There’s a little known fact about me that few people know. I live with chronic pain. Every. Day.
Two years ago it got so bad I couldn’t function. I could hardly get out of bed and I almost never left home. No one understood and no one could help me. We’re not even sure what caused it.
Now I have always had migraines, I was diagnosed as a young child. By my teenage years I was living with chronic migraine. My friends and family couldn’t relate and all I ever heard was: You have another headache.
It feels like people stop believing you. I assure you no one wants to live like this. Working was always hard for me but I muscled through the pain for years.
I’m 38 now, 2.5 years ago something happened to me and I felt like I was dying. Every day.
I didn’t want to wake up the pain was so bad. Systems were shutting down but no one could find anything “wrong”.
I was in and out of Drs. offices where they all assured me it was just my migraines acting up and I’d be fine.
I knew they were wrong so I kept working my way through different specialties.
I kept getting worse and the next thing I knew I couldn’t even make it 2 hours into the day before I needed to go back to bed.
Exhaustion so extreme I couldn’t even manage to shower let alone take care of my family.
I was admitted to the hospital for the first time. I thought surely my Drs. would take me seriously now.
I was wrong.
Many tests were run and while they did find some problems they again reassured me I would be fine.
I was discharged from the hospital and put on the lowest dose antidepressant because they believed my pain was psychcosematic.
What an insult.
I continued to worsen.
I was now vomiting daily from pain and living on a toddler mattress in my bathroom. I was in and out of ERs at this point with dehydration and intermittent treatment of pain.
They could only get me manageable and then send me home again.
My head felt like it was being crushed. I was nauseous at all times. I lost the vision in one eye for 2 weeks. I developed tachycardia. Sever neck, face and jaw pain. It worked its way down the left side of my body focused on my elbow and hip.
I’d schlep myself through the pickup line at school with heating pads on my face.
I’d given up that anyone was willing to help me.
I started traveling to Ann Arbor for treatment. It was there I began seeing someone that believed me.
For the next 6 months I had seen very minimal improvement. About the only thing that happened was I stopped vomiting daily. They pain was still very bad, the meds I was on just stopped the throw up part.
I was struggling to get through the day and still not capable of any tasks. Doing the dishes would put me out, laundry was a hard no. Forget about leaving the house for grocery shopping, that wasn’t even an option.
I was back in the ER. My mother and husband were discussing getting me to the Mayo clinic.
It was at this point I broke down and agreed to be admitted in Ann Arbor. My Dr. told me that 30% of the patients he sees just need to be hospitalized but I’d have to wait for a bed as this was a special program. They focus on head and neck pain.
Four or five days passed when I got the call. I didn’t want to leave my family but I knew I needed to do it.
I arrived and was in extreme pain. Like many other hospital and doctor visits they got to see me in agony and vomiting until I passed out exhausted.
I was in for 2 weeks.
It was a strange experience for me in the sense that these people understood me. Finally someone could relate. They asked if the lights were too bright, if they were being too loud, they knew what it was like to always be in pain.
I will say I am on an uptick. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be pain free or even get back to the better life I knew but I hope I can.
My family needs me to.