My Mellow Sunday: Let’s Talk About Pain

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.


7 thoughts on “My Mellow Sunday: Let’s Talk About Pain

  1. I hate that. I hate not knowing the cause of shit. I’ve always had joint problems, for as long as I remember. Nothing like what you describe; yours sounds more serious and I don’t want to diminish that.

    It’s just that…even when I was a kid, I couldn’t kneel. Hurt my knees too much. Or putting too much pressure on wrists and ankles, unbearable. But no, that’s “just being lazy.” Why don’t adults listen to kids? That and the headaches, daily since I was a kid, the major dental problems, major weight problems, major reproductive problems, and on and on. And it’s all been since I was little. But people don’t like listening to little ones. “Kids don’t know how good they’ve got it”….”they don’t know what stress is”…and on and on. Sickens me.

    How much of that is a physical disease… Which doctors are still having trouble nailing down….”is it RA? Is it Lupus? Is it something else? Why don’t we just call it RA and Fibro and be done with it?” Or is it psychosomatic? I dunno anymore, but I certainly wish doctors would try harder.

    I just hijacked another of your posts. My bad. You get my brain churning with all of these things that go through my head and torment me daily, but I’ve never talked much about them. So it’s easy to get me going when I find someone I can relate to! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀

      Ye gods! First: nay, little grasshopper, don’t compare pains or illnesses. We all deal with what we deal with; we all reach the point where we can’t deal with anymore. Anything along the lines of RA, Lupus, or Fibro sucks the big waz-oo. Tja! Like docs know why ANY of it happens. They don’t. They got ‘theories’; that’s all. Remember that when you deal with ’em.

      Second: drop dat shit, if you can. I’ve got loads of memories – too many – of being ignored when I obviously was in pain. Unspoken words: you’re not in pain, you’re faking it. My ass! If there was one thing I’d do if time travel were an option, it would be to go back and shove the fucking medical reports (including blood work) in my mother’s face. Amazing how blind she was when it came to me.

      I was just thinking (again) about adults not listening to little people. Terrible. It happens all the time. I don’t get adults who claim they don’t remember their childhood. Really? I remember back to 2-3. Clearly. Is that a sign of my mental illness, or is it the other way around and they’re the sick ones? Because it seems to me, it’s the people who claim they don’t remember their childhood who end up not listening to their kids.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES! Ohmygosh. Dude. Okay, so here’s my hypothesis/theory/whatever. I think – regardless of whatever official label may be pinned to me or you or whomever – I think that a big part of the problem is whatever coping mechanisms so-called normal people have are broken in us. So I think, really, we have a far more realistic view of life and humanity and our place in the universe. And I think perhaps we aren’t quite capable of dealing with unfiltered reality.

        I mean, talking to people sometimes, their ideas about the world are absolutely absurd: this next politician will be different, this religion will save the world, this miracle pill will eliminate my fat, my boyfriend/girlfriend wouldn’t cheat on me again, he means it when he says he loves me, that kid isn’t upset about anything legitimate, and on and on.

        But people like us…we see under the surface. And it fucks us up because it IS fucked up. This world and the people in it are messed up. Seriously messed up. And you and I see it. We feel it. And I don’t know how to stop focusing on it…it’s so hard to focus on the positive when the blinders are off. The point is that I agree with you – in a way, it’s THEM that are sick, because they can’t see the truth. They’re stuck behind blinders and either don’t know it or refuse to remove them. I suppose it’s a more blissful existence…ignorance is bliss and all that. But is it *better*? I dunno.

        All of that and I still didn’t touch on your remarks about kids. That’s one of my biggest gripes about the world we live in – the way the little people are treated. It’s funny to watch how upset adults get when you’re around them and their kids at the same time….but you focus on the little ones instead of the adults. They can’t stand it – the adults will vie for your attention because kids aren’t real people yet. They don’t deserve respect yet. …heh. Then the adults wonder why kids don’t respect them. You have to give it to get it – how does this simple concept elude so many?

        Ramble ramble. Rant rant. Grr Grr. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL! Oh, Steph!

        Yes, I agree: we lack the ‘acceptable’ coping mechanisms and have developed ‘unacceptable’ coping mechanisms. That’s the only difference between them and us (well, that and the mania and depression and all that!). Our doctors and therapists will try to get us into that social norm by substituting one behavior for another. I get that; I even want some of it because I’ve got that weird vibe that runs around a room when I’ve done or said something amiss. I don’t like when that happens. And I don’t know that there’s REALLY any other aim of counseling. What, my pain is gonna go away? Someday I won’t feel so angry or hurt or raw about this or that? I can hardly believe it. I believe that thru talking I can get some clarity, a bit of perspective and understand about – MAYBE – why it happened the way it did, but it’s not gonna erase the pain. It’ll just bring ACCEPTANCE of the pain, and then they’ll modify my behavior. I’d prefer to cut to the chase and just modify my behavior….Some of that pain is what drives the artist in me. Take it away and what will I be?

        Kids are a tough subject. My views tend to be discounted because I’m not a mother. And yes – when visiting parents AND their spawn at the same time, sides MUST be chosen. Usually, I’ll choose the kid’s side first just because I know/remember how suck-ola it was to never be listened to. What’s worse is seeing those small people grow up and then suddenly they’re at the age where they want to really be my friend: hang out and party together. Ye Gods! Never is there a worse place to be than between a parent you party with and their kid who wants to party with you! I have pointed out time and again the hypocrisy of the parents who tell me they don’t want me to party with their kids. What? You want your kid to drink or smoke pot the first time with a bunch of other kids? Don’t you think it would be safer if they did it with an adult there? That’s the way I was introduced to the world: cooler adults who held my hair out of the way if I barfed and made sure nothing happened to me. But nooooooo! I guess the new thing is to let those kids go off and do it all themselves. Maybe they’ll get through it; maybe they won’t. Grr!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah..sometimes I wanna put those rose-colored glasses on myself. But I also resist the idea of willfully staying blind to reality and truth. And, I’ve said what you said more times than I can count..a therapist can’t make the bad things go away. He can’t go back in time and make things different. So then, what’s the use? I haven’t gotten there yet.

        Kids…man, I hate adults. And I especially hate adults who say that those of us who remain childfree will never be real adults and don’t deserve a say in how the world works unless we spawn. Grrrr indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

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