Ahh…. I get to sit down, check my email, and catch up with my blogging! There is something kind of refreshing about a Monday, I get back to my usual daily rituals, and even thought the weekend is over, it is nice to get back to routine! I am SO funny that way! Friday is my least favorite day of the week, and Monday is one of my most favorite… is that weird?!? I also get excited because Monday is my honey’s Friday… He has Tuesday and Wednesday off!!
A big warm hug and my thanks to everyone that wished me well and sent their prayers this morning… I really appreciate it! You would think that going to see the Doctor would be as comfortable as a second skin by now… but I dread it. I don’t know if I am the only one…. don’t get me wrong, I really love my Doctor… She has been in my life for over 20 years, and I feel really comfortable with her, but I really don’t like going… believe it or not ME is not my favorite subject! Ha! Ha! I get really tired talking about ME all the time, or rather my health… there are so many things that make up ME besides my health… but lately, pain has pretty much left no time for anything else….. So here is how my appointment went.
I met with my pharmacist first, and he had a resident sit in who was shadowing him. I told him how bad the last few weeks have been, how bad the nerve pain has been, and what meds I have been taking, and how they have been working…. you know, the usual. I told him that I am having a hard time managing at ALL these days, and although I am not depressed, I am sure getting frustrated! (I answer questions before he asks them, because I know that my mental health comes up at EVERY appointment! HA!). We spoke for a little while about the particular meds, and how I feel there is nothing that is helping my nerve pain…. he let the resident ask a few questions (Gosh, she looked kinda lost… I felt badly for her, I am not a ‘normal’ patient, and it must be hard to walk in on a conversation FOUR years in the making!)…. He asked me if I felt comfortable upping one of my meds for the nerve pain… and then my Physician came in the room. the first thing she said was…
“Jolene, YOU look so beautiful today. You are ALWAYS so put together, and I don’t know how you DO IT because I very much understand that you are in severe pain all the time..”
um… don’t know what to say to that really… so I stumbled over my tongue and said something like..
“Well, it doesn’t take much effort to do my make-up I guess, and it makes me feel better about myself..”
She explained that she wasn’t saying that in a negative way, and she knows that I am a strong woman, and she said she is proud of me…. but then she said this…
“Jolene I am worried about you… because you come in here appointment after appointment and you are always TOGETHER… you are put together on the outside, you always have a smile on your face, and you are ‘happy’ whenever we talk about ANYTHING, but I KNOW that it is not that way on the inside all the time…. You are dealing with severe and complicated pain not to mention everything that goes with that, and it is HARD for us at times because we can’t break through the exterior… I am worried that you disassociate from your pain at times….”
And then I started to cry…
I don’t know if I do -or- don’t disassociate… I am confused by that kind of….
She explained that it was okay to let down my guard in her office, and in front of my pharmacist, and to cry on my honey’s shoulder when I needed to, and she is afraid that I don’t do enough of that… USING MY SAFETY NET WHEN I NEED TO FALL… and now I am not quite too sure WHAT to think.
Do I build up a wall or am I on guard at times? absolutely, I am human, and don’t we ALL do that from time to time?
Do I disassociate from my pain? I probably do to some extent at times… I think it is a coping mechanism, because if I didn’t I would go crazy!
But I think more so than anything, I stay “put together” on the outside because I am a Mom of a precious 8-year-old boy… and he needs a strong and stable parent… and that is WHO I am to him. Sure, he knows all about my illnesses and he copes really well with it for the most part. He can have a conversation about Myofacial Pain and trigger points with an adult!! He knows if I am struggling, he can identify my really bad days, even if I try to hide them, BUT he is still a CHILD, and I want to protect my child for as long as I can.
When my health, marriage, and subsequently my life all came crumbling down around me, I won’t lie, I was a mess! I was stuck in bed for months on end, I was in an emotional wreckage…. It was truly the hardest time in my life outside of losing my brother… and I was a mess… There wasn’t much I felt like I could do as a parent. I was either in too much pain to be present, or too devastated emotionally to connect the way I wanted to….
My son was still very much taken care of…. he still had his “mommy” and we adapted… he spent a lot of time hanging in bed with me coloring, or cuddling, or watching movies… BUT I KNEW it was not the way I wanted to parent… It wasn’t the MOM I wanted to be… and it broke my heart….every day it broke my heart, and it made me question my existence to the point where I wondered if my son would be better off without me. I hit the bottom of the barrel, and didn’t like what I saw there…As soon as I hit the bottom, I have made EVERY choice, and done EVERYTHING in my life for the stability and security of my child….I have made the hardest of decisions, and risked life and limb to put my child first.
Maybe I have tried to overcompensate for my illness, or a failed marriage, or even day-to-day things that I physically cannot do… but I don’t overcompensate with toys, or money… I overcompensate with ME… I try to give him the very best me I can possibly give him, every moment of every day….
So I stay ‘put together’ on the outside… because that is what he reacts to… But my Doctor is afraid that I have made into such a habit, that I am not falling when I need to.. I am not embracing the other side of this, the vulnerable and ‘human’ side, and she feels like I HAVE to do that in order to control my pain better..
Does that make sense?
I know there is a lot of this journey with chronic pain that I protect others from – be it my Dad, my Mom, my Honey, or my friends… and especially my son, because, well… quite frankly… it SUCKS!! And I have learned to adapt to the sucky part of all of this for the most part… I just don’t want to have the people in my life who love me impacted the way I have been. I am scared of hurting others the way I have been hurt… I am scared of losing those I love around me… MY pain is not a variable for ME… but it COULD be viewed that way by someone else… and it has been in the past.
I have been truly heart-broken by life… I have been devastated…. but I have found a way through all of that, and learned how to pick myself up and move forward… because what other option is there? Maybe some of that has made me keep a ‘shell’ around me…
I don’t know… but I DO know that I wouldn’t still be bothered by my Doctor’s comment 8 hours after she made it IF there wasn’t a hair of truth in what she said….
Can anyone relate?
Maybe I have to be more ‘real’ about what I go through with the people I love as well as with my doctors… but the thought of that scares me…..