I thought I understood what pain does. I mean I have two tattoos, been scratched by a baby, and am really clumsy. Joking aside, I’ve had pain before. I’ve broken my ankle, sprained both several times, pulled a muscle in my leg, and have had a neck injury.
However, there are things I didn’t understand about long term pain and how it eats at your mental health and quality of life. Three things have really surprised me.
First, I’ve noticed that my anxiety, executive dysfunction, agoraphobia, RSD, and aversion to change have all been really hard to deal with the past few months. It wasn’t until last week after a stressful work day (that shouldn’t have been that bad) that I realized that the constant pain is amplifying the rest of my issues.
Second, I’ve found the oscillation between hope and despair to be really exhausting mentally and physically. From worrying that the pain and loss of mobility in my arms is permanent and only going to get worse to making plans for when this will be over and I’m back to normal. Hopefully this will get better once I’m allowed to see a doctor.
Third, I had never thought of how the pain would lead to a lack of sleep. It wakes me up two to five times a night and I don’t sleep well when I do. On really bad nights, despite the Voltaren and Advil, I lie awake and barely sleep. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 2-3 hours straight since last June.
The combination of the three means that I’m constantly tired, everything feels like a large task, and life feels more dramatic.
The worst part is feeling like I’m failing myself and my family.
I’m supposed to hear from WSIB this week with a decision on my care. Hopefully, things will get better after that.
Sorry for the sad post. No help needed, just love.
Stay Safe and Be Kind,