This is a Really Real Chronic Pain Post.
I talk about my mental health openly and honestly and have no problem being real and raw and honest.
I feel like my words help me and help others. I shine light into all the dark spaces, I speak my story and share my truth because it might save lives, including my own.
If nothing else, it helps ease the pain of living with my mental illnesses.
But for some reason, I don’t seem to feel the same way about my physical health.
Speaking up about my mental health has become easy, speaking up about my chronic pain is harder. I feel like I’m whining. I spend a lot of time hiding behind a mask of “okay.” And honestly, I’ve learned how to make that mask my reality.
The daily pain is part of my normal.
All of my everythings hurt. And that is normal.
Between my fibromyalgia and my inflammatory arthritis, I expect my joints to hurt. I expect to feel all of the bones in my hands rubbing against each other every time I move my fingers. I expect to feel each of the bones in my wrist shifting and turning and creaking together. I expect to feel the sickening pull of nerves when I stretch my arms.
I expect to wake up in the morning and sometimes stumble for the first few steps as my feet become accustomed to the ground again. I expect to hobble down the steps as I take the dog out for the first time, praying I don’t stumble and fall because my legs don’t yet feel like they’ll support me.
I expect the pain and drainage of the sores from my hidradenitis suppurativa. I expect it to show up in uncomfortable places that rub when I walk or workout. I expect it to flare at the most inopportune times.
Those, and so many other pains are part of my normal.
But sometimes new pain shows up and it’s hard to keep up the mask of “okay” when something new starts to hurt.
This past week or two my hip joint has been hurting. It’s a pulling, sickening nerve pain accompanied by the feeling that something is just out of place, just not working quite right. I’ve been able to workout around it at the gym, walk a few miles at night around it, and just generally keep acting like it wasn’t there even though it hurt.
Today it’s enough to bring me to tears. Sitting still hurts, every bump we hit in the car was agony.
It’s enough that I’ve considered an ER to see if the hip joint is somehow out of place.
I spend so much time in pain and I’m used to it. When something new comes along there’s this fear that goes along with it. Am I going to have to learn to assimilate this into my normal.
Right now my mask has slipped.
I’m not okay.
I’m in pain. Real, physical, pain. And it sucks.
And I know when I go to get it looked at I’ll just be a fat, crazy, woman who is overreacting.
But, that’s a whole different topic for another day.