keri: (rgad - sad face)
[personal profile] keri
i am sooo miserable right now.

so on wednesday, i woke up feeling GREAT. i had a good night's sleep for the first time in a month (it felt like) and was all energized and shit and ready to get up and start my day. i wasn't under that cloud of depression-misery that i'd been feeling ever since my june period (about 10 June? 11 June? my period started on the 14th, so). it was great!

and then i tried to get out of bed and couldn't. because my back muscles weren't letting my legs move independently from each other.

ohhhh shit.
i did the best i could - got up, showered, took some aleve, basically said "oh crap, i hope this isn't too bad and i can make it through the morning until the afternoon receptionist gets there (early)".

driving to work was awkward as hell, because my head was basically 4 inches to the left and i kept listing to the left on the road as a result. (i shouldn't've been driving, but what could i do?)
got to work and told my boss "yeah, I'm crooked and in pain? so let's call J and tell her she needs to be here extra early today, and then i'll go home, take a muscle relaxant, and be good by tomorrow (probably)"

Only...that was at 10am and by 11:15 I hadn't heard back from J. I started the morning feeling pretty good and buoyant and hopefuly, despite the pain, but it kept getting worse. Plus, there were some sensory things that I was having trouble dealing with because no spoons. Anyway, I got up and walked outside briefly for a change of scenery, then came back in and decided i'd try sitting on a bench for a while. Probably a bit better/different than my desk chair?

BUT I COULDN'T GET UP AGAIN. I could not get off the bench. I tried going to the floor to pull myself up using the wall as a brace. Couldn't do it. Basically collapsed crying from the pain and frustration and embarrassment (oh, the embarrassment). My coworker, who had been really irritating me with her sympathetic nattering, was like "oh, shit" and went to call someone to help.

By 11:30, I had 4 people down to see me crying and more crooked than I had been when I walked in, and basically unable to logic or be coherent. It was so embarrassing and frustrating, you know? At first, I couldn't even think of someone I could call who would be able to help me. 3 years ago, I would've called Nanny and she would've called my aunt, and we'd've figured something out, but of course Nanny's dead now, and I don't feel comfortable calling my aunt & uncle myself. So I figured my sdad is on his route & can't leave, my mom was at the airport, my smom just had dad was probably off work for her. So I called him to see if he could pick me up. THANKFULLY he was at the pharmacy getting my smom's meds filled. I told him that I didn't care where I went, I just needed to be able to lie down and sleep, and if it was at his house, so be it. But he brought me home where i had my muscle relaxant. I took half a pill (enough to knock me out for 14 hours), put an ice pack on my back, and went to bed.

By wednesday night, I still wasn't any straighter - if anything, I was in more pain. Thursday morning I wasn't able to function because of the muscle relaxant, and by the time I could, my doctor's office was closed for lunch. The only appt I could get, no one could take me, and my car was still downtown (not that I was in any shape to be driving). I finally got in on Friday morning - my dad took me on his lunch break - and I got a shot for the pain (which was heavenly, but not hte steroid shot I really wanted) and a new muscle relaxant script that wouldn't leave me unable to function for half a day. That really wore me out, though, so I went straight to bed when my dad got me home.

Saturday, my mom got my script filled for me... I slept most of the day thanks to pain stuff (I am on the flector patches right now), except for a few hours here and there, and then in the evening i got tired of my bed so i went to watch a movie on the couch. I think I got maybe 30 minutes into some Rita Hayworth/Fred Astaire thing before the msucle relaxant + pain meds had me gone. I don't knwo what woke me up, but at one point I turned off the tv and came back to my room. (I'd've liked to stay, but I didn't want to bother my parents...I'd already turned off most of the lights in the house except for the porch & their bedroom, so that it would be cool and relaxing with the movie in the background. I'm probably going to do it again tomorrow) I LOVED that when I woke up 6.5 hours later, I wasn't feeling all groggy or incoherent like I did after taking flexeril. It was so nice.

Today, I decided I didn't want to leave my car downtown, so we went to go pick it up. 20 minutes there and 30 minutes back, maybe 40 because I stopped to get junk food for lunch, and I was completely exhausted and hurting. so back to sleep with me (after taking a muscle relaxant - didn't want to take one before we left, of course)... and then I woke up this evening and ate ice cream for dinner and was tired of sleeping, so tried to do shit, including work for some reason? because i needed to turn in my timesheet, so i kept doing other email stuff. and now it's late.

and now i'm feeling all sorts of abdominal distress, either because of the ice cream, or because my period is due to start (I just began the 4th week of Ortho, which I think is the placebo/period week?). lemme tell you guys: big poops and period problems are BOTH annoying and frustrating as anything when you can barely even sit on a toilet because of the pain. seriously, it is so difficult just to pull my underpants back on after peeing, much less the squatting maneuvers required for period stuff. the arrangement of my bathroom also precludes bars...i think about bringing a walker in to support myself, but i'm not sure it'd be steady enough or at the right height, since it's one of the shorter versions for my Nanny & mom who were shorter than 5'6 (I'm 5'8, so I get the next size up, or something? seriously, we extended the legs as far as they'd go, and Nanny's walker was still too short for me to use comfortably, when I couldn't walk without holding onto a wall)

anyway. lots of whining and complaining because i'm tired of feeling useless and in pain. i can't even clean my room with all these days i have off from work!

so lemme leave a tip re: something that has bothered me all week:

when someone has some kind of chronic injury or pain and it flares up or whatever, don't ask "what did you do (to yourself)?". that's blaming them for something that they can't control and probably has nothing to do with what they did. if you're trying to show sympathy/concern, instead ask "what happened?" or "how long has it been like this?" or "is there anything i can do to help?" - because, seriously, implying that it's my fault that i'm in pain, when i do everything i can NOT to hurt? is pretty cruel. it's especially frustrating to me, this week, because i'd finally had a good night's sleep and felt not-depressed when it happened, and i can't bear the thought that any time I want to sleep well, I'm going to end up with a crooked back. (I sleep best on my stomach, my doctor said "oh, you know you shouldn't sleep on your stomach if you have back problems" i replied "yeah, tell that to me when i'm dead asleep and i usually fall asleep on my side, like i'm 'supposed to' do")

PS: lololol. a lot of people have suggested over the years that i get a hot tub or put a heating pad on when my back gets like this, and i always say "no, when i'm stiff/hurting, heat makes it worse". so on thursday, i did get into the tub. and it felt a bit less bad while i was in the water (even while i was mentally going 'ew ew ew gross gross gross' because i have this Thing about hottubs/baths/swimming pools). but as soon as i got out, i could tell that there was exactly 0 improvement, if not the exact opposite. so.

on 2012-08-06 05:42 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I have back trouble too (surgery for it in 97), and I know where you are coming from.

I have always been told that baths aren't good for backs because they relax the muscles so much that it's easy to reinjure yourself. I don't know if that's true, but you can use it as an excuse!

I hope you feel better soon.

on 2012-08-06 09:40 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
yeah, i asked my pt about pools and stuff and he said that with my hyperflexibility, it's probably a bad idea unless i'm not exerting myself too much, and i can try a jacuzzi tub, but not to stay long if i feel any kind of tensing or strain.

but everyone keeps saying "oh, hot tub jets for bad backs are awesome!" wasn't so much. :(

mostly i'm just super frustrated with being useless and getting exhausted just from walking into the kitchen for a snack before i take the next muscle relaxer pill. (I don't like to take them on an empty stomach)

on 2012-08-06 09:18 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I think I might occasionally ask "What did you do?" but there are people that it's more a "What happened?" or "Are you okay?" (which isn't really the right question either, but I mean it more in a "How concerned should I be right now?" sort of way.)

Will keep that in mind though, as "What happened?" seems more universally appropriate.

on 2012-08-06 09:45 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
see, i've never really been bothered when people ask me "what did you do?" until this week. and after the 3rd time on Wednesday, i was about ready to scream, because i didn't do anything! i just woke up this way!

but i'm noticing it so much this week that it's really bothering me - particularly when my doctor asked me on friday and then basically blamed me for it because i had slept on my stomach. i mean, i noticed it in the past and it annoyed me, but not nearly as much as this week. i guess since i really didn't do anything at all this time, whereas previously, i could always go "oh, yeah, i was stupid and did xyz wrong"?

anyway, i think a lot of people will appreciate the revised wording. it's going to be something that i'll watch myself for, too, because it's so easy to ask.

on 2012-08-07 02:43 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I meant to comment earlier, but have failed... and even then, this probably isn't articulated very well... sorry.

I have so many feelings about "what did you do?" too, but until reading this I hadn't thought of sort of correcting people, asking them to ask something else, instead. This has helped me A LOT with major insecurities along the lines of "what did you do?" I've been struggling with.

So, thank you.

And I really do hope you start feeling better soon <3

on 2012-08-07 03:04 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]

Yeah, like I said to Christine, the whole "what did you do?" thing irritated me before, but I figured it was my fault for being stupid. But this time, I didn't do anything!

(It's really frustrating, also, that I've been in PT for 4 months and I've been getting stronger and improving, and my chronic pain has decreased, on the whole.)

It's still hard to tell people to shut it to their faces when they ask, but at the very least, I can watch myself and not use that wording to show concern, and hopefully lead by example.

Do you know Ana Mardoll or her blog? If not - she has chronic pain, too, due to scoliosis and has recently gone in for surgery, and the surgeon put two additional metal rods in her back without her permission. She's been discussing what it's like to have chronic pain, to have an "invisible" disability (a lot of people blamed her pain on her weight or depression), and also depression and anxiety recently, as a result of medication she was on to control the post-operation pain. I think reading her blog posts about all this has helped me a lot with my pain (even just the menstrual aches that leave me unable to function for two days a month, but also the back and hip hurts).

Anyway, if my statement about "what did you do?" helped you articulate something for yourself, you might also like to read Ana's blog (if you haven't already tried it out). She also posts about writing, ereaders, and does deconstructions of various things like Twilight or the availability of fast food in hospitals (she's in favor of it, and I think her arguments are sound, even if in an ideal world, we wouldn't have junk food anywhere near a hospital).

on 2012-08-08 12:55 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
I think I'd never thought about "what did you do?" because usually when I do get injured or something I really have done something to myself, or at least done a dumb enough thing that I can blame myself.

That'll be one of those able-bodied privileges, I expect. I don't think I've used it much except when I know people have done a dumb thing (Boss cut his thumb on a scalpel in the middle of lab. I broke my face passing out at the post office.) but maybe I have without realizing it and I need to do better. I will keep this in mind for the future.

Thanks. Also, feel better.

(Deleted and reposted for HTML fail.)
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