Friday, June 29, 2012

Jerkface Doctor Solves Everything - Pain ISN'T REAL

Yeah, that's right. I went to see my GP for my physical and he went on a half hour long tirade about how pain isn't real.  It's just signals your brain gets. You just feel it. But it's not real.

That man has some gall!

I have Fibromyalgia, chronic tension, sinus, TMJ and cluster headaches, as well as migraines. I have degenerative knee caps (bending my knees hurts), flat feet, and bursitis (painful inflammation) on my hips.

It's safe to say I know a thing or two about pain. I've spent most of my life in pain. Even when I was a child, my bones grew faster than my tendons and I would sit rubbing my legs and crying because I was in so much pain. As a teen and in my early twenties I was plagues by sinus headaches and migraines. And I'm here, disabled, not working, not even able to care for myself, trying to survive with chronic pain.

Until I moved to Toronto and met the group of friends I have now, I honestly didn't know it wasn't normal to be in pain all the time. I couldn't remember a reality that didn't have me always in pain. And whenever I mentioned I was in pain to my parents or others they would say things like 'that's too bad' or, 'I wish I could do something for you', but never, not once did anyone tell me it wasn't normal!! How the hell was I supposed to know that's not how everyone else lived, and I was just a big wimp complaining all the time?! I didn't know! Not until one of my friends said it isn't normal to live with that much pain.

But it's not real. None of it is real. Pain and fear aren't real, my doctor said. They are just signals your brain gets. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes not. But they are just information; they aren't real.

Sure, I know my FMS means my brain is screwing up, sending pain signals when there is no actual cause. But that doesn't make the pain any less real!!

My pain is just as real me to as him standing in front of me telling me my problem in all in my head, and I just have to learn to ignore the signals my brain is sending me.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!  I'm in so much pain I'm fucking suicidal because I'd rather be dead than live in this hell and he has the audacity to tell me my pain ISN'T REAL!?!?!?!

It's not real. Just ignore it. That's his answer.


My pain is real. Thank you very much.

Way to undermine a patient's sanity. Because if my pain isn't real, then neither is he and neither is anything else.

What makes something real?? I can feel it. I can manipulate it. I can make it worse, or better. Just because I can't see it doesn't make it not real. I can't see germs either, but they exist all the same!

If pain isn't real, then neither is joy, or love, or the air we breathe! I can't see the air. I can feel the it. I can smell it. But I can't touch the air - I can't hold it in my hand. So what makes it real?

And I will argue until I'm old and grey that LOVE is REAL. I can feel it. I can see it - by proxy in the actions of the ones around me that love me. I hold it in my hand every time my husband brings me a drink because my feet or joints are too damn sore to get up for myself. I wrap it around me every night - it's my husband cuddling me so hard I have to fight to get up to pee. I hear it in the joy in my parents voices when I make a surprise visit. I smell it when my husband cooks me dinner. I taste it in the batter when I bake him his favourite - banana bread. I can see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it. That's all five senses. What more proof could you possible needl?!

But love started out as a feeling, and I can argue just as well for pain. They are real damnit!

My pain isn't real. I cannot seriously believe he said that to me. My pain isn't real?! I would so love for him to live in my body for a month, and then tell me my pain isn't real. It's fucking real all right, and actually experiencing it would knock him on his cocky ass, is what.

My pain isn't real. Ha. Sure. And I suppose fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the flowers to make them grow too.


My pain is real. I live with it every moment of every day. It's fucking real all right.

Perhaps I should break both of his legs, in multiple places, then when he's all healed up and his bones start to ache in the dampness I can tell him his pain isn't real, see how he likes it. It's only a bad signal. Stop your limping and just ignore it, you big baby. Yeah. That'd go over real well, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Babies, Or the Lack Thereof

I just watched an episode of The Closer that really hit home for me.  The lead character, a 40 yr old woman is worried she's pregnant. Yes worried. Terrified even. So scared she takes a few days to actually do a test. She is relieved when the test is negative, but her boyfriend is disappointed. The way he looked when he saw the test box in her purse (he wasn't snooping, he was making sure he glasses went into her bag instead of on the floor). He had that look - stupid happy, like he'd just won the life lottery. Money can't make you look that happy. Only love can do that.  Well, aside from faking it for film; I'm speaking of when that look happens on it's own in real life. It's been my experience only moments of true joy based on love give that wondrous, happy look.

It's the same look I saw on my good friend Will's face while he was standing across from him wife during their marriage ceremony. It's the same look I saw on my own husband's face in the pictures for our wedding (I was way too nervous to notice at the time).

It's a good look. And man does it feel good when you're the reason!

Anyway, my point, is what happens when you're the reason someone is robbed of that look and all the expectant joy that causes it.

My mother-in-law was shocked at my lack of romance, and possibly tact, when I told her that I told Chris, my husband, on our first date, that if he wanted children, if that was something he was looking for, then I wasn't his woman. I told him, firmly, and knowing me, passionately that I was never going to have children. I like other peoples children just fine, and I'm happy they enjoy them, but I so do not want that life for myself. Which, in a way, is a blessing in disguise because right now there is no way in hell I could take care of a child! I can't take care of myself without help. No, kids would be the miserable death of me. Though, honestly, even if I was perfectly healthy I would still be miserable if I had kids. They are just.... Not something I want in my life.

Now, if I'd done things my mother-in-laws way, and hadn't mentioned my feelings, I could potentially be the person robbing someone of that joy I was talking about earlier. I would have been lucky with Chris, but he's not the only man I've ever dated, and I've always been upfront because, having children is not something you can compromise on. Whether or not you have 1 or more can be a compromise, but if one partner wants kids and the other doesn't, well that's just a deal breaker. I have always felt it is better to state up front what you are looking for in a relationship and what the deal breakers are for you. I don't think it's unromantic, I think it's practical. How romantic is miscommunication and hurt feelings?

Letting things happen naturally, and seeing where the go, is just fine - that's what Chris and I did. But you have to be upfront with people. When I was dating, I wanted to avoid the scenario where we'd date for, who knows how long, and once we have tender feelings for each other, and want to be serious, or even think of marriage, only then we find out that one of us wants ten kids, the other zero, or one of us is a devout Christian and requires not only a Christian wedding, but baptism and child-rearing as Christians, oh, and for the mother to convert and attend Church ever Sunday. Deal breakers. That's what I'm talking about. Upfront no one gets their feelings hurt, you've 'wasted' maybe 1-3 dates instead of months or even years, and everyone can then go off and seek someone that wants the same things they do.

I feel passionately about this. I may not be great at communicating, and my husband will surely attest to that (he has the patience of a saint!), but I do understand the value, and importance of talking to the people in your life. I know it's hard; it's always hard for me, but in the end, it helps. People can't help you if you don't tell them you need help. People can't be or give you what you want if you don't ask. I say people because I mean not just your partner but all the people in your life that care about you. Perhaps it's just me, though likely not, but I find it hard to ask for help in part because I never feel.... sure that whomever I'm asking is willing to help. Fear of rejection is a powerful thing. It's taken me over 30 years, but I'm beginning to understand that I'm better loved than I've ever imagined, and asking for things, especially from my partner, is a good way to get what I want/need. 

Man, am I a lucky woman! Every time I think about the fact I'm married to my Chris, I realise just how damn lucky I am. I'm so well loved. He's so so good to me! We're so very compatible. He makes me happy just by being here. Insert goofy smile here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time's Almost Up!

So, I have carpal tunnel. I had my right wrist operated on in 2008, literally two weeks after Chris (my then boyfriend) started working at the Company he still happily works for. His boss was really great and let him have the day off to come with me to get my surgery done. He wanted to be there, bless him.

Well, it's now time to get my left wrist done. I have an appointment for a consult in the middle of August. So, hopefully I can have the surgery done soon after. Again, Chris' work is being great about it. I'm sure he'll take the day off to come with me, and then take a few days, either off, or just work from home. I'm pretty helpless right after it's done because I'm not allowed to move my left hand at all.

Let me tell you, losing the use of your whole hand, and your forearm too really, is a very frustrating experience! There are just so many things we do all the time, little things, that suddenly you can't do, or you have to pause so you can think your way into another way to do it. For instance, you can't open a jar - you need one hand to hold it and another to unscrew. You can't wash your hair - you need one hand to hold the shampoo bottle and the other to pour the shampoo out into. You could just pour shampoo on your head, but without say, a mirror, you'd never have a clue how much you were using. You can't do up a bra, it takes you three times as long to put pants on, if you can at all. It's not too hard to undo a button one handed, but doing them up, esp. with stiff fabric, ugh! It's hard. And I know I am going to be one cranky woman!

But, that wasn't supposed to be my point! Oops!  I wanted to talk about my knitting. Because knitting is one thing I most certainly will not be able to do once I have surgery! It will take three months at best before I can knit again! Three whole months with no knitting!! I think I might just go stark raving mad!

So, the time is running out and I have lots of things I want to get knitting. First and foremost I'm making a stockpile of cotton dishtowels because ours are getting very old, and my mom is running out too. So I'm doing them in 7.5 in sq for my mom and about 5.5 in sq for me.  I am also knitting a shawl in a lovely summer-sky blue yarn. I very much want to have that done ASAP.

Also, if I manage to have time, I really really want to knit a baby blanket for my cousin's forthcoming baby. I haven't knit for any of my other cousin's babies, because, well, that woulda put me in the pour house. I have 24-26 cousins, with about 20 of them having 2 or more children! That's a LOT of Hazeltons! heh.

But, this cousin is special. In that I grew up with him. He may be five years younger than me, but so many of my happy memories from childhood feature him, and his mom, and even his sister. She was so mean to him when they were little! I guess that's part of being siblings, I'm an only child, so I really have no clue. But the four of us (the three kids and mom) went on lots of adventures together. I remember going somewhere, I'm thinking maybe just to Stoney Creek Dairy for ice cream cones. It was summer and we had all the windows down in my Aunt Alice's big red Buick.  We sang Rod Stewart at the top of our lung, with the breeze in our hair and huge smiles on our faces. That memory just bursts with joy. And he, the father-to-be of the aforementioned baby, was a big part of that.

I guess... because I shared so much of my childhood with him, even though we haven't been close since then, I still... I very much want to be a part of his life. I want to celebrate this new stage with him. And the only way I really know how to do that, you know, aside from babysitting (there is a reason I only did that once or twice as a teen!), is to knit them something for the baby.

I mean, what better gift of love than my time and skill? I'll use acrylic, because babies and wool don't mix unless mommy is a knitter too. Just the willingness to use acrylic (I hate the stuff) shows you how much I care! So yeah, I want to knit a blanket, maybe a baby sweater, thought the sweater will likely be in some superwash wool. I haven't found cotton or acrylic I'm willing to knit in a finger weight. And thick sweaters look silly on babies I find.

What blanket should I knit?? I already have the plans for the monkey blanket, but that thing took forever! So I'm thinking perhaps something more simple like the diamond lace blanket I made. Though, knowing me, I will also spent and afternoon searching Ravelry for baby blanket ideas.

Wish me luck! I think I'll need it to get everything knit in time!