It’s Sunday and it seems the emotional storm that’s been brewing in my head has blown itself out during the last 24 hours. I’m actually mellow this morning. No tears hiding a blink away, no anger lurking in the background. I’d say yippee but I’m afraid of setting myself off.
I was up early to have breakfast and read everyone else’s blogs, which I’ve neglected a little bit during my own drama. Connecting is important to me right now; I’m still not officially diagnosed and don’t really know where I’ll land in the rainbow of mental health issues. So it’s important for me to read up on what other people are going through to find similarities. I hit upon Brighton Bipolar‘s blog and read a post on bipolar aches and pains. Got to admit, this one has me stumped.
See, the rheumatoid arthritis throws a wrench into this for me. That disease causes the same types of pain and joint problems as discussed in Brighton Bipolar’s blog. And I don’t think I know what it’s like to not have RA. As far as I can tell, I was suffering full blown RA by the time I was 9, and may well have had serious symptoms before then. And I was taught to ignore my RA. My mother told me it was growing pains and every kid feels that kind of pain. Any difficulty I had with physical activity was chalked up to my weight problems, not the disease. And when I finally turned 14 and began waking up with my hands clamped together like claws, nothing was done. My mother knew it was RA, told me it was RA, told me I could go to a doctor to get looked at but they wouldn’t do anything for me and it would be hard to see one anyway because you had to see them when you had a flare up, and then didn’t offer to drive me or take me to see one of her many, MANY medical connections.
Ok. That hit an angry nerve. Didn’t want this to be about my mother.
The point is, I have pain a lot of the time. I’m currently in remission with RA and doing very well, yet I have pain every day. I chalk that up to the disease and the damage that’s been done to my nerves, tendons, and joints. It doesn’t take much. Picking up something a little too heavy, bending my knees to get something out of a lower cupboard, twisting my wrist a bit too much and BAM! Instant pain, sharp, fresh, and generally enough to make me suck in my breath and stop what I’m doing.
It’s impossible for me to know if the pain I feel is real and due to my RA or if it’s a problem connected with my mental condition. I can say it’s taking a lot less medication to stabilize my physical condition here in NL than it did in Ireland. Pretty sure it’s due to the potency of the medication being much higher here (anytime my medication gets warm it loses potency, so transport is risky). But maybe it’s not the full picture. Maybe I just have more hope here, a better outlook overall, and it’s lessening my aches and pains. Completely within the realm of possibility. Whatever the reason, I’m glad for it. I’ve had enough of my fingers twisting at an angle out of my hand (yes, they became deformed for a while and yes, my medication corrected the situation).
One thing I do know is stress related is some of my headaches. Not all; I’ve got what’s known as ‘mechanical neck pain’ which just means the vertebrae in my neck don’t align well and I’ve always got a bit of pain there, which can and has worked itself up into headaches. I know those headaches. They’re very specific. It’s the other headaches I’m talking about: the cluster headaches.
I don’t have them often, but I do have them. Used to say they were migraines until I looked up headaches on the internet and found out a little more information. The ice pick through the eye sensation is old news to me. There was a time when that WAS a headache to me. They don’t often happen anymore, tho I did have a severe attack in 2013. Woke up at 3 or 4 a.m. feeling like someone had hit my forehead with a baseball bat. Then it got worse. I curled up into a ball in bed and hoped that I wasn’t going to puke. Started to let go after about 20 minutes and I was able to finally sleep again. Wish I could better remember what was going on in my life back then. Nothing pops out of my memory as being so big or overwhelming as to set off what I experienced. But that’s so often it with me; nothing’s too out of whack other than my own head. I may well be repressing whatever set me off. Or maybe it just happened, for no reason whatsoever. Shit does happen. That saying comes from somewhere.
…You know, I just went back to read what I’d written so far to wrap this up. What a slightly depressing, not so cheery post! And this is my mind on mellow, huh? I guess so. Is my ‘norm’ set at melancholy? Ugh. Whereas this feeling of mellow is kind of nice and I think I’ll like hanging in it for a day or maybe two, I don’t want to be here all the time. It’s a little too macabre. Got into a long conversation yesterday about death. Not thinking of killing myself, just a cerebral exercise. Still, dark. Can I find a happy mellow? A yellow mellow, that’s what I need. Sunshiny, but relaxed. Happy, but slow. Bright, yet still. Does that exist? Goddess, I pray it does.