It’s sunny out, I have gift cards to use and plenty of yardwork to do. Instead, I surrender. I don’t have the energy to fight this pain even long enough to get dressed, much less do anything more than that. So, I am in my pajamas and will be all day. I’ll consider myself lucky and accomplished if I can make it to check the mail. I won’t make it upstairs today. Luckily I have freezer meals and an extra set of personal car items downstairs.
These are the days I don’t often talk about. The days where, when people ask, I say my back is bugging me more than usual so I’m taking it easy but plan to try and do something later… Is it a lie? Kind of. I mean, I plan to put food in the microwave at some point and I’ll brush my teeth. Some days I open the door for the dog and it stays that way until night fall when it gets cold and I have to close it. I get it, I’m not fully forthcoming about how bad my pain is.
But honestly, on a good day, my pain would have the average person in tears. So, on a bad day, I downplay it.
I‘ve gotten better at being vulnerable, saying no (sometimes) and taking better care of myself but it’s times like this where I just don’t want people to know. Telling them I’m in tears, in my pajamas, not trying to be strong and tough today, it’s just not in the cards. They can’t do anything and I don’t want the added sympathy or to make them feel more helpless than they already do. I’ve had days where I’ve talked about going to the hospital and inside, I am begging for someone to say “let’s go”. Instead, we collectively agree we don’t know what they’d do and don’t want to go to the ER unless it’s a last resort… I get that, I do. We aren’t the kind of people who go to the ER for the little things, we’re the people who have broken bones for a few days and then decide maybe we should see the primary doc or go to a walk in clinic (and even that seems dramatic) to “have it looked at”. But, unlike most people with chronic pain issues, I don’t have resources for my bad days. I don’t have those pills that you take when it’s really bad or things that help when nothing else does and my Mom (who’s a nurse) doesn’t think the clinics have access to the kinds of meds needed to ease my pain (whatever those are). So sometimes I wonder what other choice I have? But I tell myself she is right and I can do this… And I cry and I listen to music and I try and try and try to just get by until it gets just a tiny bit better. And then I celebrate. Sometimes just with a smile and a Thank You to everyone watching over me and/or the energy of the universe. And don’t get me wrong, if my Mom knew it was that bad, she’d take me in a heartbeat. She is my absolutely biggest supporter/cheerleader and best friend. But, like she tells me, I don’t speak up enough. I hold back the tears, complain a little and let her get on with her day.
So, as I approach my appointment with a new primary doc, I tell myself I HAVE to find my voice. Even if it takes a few follow up appointments to address all my issues, I have to discuss a plan for days like this because I am exhausted… Physically, mentally, soulfully, all of it. I can fight and I can win a lot of really, extremely painful days and I can live my life fighting but I cannot win days like this. If we can’t fix me altogether or make me better on the daily, all I ask is that we find a way to help me on days like this. Even the smallest bit of pain reduction would make a difference and at this point, I’m finally begging.