Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last night, a realization...

I've had a rough couple of weeks with the weather being moodier than a 14 year old girl. Hey, I'm a parent of two formerly-14-year-old-girls and was once one myself, I know they're moody! Each day, the pain gets worse instead of better. The Vicodin doesn't touch it when it gets that bad. The muscle relaxers barely put me to sleep (and actually failed completely twice).

I wondered if I should bother calling the doctor about it- even if I did, I wouldn't get an appointment for six to eight weeks anyway- or should I just ride it out because of the weather changes. I really hate to complain (except for here on this blog, that I started specifically to bitch about fibro), so I don't want to be all whiny to the doctor now, only to have everything settle down in the six to eight weeks between the call and my appointment.

But the realization...

I first hurt my right knee when I was 18 years old. I have a photo, seriously. The Disabled Guy- back when he was just Jerry- was in basic training. We'd been married almost a year by this time. My mom thought it'd be funny to send him a photo of me, all glassy-eyed from the pain meds. I don't even remember what they gave me, I think it was Codeine. But my mom took this photo (and I literally just scanned it for you).

Yup, that's me in October of 1987. I have a coat over my legs because I wanted to cover my legs and my mom wouldn't give me a blanket. (something about "show him a little leg!" and I recall it being hilarious). By the time he was done with basic training, I was pretty well recovered, I wore a skirt to his basic/AIT graduation in Oklahoma (I was in Alaska when I hurt my knee- during a snowball fight. I blew it out like a football player, while running).

And eventually, I'd go on to injure it in a minor way till the late '90s. I ended up slipping on the ice at work (I was a security guard) on the weekend between Christmas and New Year's, 1998. I had arthroscopic surgery to fix it up and everything was fine.

Till March 3, 2006.

That's the day I slipped on the ice on my back deck and ripped apart my knee much like I had in 1987. It was 7 AM. I had an appointment at 8 AM at the middle school for parent/teacher conferences. I iced my knee for 45 minutes, took the two middle-school kids to their conferences. The teachers, upon hearing of my injury, came down to the first floor to talk to me instead of making me go upstairs. Then I drove the kids home, told them to tell the Disabled Guy I was going to the ER and I'd be home eventually.

Cue the three year saga that led to my left knee being replaced in March 2009. I have a photo of that too. I actually have a lot of photos of that, but I'm going to show you this one... me, drugged off my ass on Oxycontin and Oxycodone. I had only just come to from the anesthesia when I told my oldest daughter (she was 19 years old. I was thirty-nine) to take this photo. You get it all... (the thing on my head was because I was having hot flashes- yay perimenopause!).

So, if you're still with me, let me tell you what I realized last night.

I was dragging myself up the stairs at 10 PM because I was exhausted. Pain is tiring. And I said to the Disabled Guy: "Everything fucking hurts. Everything. Except my knees. My knees are fabulous." and I told him (again) what my knee surgeon had said- that if everything went as planned, the pain would go away in my other knee. And he was right. My oft-injured right knee rarely hurts anymore. And of course, the cyborg knee doesn't hurt at all.

So, I'm dragging myself up the stairs and I pause to tell him that tidbit and it hit me... I spent all those years dealing with arthritis pain and foot pain and it kept me from doing certain things and it made me gain weight and all that... and now that my knees are fine, I'm still dealing with pain. Its like there's no way to let me live and be pain-free. It has been so long since I went without pain that I honestly do not remember what it is like. After years of dealing with the knee pain and the fallout from all that, I should be running around like a maniac. I should be yoga-ing all over the floor and dashing in and out of stores and running errands.

But I'm not.

Instead, I spend days wishing I could cast some spell to take away the pain. I spend days in pain that would dissolve most people to tears. I'm at the mercy of humidity and barometric pressure. I watch my diet, because I don't know if I have trigger foods or not. And stress. I spent over ten years dealing with stress on a near-daily basis with grace and stubbornness. And now- I still deal with it, but it kicks my ass when its over. That stress hormone is an ugly bitch and nobody should take her to the prom. Her name is Cortisol. You probably saw her name on the bathroom wall with the words: "Ugly bitch" scrawled underneath.

Today was cool and breezy, but I was still in pain. I took a muscle relaxer in the morning just to see if it would help. It didn't, but I got a mild buzz out of it, so I suppose that's a plus?

I'm going to end this now, on a high note. The Stronghold Olde English Faire is in a couple weeks. I'll get to see my local ren faire family there. There isn't any jousting at Stronghold, the venue isn't big enough (its just a small, two-day faire), but there will be Sword Point Towers.

Towers and seeing all the local faire folks? That's enough for me!

The Captains!

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