Chronic Pain Confessions

If you haven’t visited Amanda’s blog: Everything Hurts, you definitely should. Her latest post has to do with her confessions dealing with chronic pain. I decided to follow suit using her amazing crafted and perfect icons to lead the way.

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I have struggled most of my life with emotional pain, but I didn’t have to deal with constant physical pain until I began showing symptoms of Chiari. I try my absolute best to pretend I’m completely healthy and put together, but I am fighting every day. Today I had severe back pain. I was at work doing my best to make sure it wasn’t noticible that I was in pain. I kept counting down the hours until I got off. Every time I bent down (when working with dogs, that is very often) I felt a jolt down my back. When standing, I felt a constant almost “buzzing” pain that feels like when you sit on your foot too long and it falls asleep, but you continue trying to walk on it mixed with a Charlie horse cramp. I finally closed the playroom down and put all the dogs in their crates for nap time. I looked at the clock, so eager to head out, but I had an hour left. I was assigned to take the grooming dogs out to potty. Every time I made it outside, I leaned against the wall crouched down with deep breathing (like a pregnant lady in labor), while the pups did their business.

I hide my pain. I don’t like telling my parents because I’m afraid they’ll discredit it. They have supported me through everything, but they also think that this surgery is an instant cure all solution and I am afraid to disappoint them.

I’m tired of saying I don’t feel well or my neck is killing me and then having to hear the “maybe it’s the insert some common bug/virus” or “muscle strains suck.”

I’m tired of feeling depressed. I try my best to do the right thing for my mental health, but I get anxious about how others perceive me. Do they think I look fat? Do they think I’m dressed sloppily? Do I look happy?  I have a chemical imbalance and no medication I have taken has made things bearable for a continued period. Getting more exercise, eating gluten free, or trying said homeopathic solution isn’t going to work for me (that’s not to say it won’t work for others).

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I have a very physical job. I am constantly moving. I feel like it is enough for me, but I want to do more. I want to be that fit BBG girl that looks super cute and they love to work out (or make it look like that) and that it’s super easy. Or that cool yoga chick that has trendy workout gear they actually work out and not just to lounge in.

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I’ve had five surgeries since birth, but all my scars are hidden and people can’t see the pain I have had to endure. Every single day is different. Some days I miraculously don’t have any physical pain. Then there are days which I call “spoon days,” like today, where I wake up in pain. My back jolts, my neck aches, my muscles hurt, and no I didn’t exercise the day before. Most days are in between these two. I’m excited to have Mavis trained as a service dog, but am nervous about how people will perceive me. Will they think I am a sham trying to pass off a cute pooch as a service dog just so I can take her into places? (Hello anxiety, dear old demon).

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I always have used food as a coping mechanism, which is why I was so overweight (obese, actually) as a child and in my teens. It will most likely always be a love/hate relationship because now I have IBS (although not confirmed and I don’t think it is, I think it’s just MCAD) and MCAD to deal with, which makes foods scary for me. Foods that I have never had a reaction too, suddenly make my mast cells react for no reason. I can eat that same food and have nothing wrong the next time. I have “plumbing” issues and often get sick from eating different foods. Yet, I have my junk food weaknesses, like most people do. (SourPunch Straws and Sonic are my guilty pleasures) Why do I feel Diet Coke is a necessity (I cannot have high sugar amounts because I get deathly ill, no I don’t know why, but 30g of sugar is my limit, so Diet is the only soda I can have, yes I know the “real” soda might as well be better, but soda is bad regardless, and here I go again, thinking too much of what other people think about my habits)?

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This post wasn’t an easy one to write, but I’m glad I did. Working towards self love and a happy or manageable lifestyle.

If anybody who reads this has good tips on managing anxiety, let me know. I’m willing to try anything: like blogging for example, getting my thoughts out via the world wide web. Only a handful of people will most likely read this and I’m good with that.

xo,

Cass

(image and icons from Amanda Vinci, everythinghurts.me)

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