Those of us living with Fibromyalgia and its chronic pain (or chronic pain from other conditions) often find ourselves ravaged by a storm…literally! Scientists can argue that there is no relation…that it is not possible. Yet we know there is a link.
Our bodies shut down with no warning. Struck in the gut with a baseball bat. Then the pounding truly begins…every joint stabbing…headache is piercing. Every ounce of energy invoked to attempt movement…feet act as though they are trapped in the thickest mud…legs groan at the beleaguered motion.
Tears well in my eyes. I can barely manage a weak good night as I muster all effort into shuffling back to my bed. Past experience has taught me to not fight this demon. It is best to lie down…propped with pillows to provide as much relief as possible.
This will pass. I am hopeful for the morning as the worst of this storm will be over. My body will be exhausted and require additional rest.
This is a vicious cycle that so many of us live with…as we continue to battle our conditions and symptoms.
Rain brings an increase in temperatures
As it washes snow off the lava…
Rain brings the wind blowing the tree limbs
While cascading the water down the glass…
Rain brings the storm from the Northwest
As it batters the roof and races down gutters…
Rain brings increased ringing in my ears
Drowning out external sounds with its deafening pitch…
Rain brings the joint pain out of remission
Removing the relief of the higher elevation…
Rain brings elevated pain levels
As my body screams out for it to end…
It feels like an eternity since I have written a health update!
Again, I must express my gratitude for my pain pump! It is the reason that my Pain Specialist has been able to determine that I have Sciatica (both left and right side)…. Sacroiliac (right side)…and now Piriformis Syndrome.
A week from Monday, I will receive another injection to calm the Piriformis. We are working towards improved function of my right leg. I am sure many of you have dealt with the Sciatic nerve(s) acting up: burning, numbness, tingling, throbbing, stabbing, muscle spasms, etc. My right leg from buttock to the tip of my big toe has been experiencing these symptoms along with being unresponsive at times –foot will drag or leg will not move when I tell it to.
The issues with my right leg have been a big problem for years now. I had come to accept this as just one more thing to learn to live with…yet now more layers to my medical conditions have been uncovered. There should actually be improvement to movement!
Chronic conditions take such a toll…stretching us to our breaking point…like a tennis ball on an elastic cord…we are tossed about without rhyme or reason.
We are bombarded by new or worsening symptoms…as we start a medication, deal with interactions between medications, struggle with adjustments to our prescription(s).
Add new diagnoses that further complicate our all ready complex situations…we truly push our medical teams…as they are thrust into the unknown.
The inevitable “Flares” that strike…some we know are coming due to choices we make (like going out to lunch with a friend…attending Parent Night to meet our son’s teachers…a simple short ride in the rig)…others strike for no apparent reason…forcing us to cancel plans…to retreat to the safety of our homes.
It is no wonder that we often feel that we are going backwards…despite our best efforts.
Yet I caught a glimpse of something precious when I paused with my eyes closed…in that short time, I took time to review the past few weeks…months…and saw progress!
I am speaking of those little changes…sitting through a rented movie –actually being able to focus and watch it…no recent falls…sleeping in a four hour block at night.
Take heart! Even when we feel like we are going backwards rather than forwards, we are progressing.
Chronic illness and pain often leaves us feeling like we are driving a hazardous road in the blackest of nights in blinding snow.
I hear the tumultuous waves crashing nearby. My knuckles are white as I clinch the steering wheel ever tighter.
My body is overwhelmed, yet again, with increased stabbing pain and extremely overly sensitive skin…I am counting hours to my appointment tomorrow. A much needed refill to my pain pump and discussion of my latest MRI.
In the early morning hours, as I laid in bed feeling the pain ramping up, I prayed for a touch of relief…tears could not help but fall. I was granted a little more than an hour’s fitful sleep during which I was given an awesome dream.
I dreamt that I was clinging as tightly as I could to a rock as a storm raged around me…pounding pain, large hail stones striking exposed skin, winds whipping and tearing around me…every pore seemed to be screaming as the pain within was rising to the symphony around me. Then I opened my eyes to see that I was clinging to Jesus, his back taking the brunt of the forces.
I awoke with a renewed sense of hope…looking forward to tomorrow’s appointment…knowing that I am truly not alone…that my prayers are being heard.
Coursing through every cell
The slightest touch exacerbates
Pressure from the softest cloth
Becomes a knife with serrated blade…
Interrupted by nausea
Hunched over by the cramping
Right arm and shoulder on fire
My body a living pin cushion…
The light is overwhelming
Yet the darkest room offers no relief
No comfort to be found
A headache begins to form
Sensations are racing to and fro…
The intensity of symptoms
Raging and fighting…vying for attention
My brain is on overload
Waves of pain bombard me
My body sinks into the depths…
I take pause
To breathe deeply
Soft spoken words
Pleading for the slightest of relief
Peace comes to my mind…
My symptoms still enraged
As I am enveloped
By a sense of calm
Like a thick blanket
Renewing strength and focus…
These pictures reflect the reason that we choose to join our families…our chronic conditions would prevent such moments.