I made a big decision recently. I did not make it lightly, nor did it happen quickly. It took me several years to get to this point, partly because I was fighting myself and what it meant to me. Not an easy choice: I applied for a permanent disabled parking permit.
If you want other women in pain to be treated fairly by doctors, other medical professionals, government agencies and the public, sign this petition and please share that chronic pain is an epidemic global health problem with serious consequences to sufferers and those around them. Read more about it at ForGrace.org.
I just watched President Obama speak at the White House to doctors and media about his plan to combine the efforts taken for healthcare reform in Congress to “get it done.” He concluded his speech using the example of a woman who had breast cancer, who worked, who had good insurance through her work and her husband’s work and who still ended up in significant debt from her medical expenses and spends her time worrying about money and working hard to pay off the debt instead of spending the time working on her own health and spending time with her children. Her name was Laura Klitzka but it could have been my name or any number of women or men in the United States who have the same problem.
It’s been over three months since the nerve block injections. A few days after I received them, The New York Times came out with a a feature about a study on how many redheads react to anesthetics. That would be me. Sigh. Luckily, thanks to this blog, I got in touch with someone else who had a similar reaction who told me it took about 3 months for it to wear off. She was right. It was a huge help having a timeline to focus on. Now I’m almost back to where I was before those awful shots.
It’s been two weeks since my injections and people are already just assuming I’m feeling better, so I thought I should explain. No, I’m not. It’s worse. I was warned, but not quite enough. See, I was told I might get a “flare-up,” but I’ve never felt anything quite like this.
Imagine being cooked over a fire, boiled, burned, smoldering, along with being stabbed by small knives, all at once. I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but unfortunately that’s what this pain feels like. It’s not that way all the time, so I’m lucky in that respect, but it can come on at any point from sitting or moving too much or whatever. This is way worse than any flare-up I’d had in the past from other activities that might have exacerbated my pain. Sigh.
I’ll admit there are a lot of sad aspects to living in chronic pain. It’s no picnic any day, regardless of how it’s viewed. But at least I have the benefit of some experience. Pain from two different sources that lasted five years qualifies, doesn’t it?
In 1996, I took my first job after graduating from college. I was excited to be working at a small company as a contract systems administrator. It was a great experience professionally. Physically, however, it was a ticking time bomb.
It seems a bit silly that after blogging for 7 years and starting over a dozen blogs that this is my first official mommy blog, but so it goes…
Now that I’ve gotten going with this blog, I just want all of my mom blogger friends to know I do want to link to you – I just don’t have all of your site URLs with me while traveling, and the computer I’m on is difficult to use to research these things.
So if you want to help me out by adding your blogs in the comments here, I’ll add them to the blogroll as soon as I get a chance. There’s not much there now, but I expect it to be a valuable resource once it’s completed.
And please… if you’re willing, put up a link to this blog somewhere. It’s important to raise awareness about chronic pain, pelvic pain, and what it’s like to be a mom in pain. We have a long way to go before there’s true job flexibility and equity for people who are disabled for whatever reason, and pain counts there as well.