If you’re looking for a post about staying positive while having a chronic illness/pain condition, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re looking for a happy lifestyle post, you’re in the wrong place (although that was the initial plan for today’s post). This is going to be negative and I’m not going to apologize for it because this is my life and I don’t want people to see what my blog and think that I’m always positive about living with arthritis. Yes, I try to be most of the time. But there are plenty of times where I’m not.
Living with chronic illness and pain sucks. There’s no other way to put it. It just really, really does. I’ve been in pain every minute of every day for 13 full years now. I’ve had 4 ankle surgeries. I’ve dislocated my knee at least 4 times. I’ve spent over a full year of my life on crutches. I’ve seen over 20 doctors – primary care doctors, orthopedic surgeons, ostopathic doctors, chiropractors, rheumatologists, and even a neurologist. I was a patient at Children’s Hospital of Boston’s pain clinic. I’ve been in and out of physical therapy since I was 10. I’ve had 5 or 6 cortisone injections. I take 20 pills a day and have infusions of chemotherapy once every 4 months.
I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve dealt with a lot. I deal with a lot.
I accepted a long time ago that my life would be pain and doctors and medications forever. But somehow I found myself in the middle of a cycle I thought I was done with: the cycle of doctors telling me that they have no idea how to make my pain better because I’ve already done everything I’m supposed to do.
I dealt with this cycle for my ankle when I was in high school. After my second surgery (March 2006), I ended up going through a few years of doctor after doctor and no answers until my third surgery (January 2009), when they put a camera in my ankle and finding a whole lot of messed up stuff. Then, even though I went through the arthritis diagnoses problem in the spring/summer of 2010, it was a very short period of time and I had an answer fairly quickly. Now I find myself going through that awful cycle with my knee.
The physical pain I feel on a daily basis from my knee alone should be enough. But then you add all the emotional pain that goes along with doctors saying that all you can do is what you’ve already done, and there’s nothing they can do, etc. It becomes overwhelming and upsetting and simply too much to handle.
I don’t really know how to end this post. This is how I’m feeling right now. I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday with an orthopedic, and that appointment really upset me. I’m feeling extremely discouraged right now. I have a second opinion appointment in a few weeks with someone else because I just simply can’t accept that there is absolutely nothing they can do for me other than hope that my arthritis medication magically works better this time around.
This week has just really reminded me that this can be a battle. I battle my arthritis each and every day just by getting out of bed and trying to live a normal life. Sometimes the arthritis wins. This has been a week of that. I’m just not really used to the arthritis winning the emotional battle, as well. Unfortunately, it seems to be winning a lot of that recently.
|All happy before my doctor’s appointment because I have high(er) hopes for my immediate future. Hopefully I can bring back that state of mind.|