February 26, 2009

I have taken a nosedive into the depression pit and can’t seem to find my way out.

It’s been a long time since I’ve let insensitivity related to my chronic pain get to me.  However, I was recently treated to the most stunning display of insensitivity I have ever been subjected to. It really knocked me for a loop.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but here’s a quick review of some of my medical problems:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Herbniated Disc in the lumbar spine with radiating pain
Pain in both legs (I have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time)
Pinched nerves in cervical spine

Degenerative Disc disease
Intractable headaches

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chronic pain in shoulder blade area (especially on the right; that’s the spot that feels like a knife is stuck in there)

On top of all that, the nonallergic rhinitis is kicking my ass.  The Zyrtec and Fluonase aren’t helping.

The Mayo Clinic says:  “In addition to making you miserable, nonallergic rhinitis symptoms can interfere with your day-to-day routine, including work or school.”

According to emedicine, “Quality of life studies have demonstrated that the burden of rhinitis is not simply sinonasal but may be associated with impaired sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, concentration problems, and increased irritability.”

My quality of life was already in trouble, but this just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. As Popeye said, “I’ve had all I can stands; I can’t stands no more.”  My sleep problems are worse than ever.  I wake up many times throughout the night, and when I get out of bed in the morning, I feel like a zombie.  By early afternoon, it’s all I can do to keep from nodding off at my desk.  The fatigue (physical and emotional) is crushing.

On to chronic pain… Believe it or not, there is a Fibromyalgia For Dummies book.   Author Roland Staud points out that FMS is a real medical problem that can be “debilitating and demoralizing.”   The same can be said for the insensitivity of others.

I have a pamphlet titled “But You Look Good,” from the Invisible Disabilities Organization.  It’s supposed to explain how extreme fatigue, pain, dizziness, cognitive impairments and other symptoms can be limiting, even though the sufferer may not look sick or in pain.  I keep one copy on the coffee table in my family room and another in my desk at work.  Here are some excerpts:

The truth is, most chronic conditions cannot be seen with the naked eye, but nevertheless are persistently keeping the person from enjoying life the way they once knew. For instance, a person can battle extreme fatigue and/or cognitive impairments on the inside, even though they may appear healthy and well on the outside. Just the same, a person can have horrible pain and/or dizziness, despite the fact that to the onlooker they may look strong and able.

Regrettably, a travesty occurs when the person not only has to contend with no longer being able to do what they love to do, but also has to battle for belief, respect and understanding.

People living with chronic conditions do not want to give up! They make efforts to laugh, smile, look their best and enjoy life, even though they know they will pay dearly for it. Because of this, we should not confuse their endeavors to live life and be positive, with assuming they are feeling well or doing better. Instead, let us commend them for their incredible courage, perseverance and persistence that make their illnesses and injuries seem invisible to us.
Wouldn’t that be nice…

Song of the Day:  Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys

11 Responses to “Slump”

  1. Stefani said

    I’m so sorry your life is like this, Stephanie. Hang in there – wish I could help!

    And how lucky am I? When I feel that unbearable sleepiness at work, like yesterday afternoon, I just walk down the hall and talk to my friend Jen about crafts and I’m all perked up again. I wish I could send YOU that cure!


  2. goatbarnwitch said

    People really can be terribly wrapped up in their own head and don’t realize that others have stuff going on. I wish there was something that could bring you multisystem relief.. that magick cure…. Be careful with the flonase, it is a steroid afterall and steroids can mess with your metabolism and emotions.

  3. I’m so sorry, Stephanie. People can be such jerks.

  4. LA said

    Can I still bring you lilacs? I wanted to swoop in and surprise you with them in a few weeks (everything is coming up early this year) but with your nose acting up maybe bringing flowers is dumb.

    I know when your diary goes quiet you are very tired and hirty so I tiptoe past and send mental hugs. ~LA

  5. Jim said

    Stephanie, <<>> (but very gentle ones).

  6. mercystreet said

    I so relate to “But you look good’ It might be nice to look good if I felt good.
    Sending understanding and a hug.

  7. LeAnn said

    Depression is also a medical problem and antidepressants will probably help. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find one that works for you, and it takes a few weeks for them to kick in, but taking them makes a big difference. Even though your other health problems will still be there, you will feel much better without the depression. Ain’t it the truth about the insensitivity of others regarding your health problems! That there is one of my biggest pet peeves! The thing that really gets me about that is the insesitive one’s are usually fortunate enough to have never experienced a huge tragedy or a consuming health issue. Those people are always gonna be there, Stephanie. It’s a shame. It really is.

  8. Sasha said

    If that weird vitamin D deficiency thing I went through the past couple of years is even a little taste of what you go through all the time, you have every right to feel completely fed up, Stephanie. I felt absolutely horrible all the time; exhausted, fatigued, my legs were stiff, I couldn’t stand for long or even walk at a fast pace anymore and I always felt like I was coming down with a flu and wanted to go to bed at 5 every evening. I wish vitamin D had worked for you. I wish -something- would work for you, it’s a horrible way to live especially when there are insensitive people who don’t “get” it. Hang in there, please. *sending you gentle hugs*

  9. Steph..I’m so sorry that things are like this for you…you live in such pain every day and get treated as if there is nothing to it…yet you carry on like a trooper. If anyone has a right to feel the way you are feeling, it is you. I wish people would stop passing judgment on others. You are in my prayers daily and I wish that there was something that would work to help you. I too am sending you gently hugs.

  10. Stephanie, I truly do feel terible for you. I wonder if something like effexor or zoloft would help – I can only imagine how frightening it would be to be in pain all of the time. I think the anti-anxiety meds might help with that fear and frustration

  11. Michael said

    I can only imagine how maddening and frustrating it must be not to have your pain acknowledged, while you’re doing your best to get through the day. I would be so angry I probably wouldn’t be functioning at all. I’m in awe of all the things you do despite your conditions.

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