Diagnosis: Getting Better, But It Still Sucks

That’s what my OB/GYN said at the end of an emotional but helpful annual visit. “So you’re getting better, but it still sucks.” I thought she did a pretty good job summing things up.

She was proud of the progress I’ve made over the eight and a half long years since I first began seeing her after my injury from another doctor delivering my baby. I wish she had been my doctor when I was pregnant; perhaps none of this would have happened, but we’ll never know.

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Eight is Enough

Life’s been whizzing by the past couple of years since my daughter started grade school. I thought I would have more time, but I haven’t. The good news it has become easier to manage my pain on a daily basis. The bad news is it’s still around lingering like an irritating neighbor that just won’t leave you alone. Still, I learn new lessons about life with pelvic pain.

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Setbacks

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.

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From Birth to the Depths of Despair to Rebirth

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.

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The Pain IS the Problem

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.”

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Injection Reaction and Life Gets in the Way

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.

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Worse

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.

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