Well, it’s certainly been a while since I updated anyone. I have thought about writing numerous times… but usually in response to something in the news and I try to keep my opinions off the internet as much as possible. If anyone was wondering, I did not die. I mean, I can’t guarantee I didn’t hire a ghost writer to take on my blog after my untimely demise, so you’ll have to take it on faith.
What I’ve been up to – school, theater, church, marriage and illness. In a happy little package that I desperately try to maintain. I admit there are days when I will hole up in my house with Netflix and never get out of my pajamas to avoid people seeing how I really am that day. Because I have some sort of illness. Do I know what? Nope! This is a one-rheumatologist town, apparently. So I have to drive two hours to see one and even they can’t get me in until December. Hence, waiting. Not knowing.
Recently, I had an impacted wisdom tooth that latched on to the molar next to it as a hostage. After lengthy negotiations and some sketchy action on the part of my wisdom tooth (an abscess), it won. My molar went with it and I convinced myself, albeit briefly, that maybe that was the cause of all the body yuck. I DON’T have an autoimmune illness. That ER doctor was wrong! But the teeth are gone, (goodbye healthy molar, I miss you) the antibiotics have been taken, and I am flaring up again. So much for that theory.
There is a history of fibromyalgia in my family, so I naturally thought that’s the illness I am now dealing with. However, fibro is constant pain. For months at a time. Mine goes away and is only in my joints. But jointS. Plural. Also known as polyarthritis. The first flare lasted around a month and progressively got worse. The second flare lasted around a week. This one started around the time our musical closed. My body was simply exhausted and this is its way of exacting revenge.
Maybe I can get ideas from Doctor Internet. I’ll tell you what a flare feels like for me and then you guys can diagnose me with whatever craziness you think it might be. Get your stethoscopes and tongue depressors ready… here we go!
Morning. Exhaustion. Not mental exhaustion, but an overall heavy feeling in my body. Not due to fat, either. Like I went dead weight on myself somehow. The pain is there already. Not bad enough to warrant knocking over a pharmacy for some narcotics, but enough to feel a little miserable and a lot irritated. And it doesn’t wax/wane like other pains. It’s just there. Hanging out. When it’s affecting my hands, I have trouble gripping things. I’ll close my fingers around something and a pain will shoot up the back of my hand. Again… not taking hostages in exchange for Vicodin, but these pains are more intense than the constant ones. I have come close to dropping things quite frequently.
Showered. Made-up. Dressed. Putting on a brave face and heading into the world. Crap, I’m falling asleep in class!! AGAIN. If I can miss my second and third classes, I go home and crawl back in bed, embracing myself in the comforter and begging for the comfort the name implies. Good thing our bed is adjustable because getting into a position in which I CAN fall asleep is akin to a human version of Tetris. This Tetrimino won’t cooperate, though. Like, EVER. Sometimes I have to wear wrist braces to bed. And my right shoulder will make it almost impossible to relax down onto either my left side or my back. Sigh. If I am able to nap, it lasts hours.
Lets say I make it through the early class. Triumph! Now to contort my body into two (sometimes three) different chairs to survive the hour break between classes one and two. Doesn’t work. Back still hurts. Oh, well… at least I haven’t given up and retreated back to my bed. Success!
All the while, I am trying to smile as much as possible and show enthusiasm when greeting friends because no one wants to be around a sad sap, am I right?
Home again, faced with various chores that are infuriating me for going undone. On to tackling the housewor… wait… when did Netflix come back on? Oh. After I almost dropped three successive dishes and the pain in my lower back deepened while standing at the sink. Then I almost passed out bending over repeatedly to pick up the living room. WHY did I let things get this gross?! Oh. That’s right. For the same reason Netflix is on and I’m fighting back tears on the couch.
The difference between my laziness that prompted a messy house and how my house looks now is the worst part for me. It’s one thing to be drained, never able to find the energy because you’re too busy not caring enough and being drained, bursting with the energy that a ketogenic diet and vitamin supplements provide and caring about wanting a good-looking house… but no longer possessing the muscle energy to get things done. Those are the times, alone or out of the line of sight of friends/family, when I let the rage seep in. “This is unfair” becomes my mantra.
Some days, I can actually work up enough strength, grip and energy to cook dinner. Most days, not as lucky. Then it’s homework or relaxing in the recliner before I go back to the battle in the bed.
Silver linings? I haven’t let my illness affect my moods all the time. There are slip-ups of course, but I am generally still positive around other folks and fighting the stigma of being sick. My libido isn’t down the drain. Marriage can get challenging when you don’t want to do, er, married things. Sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, but it’s definitely in the top three. Yay for that not being an issue, even when I am in pain. So life isn’t all awful by any means. I mean, I just finished performing in Young Frankenstein: The Musical. I made it through six weeks of rehearsal and a week of performances. I’m not failing any of my classes (although my grades aren’t what I would prefer them to be). I have incredibly understanding teachers this quarter who have worked with me on getting things done.
This is a lengthy post. I guess I needed to vent about this. Give people insight into what it feels like to be in my body these days. So. Doctor Internet. What do you think?