Life as an Extreme Sport

insert bad Troi impression here

A friend and I were chatting earlier this week during the TV show House, and I did a quick math count of the amount of pain medication I have floating around my own house, at the maximum (right after I’ve filled my prescriptions) and what I have on hand currently. I mostly did this to show that the numbers they were discussing on the show weren’t as high as they were implying.

Anyhow, it came up that I really have stopped talking about having and living with a chronic pain problem. I didn’t think this was true until I took the time to look through both journals, and yeah, I guess I have stopped talking about it. I suppose part of it is, really, what do I say? “Woke up this morning. Arm hurts. Got coffee. Dropped yet another mug, because at early’o’clock I can’t seem to remember to use my left arm…” I don’t want to turn myself into a victim, or a pitypoint. Yep, got a chronic pain problem, it’s irritating, it slows me down, next?

It has been implied, however, that this is just a way of holding it in and not dealing with it, or sharing and allowing those friendly towards me to be supportive. I’d argue, but I’ve been told that there are more of them than me, and I’ll lose.

I guess talking about it makes it real, and I don’t really want to make real the fact that things have been rough lately. I had a lot of writing and typing to do in the last week, which has made the general pain worse, and I seem to be having some new symptoms. I’m not certain if it’s related or not, but I’m having dissociation issues, where I can get comfortable, cross my arms or whatever, and a bit later I realize that I have no real sensation of my arms, especially my right one, existing. I can’t feel it under my left fingers, or feel my left arm under my right fingers. On top of that, which always causes a bit of a freak-out when I realize it’s happening, is the pin-pricks of upset nerves. It’s the whole tingling-when-waking-up feeling, racing up and down both arms.

Unfortunately, I suspect this might mean the problem is spreading. However, I am hoping that maybe there’s just some circulation issue going on, separate from the CRPS. I’m going to have my blood glucose checked again, too…

So that’s the health update in a vague nutshell. I’ll try to be a bit better about talking about it, but truth be told, I’m still feeling very self-conscious, knowing people actually read this. There’s the balance of information and privacy that I’m still wrestling with, and so far as the CRPS goes, I’m simply not certain how comfortable I am discussing it on any broad scale. I don’t want people seeing me as anything other than how I portray myself, and it’s hard to not feel like talking about the pain will undermine the portrayal that is out there.

2 comments

  1. And yet, the chronic pain is a big part of who you are and your chosen profession. Asking for pity is one thing; addressing something that is a big part of your life and informs many of your actions and decisions is another.

    My experiences make me irritated when aspects of mental illness that are terrible to live with are played for laughs on “Monk.” You reacted in a similar way to the quantities of drugs House had on hand.

    Eh, I’m tired.

  2. I’d certainly noticed it. On one hand I generally figure you’ll talk to me about it when you want to. And actually I think recently there has been a mention or two, but our conversations have often been a bit stilted lately as life’s been quite busy and the 3hr time difference does occasionally have an effect.

    On the other hand, if you haven’t mentioned it for awhile I do try to remember to ask you about it now and then, sort of as a reminder that I don’t mind hearing about it and that you’re thought of.

    But I figure it’d be irritating if I asked every night. 😉

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