Tsunami Warning

Posted on: 12 September, 11

Have you ever hit your shin on the corner of the coffee table.  Pain signals wash over your brain like a tsunami, wiping out any other thought in your brain.  For a moment, nothing else in the world exists except your pain.  You cannot think about what you will make for dinner, or when you need to pick up your child from school, or even your baby crying in the other room.  Pain is your entire world.  Well, that is where I have been living for most of this year.  It is not a happy place.

My doctors (yes, there is more than one involved at this point) are stumped.  I am a complicated girl.  (And before you ask, no, knee replacement is not an option.  Fixing that tiny part of the problem would make other parts worse.)  It is not just my knee.  It is the alignment of the whole leg.  The knee is just the part that is screaming the loudest right now. 

When I first started seeing him years ago, my dear surgeon said he doesn't like to prescribe narcotics.  He prefers to eliminate the cause of the pain instead of just covering up the pain.  That was fine with me because I don't like taking even an aspirin.  Early in the summer, he let out a big sigh and said, "Tell me what you want.  What narcotics will get you through the day."  I wanted to cry.  That meant he no longer felt he could fix my knee.  I wanted to cry because at that point, I really wanted the narcotics. 

Chronic pain messes with the brain.  Seriously.  It actually changes the way your brain functions, the way information is processed.  That explains a lot.  I went from reading a book a week to unable to read even blog posts that are more than a paragraph.  I went from never forgetting an appointment or meeting to unable to write a to do list because I forget what I need to write down in the time it takes me to find a pencil.  My brain is too busy processing pain signals to be bothered with the details of normal life. 
At the narcotics appointment, my dear surgeon said it might be time to accept that this might be as good as it gets.  I am stubborn.  I don't give up easily.   Through the last 5 years of this drama, no matter what injection, therapy, exercise, or medication, my doctor or PT guys asked me to try, I did it.  They often said, for such a tiny patient, I was fearless.  I was willing to push through any amount of pain if it meant getting better.  I never said "no" or "it's too hard" or "I can't."  Being told it was time to stop fighting, time to give up, did not go over well. 

My dear surgeon recently sent me to yet another surgeon.  My dear surgeon does not give up easily either, which is one of the many reasons I love him.  This newest surgeon does work platelet rich plasma injections.  It is a long shot, but what have I got to lose?  Ok, I will lose lots of money because these injections are not cheap and not covered by insurance at all.  It's a good thing I have a big stash of fabric because there will be no new fabric purchases for a while.  The new surgeon said if I were a rabbit in the lab, he would give me good odds for improvement.  Since this has been on humans for only a year, he will not give me any odds. 

One of the things that has suffered in all this mess is this little blog.  That tsunami of pain just keeps washing all coherent thoughts out of my head.  I have done a reasonable amount of sewing, but photographing, editing the photos, writing an entry, uploading…. ugh.  That is just too many steps for my little brain lately.  I feel like I suddenly have ADD.  Any project with too many steps seems overwhelming.  I am so distracted by any shiny thing.  All of my limited brain function has to go to keeping my house functioning. 

I spent some time in "poor me" mode.  Now I am trying to figure out how to function with these new parameters.  My surgeon said I need to do whatever it takes to get thru the pain of the day.  He suggested I drink more heavily… joking… sort of.  I took it as a medical directive.  My neighbor is happy to assist. 

Making things distracts me from the pain.  I am learning that some days, it is okay to let the laundry wait while I use sewing as a pain management tool.  I also miss blogging.  I will try to get some photos of things I have made recently and post them.  Some things are really cute, others… not so much.  Don't expect the same level of work or writing. I spend much of the day under the influence of either drugs or pain. 


1 Response to "Tsunami Warning"

Oh I do wish there was something to say other than, I’m so sorry. At a certain point that’s just lame. I am sorry that you are dealing with this – pain, frustration, all of it. I’m guessing because of the pain you aren’t subbing this year? I hope sewing, knitting and project runway are giving you some relief – regardles sof how small. g

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