My word of the week is TIRED! #wotw #chronicpain
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What’s the big deal?
As I mentioned in My Valentines Day Wish For All of You Chronic Pain Warriors Who Fight a Battle that NO ONE Understands, chronic pain is tiring. During a flare, my body is too tired to do anything but rest. Afterward, it needs time to recover.
The tiredness we experience is not the same as what the average person does. We can do nothing out of the ordinary and feel like every ounce of energy has been drained from our body. It doesn’t matter how well we have our chronic pain controlled or how careful we go about our daily lives, fatigue from our chronic illnesses is impossible to completely do away with.
My tummy is tired
Anytime I mention my chronic abdominal pain, people try to relate by sharing their tummy troubles. What they don’t understand is that the bloating, contractions, and tenderness I experience isn’t caused by what I eat or the result of any typical digestive problem. Mine is the result of a botched hysterectomy. My insides have hurt non-stop since 2003 when endometriosis decided to make my life a living hell.
My intestines, stomach, and basically my entire digestive tract are being held hostage by adhesions. Endometriosis was the original cause. Surgical scarring is what continued the nightmare. Although the last surgery I had in hopes of rectifying this issue was in 2008, the problem has not gone away. My body continues to create more adhesions. Instead of surgical scarring, my body is creating its own scar tissue and adhesions every time an adhesion rips from my sidewall or an internal organ.
Sometimes a flare causes nausea, diarrhea, contractions, or constipation. Other times it pulls and twists my intestines. The worst is when it pulls an organ and adheres to my sidewall. I say this is the worst because when it rips away the pain is one hundred times worse than when adhesions alone pull away.
A tired way of life
I never know when an abdominal flare will strike. Nor do I know how severe it will be or how long it will last. My pain level may be low enough that it doesn’t require much change to my normal life. Then there are flares like my current one that requires a change to everything I do.
The hardest thing to explain to others is that there is nothing I can do to speed up the process or to prevent a future flare. I have had a total of 9 abdominal surgeries. I have been denied surgery by more surgeons than you can imagine. Their reasoning, while maddening, is something I actually agree with. Another surgery will only create more adhesions. Not only that, but the relief I have experienced from surgery has only ranged from 3 weeks to 1 year.
My types of tired
As each flare strikes, I have to take a deep breath and accept all the ways I will tire.
It’s harder to discuss in comparison to my chronic pain from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. The reason for this is that I am managing that pain extremely well with PEMF therapy. But there is absolutely nothing I can do for my abdominal pain. Because PEMF therapy and another new pain relief device I am testing out promotes blood circulation, the pain where I am experiencing ripping becomes unbearable. The best I can do is to medicate with cannabis. However, being that I do not wish to spend my days completely stoned, I have to wait until evening for relief.
When the pain escalates to higher levels my emotional state takes a hit. Anger and sadness over there being no solution to my problem consume me. When the pain extends beyond a few days or weeks, depression begins its takeover.
Will my life ever return to “normal”?
Is this really as good as it gets?
When going through an abdominal flare my mind goes into overdrive in an attempt to figure out how to do what I normally do while experiencing more pain and fatigue. What can I cut from my daily, weekly, and monthly schedules? Who can I rely on? How strong is my support team?
During these flares, I cook less. My family spends a lot more money on take-out and convenience foods. Whatever we need to make life easier.
Let’s wrap this up
Until this flare passes, I must accept my tired way of life and continue to find ways to make living it less painful and easier to live.
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