pain and while it doesn't kill the pain, it takes the edge off and makes it tolerable. To me, I can (and have for years) function at my pain level being at a 5 on the 1 to 10 pain scale. Around 7 I start to lose focus and of course, 8 to 10, I'm a whiny fool who can only post blogs where I bitch a lot.

I could have ended up with MS or lupus. I could have had severe nerve damage. There are other factors that could have caused this pain that would have ended with me in a wheel chair. But I don't have those things. I have fibromyalgia. And I'll have it for the rest of my life, but I'm lucky in that I'm under treatment. (I have an appointment tomorrow, in fact).

I sit here with my aching hip and shoulder and the randomly itchy skin (which wasn't bothering me when I started typing, but now I'm itching). But I could be confined to my bed. I could be in a wheelchair. I could be stuck with that goddamn cane. But I'm not.

I have pain. And that sucks. But it could be worse.

But it's not.

So, when you're bitching that you stubbed your toe or you strained your shoulder playing tennis or even aggravated your carpal tunnel by playing Black Ops, remember there are people like me who have it worse. And I'll remember that there are people out there who have it worse than me.

Perspective.

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