I don’t know about you guys, but 2020 has been exhausting. It has been a trying year for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. Of course, there’s been ups during this slow period in all of our lives, but this chronic pain of mine has been draining. As new symptoms surfaced, the amount of pain I’ve endured, and the amount of time I spent on bed rest, I have felt an overwhelming rise in fear, confusion, isolation, depression, and worry.
It hasn’t helped that I haven’t been keeping up to date with my MRI’s and neurologist visits. I found out four years ago that my chronic pain is a direct result from residual damage from my previous surgeries and that will never go away. The scar tissue from those surgeries also cause inflammation, so I feel like a lost cause whenever I dream of the day I will be pain free. The worst part of my discovery four years ago was my latest diagnoses of having cervical spine degeneration arthritis.
It’s such a scary thought to know that my cervical spine is actually deteriorating. It was mild last time I checked, *ahem* four years ago. I was supposed to check yearly, or was it every other year? See, it’s been that long. Sometimes I like to remain ignorant when it comes to my health, but it’s my health, I need to know this stuff so I can properly take care of my body.
I have always felt like my spinal cord was being crushed by my skull, but it’s been so bad this year, it’s gotten to the point where I’d spend days, sometimes weeks on bed rest. As the days get closer to my neurologist appointment (tomorrow), I find myself stressing over the results of my MRI – which I took today. I’m slowly starting to panic and be overwhelmed by the knowledge of my own pain notes to give to my doctor.
The pain has touched my legs . . . has radiated throughout my body . . . and that scares me the most. Am I on the road to paralysis? Is my body breaking down on me and I’ll become what I fear the most – a vegetable . . . a couch potato??
The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I’m experiencing pain. Pain = You’re alive. That’s what my dad always reminded me of. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster the past few days, feeling the trauma of my first surgery, memories flooding my vision with how much I went through and the fear of having to go through that again scares me. Grieving because my dad has always been with me through each of these painful memories. To have him no longer here breaks my heart, but what’s really difficult right now is not having him with me to ask the right questions. I’m such a little kid when it comes to my health and honestly I know I need to grow up, but for now, I really wish my dad was here holding my hand.
I have been so nervous the past week, stressing to the point of tears because I’m anxious to hear the results of my MRI, anxious to hear what my doctor has to say about these new symptoms that arose. I’m nervous because it could be symptoms completely unrelated to my neck at hand or it could be really bad news altogether. I don’t want more surgery. If I have chronic pain due to previous scar tissue and residual damage, what’s it gonna be like a third time going in that exact same spot? What’s my deterioration going to look like then? What does it look like now? I feel like I’m experiencing arthritis now, but can’t even pinpoint if it’s arthritis pain I’m experiencing or my “normal pain”. But my normal pain has never felt like this before.
The entire months of May and July have been so sketch. As I jot down a timeline of all the pain I faced during those months, I can’t help but cry out in pure confusion and fear. One of the days in May, I rolled out of bed and couldn’t even walk properly, let alone stand. It was as though my legs were jello or not my legs at all. I felt so weak I had to hold onto things to keep myself from collapsing on the floor. I was dizzy all the time, my head was throbbing and so heavy I could barely lift it, I had hearing loss in my right ear, everything was either too soft or machines like the refrigerator were overwhelmingly loud. I felt so much pressure pushing down on me, I spent way too many days in bed rest. Don’t even get me started in July. I had stiff neck basically the entire month and sharp pain searing through my neck, shoulders, and arm. Shooting leg pain has been normal since 2018, especially when I’m sitting for at least 30 minutes, but lately, it’s been radiating throughout the entire leg, feeling a dull and numbing sensation from my lower back to the hip and throughout the leg. It’s freaky. Pain has been so high to the point I cried myself to sleep in my husband’s arms.
I feel my skull crushing on my spinal cord. I have zero energy. I am running low on motivation to keep going. I’m only 30, yet this is happening. I know there are so many young people out there, and they are all suffering. Chronic pain is invisible. No one knows what’s happening behind the scenes unless it’s happening to you or someone you’re close to. And even the ones closest to you sometimes doesn’t even understand. I’m tired.
And if you’ve noticed I’ve been lacking with my posts on my blog, vlog, instagram, and all those other social media outlets out there, I’ve excused it as procrastination, however, it’s so much more than that. I blame it on my chronic pain and lack of consistent energy on a day to day basis. I’ve always wanted to be the person that didn’t use her pain as an excuse. But it is one big debilitating rollercoaster, I never know when I’ll have the energy to even get out of bed.
If you know someone in chronic pain, please reach out to them. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Chronic pain is isolating and very often lonely.
I’m so scared, my wordpress friends. If you believe in God or any higher spirit, please send prayers and good vibes my way.
Wish me luck tomorrow, I’ll update you when I can. rebeccanne