PAIN 11/11/11

pain
Pain
...Hurt...

I AM convinced that menopause was the catalyst for my getting a thyroid disorder, actually an auto-immune thyroid disorder called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Fibromyalgia which crept in….no, more like, crashed into my body right after menopause and never left. It also changed me from a happy person to a somewhat content person. I am more anxious, I have more fear. If PMS was a wading pool, menopause for me, was like a tsunami.

I had been to doctor after doctor, half of them not having a clue what was wrong with me (including my beloved internist who walked out of the examining room in frustration and left me crying inside, alone.) There was a rheumatologist who said I had “scoliosis” and that my auto-immune disease of the thyroid would leave me “wide open for other auto-immune diseases.” Thanks, really helpful and informative not to mention it scared me half to death. I had another rheumatologist who put me on cymbalta and when it did not help said she could do no more and a maniac rheumatologist who put me on various, toxic medicines that are generally given ONLY to transplant patients so that they don’t reject a new organ. He also let me stay on one particularly noxious medicine that gave me gastrointestinal problems so badly I couldn’t leave my bathroom for a month. When I called him after a month and told him what was happening, he said just “give it another month.” A month later, weak and dehydrated I had an office appointment and he said “my bad, that was my mistake.” YOU THINK?

It’s hard to remember “Before” menopause since I am convinced that menopause and fibromyalgia both robbed me of my memory. What was I saying? Why did I come up here? What did I want to remember? Frankly, its terrifying. I can remember verbatim the words spoken in my husband’s and my first fight but what I did yesterday? Not easy at all. It also robbed me of all the energy I ever had, poured it out of my body with an invisible pump and threw it in a large body of water far away from here. It could be fueling the energy of a little known country for all that I know…..

I consider myself a sick woman now, not a healthy one. My Fibromyalgia flare-ups have been so long and pronounced it’s like they are my new constant. I don’t remember when I didn’t ache in agony. Movement of every kind makes me groan out loud. I’m not asking for sympathy or even help, I am hoping for understanding. Please, just remember, I HURT all the time, whether you believe in this chronic pain disease or not. It is my unhappy life, not yours; do not judge. I don’t complain to you, so please don’t offer suggestions. If I want your opinion, truly, I will ask for it. You have NO idea what I go through so don’t even think about saying “you know how I feel.” Trust me, you don’t.

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Swallowing Razor Blades

I was hospitalized a little more than a week ago for having Epiglottitis, otherwise known as my throat is KILLING me, it’s as if I had been swallowing razor blades, one after another. It truly was the worst pain I have ever had, birthing quintuplets naturally would have been less painful. Since I was released I have been on numerous medications to help (help-NOT) with my symptoms, especially the ulcers on my epiglottis, near my vocal chords.

I missed a scheduled trip to Washington D.C. with my family because the thought of moving, anywhere, was out of the question. I was sleeping a lot, aching all over and generally very miserable. I did go on the trip to Boston with my family where I stated that “I will be going there even if it’s on a stretcher.” Luckily it didn’t get to that but I was feeling terrible still and kept having to put my head down for fear of passing out. I couldn’t do any of the walking since I was so tired and out of breath; I was also coughing continuously. Bought over the counter products, DayQuil, NyQuil, In-BetweenQuil, Robittusin cough syrup and enough throat lozenges to feed an entire country for a week. Nothing helped.

Today, after all the doctors who took last week off for Spring Break returned, I had to, once again, go in to see them. We started with an ENT who scoped (that is such an unpleasant procedure) a camera through my nose to look at my throat. Progress, that seemed like it had healed.  Why was I coughing incessantly? He didn’t know and referred me to my Internist. Basically, she had blood work done, a chest X-ray and an EKG. She then told me to see a Pulmonologist later in the afternoon. After a brief nap, we trudged along to another office to see the Pulmonologist who gave me an assortment of (more) medication and a follow up visit tomorrow for extensive breathing tests. He also alluded to a CAT scan in the future if the cough doesn’t go away in two weeks. Not something to look forward to. He fears that the all too powerful methotrexate given to me for my auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) may possibly have damaged my lungs. Just great.

Wednesday, I have to go in to see the previously-known-as-the-guru-Dr.-in-the-city. I’m sure he will try to make me take methotrexate again.  Or perhaps he will put me on Prednisone (again). These rating scales of pain are basically useless. At least all the people I know who have chronic pain and fatigue think that they are. When I was in the hospital with my throat pain, they asked me my pain scale from one to ten, ten being the worst pain ever. I gave them eleven as my answer. Enough said.

I’ve been on Prednisone, Plaquannel, Synthroid and a slew of other medications. I hate being on all these different medications especially when I still feel like crap, worse than crap. It’s time now for the new nasal spray, cough syrup and anti-acids prescribed today. My poor body, my poor soul. We are both spiraling downwards quickly in the haze of pain and emotional spirit.

Someone please catch me before I fall.