It’s been 7 months since I’ve taken Tramadol for my pain. Surviving daily off Motrin, I got into a good pattern of preventative pain medicating with it, each day to keep the pain from flaring. Last week, I had a severe episode of food poisoning that triggered new gut pain and added to too much sitting, suddenly I find myself with the worst flare-up I’ve had in months.
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.
Today I worked out at a gym for the first time in 6 years… without pain. For those of you who know about the injuries I sustained from pregnancy and delivery of my daughter, you know this to me is a major milestone. Traveling across the world and back last month was a big turning point in my recovery.
I don’t write about this much publicly any more because I don’t like focusing on the pain or making others in my network feel uncomfortable, but today I felt like sharing here. For those who suffer for months or years at a time, perseverance pays off when you keep trying new treatments and never give up. While today’s wasn’t a major workout by most standards, to me this is a bigger deal than running a marathon. (It’s sure taken a lot longer to get there!)
I’m about to embark on my first overseas trip in five years. The flight alone would’ve killed me one year ago – the pain of sitting being so intense. So it’s a good time to reflect where the past five years of pain have taken me.
This video clip came into my inbox this morning of Phyllis Greene, who started blogging from bed rest, like me, but who is in hospice. She’s 90 (as her blog, appropriately, is called wedeb90). It’s inspiring to see that. I have a 99 year-old friend who’s on Facebook. She too inspires me. She’s not moving around as much as she used to, but the bottom line is that new media can enable us to reach out and be active in communities in ways that we never could before, providing opportunities to feel much less isolated and alone. We’re lucky to be living in the new media age to have these opportunities.
Soon I’ll be on the longest flight I’ve taken since I was pregnant and this pain journey began. I’m taking all of my pain medications along, and I have all of my other pain management tools that I’ll bring also. Let’s hope I don’t go over the weight limit. Wish me luck!
Giving birth to my daughter I thought would save me from a really hellish, long, exhausting, painful and really annoying pregnancy. After spending the majority of the 9 months on bed rest, I was excited to regain my life again. Little did I know that over four years later, I’d still be in pain. Still, although it’s been a long, arduous journey, I’m beginning to feel like I’m emerging from the fog. The pain and the constant need to put my daughter first took me on a journey away from myself and into a coping pattern that I feel is beginning to break.
The second or third time I sat down with a nurse practitioner who worked with my new OB/GYN that I found near my home after giving birth to my daughter and finding myself in severe continuous pain, she tried to explain to me how pain works. It took a lot of appointments with different doctors – gynecological specialists, pelvic pain experts, a psychiatrist, a neurologist and a handful of physical therapists – for me to really grasp the whole concept, but one thing she said to me that at first really confused me was “the pain IS the problem.”
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.