I brought a thread to the forum several weeks ago that took on an extended interest about how we struggle to maintain our identity and how CP has the tendency to take over our and redefine our identity. It read, When things don't go right, we are left thinking, talking, crying and sometimes yelling about our CP. Circumstances like friends and family not understanding our CP, pharmacies questioning us like we are drug addicts, Drs telling us there is nothing they can do, looking ahead at treatments and surgeries and the hope or lack of hope, disappointments with how our bodies react to the pain or even the medications and the list could go on. It is easy to say that we will not let ourselves get caught up in the cycle that CP is our identity but everything around us at times tells us that is who we are. So by popular demand, I have brought it back. How do we maintain some semblance of our identity before CP and what has CP taken away.
Some of the previous posts were very emotional as the struggles we face go deep into who we have become. Here is a small issue that I joked about on another thread but I realize has more to it. When at the new PMS appointment, they told me that I had to give a urine sample. Due to complications after my last surgery and medications, the plumbing does not work the same. It became a major issue and the whole staff was brought into the issue of me not being able to pee on demand. Since the office was new and I was the first patient, the office was also attended by 3 individuals who were there to work on the computer system. In front of all I had to explain why I could not fill the cup. They even discussed that I might not be able to have my appointment. This may sound stupid but all of a sudden I was the man who could not. CP even takes away our dignity in may ways. It seems that we have no private life. Every time we go to the doctor, PT, at time pharamcies etc our whole life is open to medical personell and starngers and that is who we have become. I hope this makes sense. I am having a very difficult night and I hope my thoughts come through. I try and joke and use humor to cover up hurts and pains at times. A defense mechanism.
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on ful disalbility!
Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)
Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV
Post Edited (White Beard) : 3/18/2009 3:10:22 PM (GMT-6)
Chutzie, I hear you on the memory aspect. It is frustrating to not to be able to remember things. Like others parts of our lives that we have lost or are not in control of anymore, some of us make jokes about it to help as a coping mechanism. When we quit laughing or making comments, the pain and hurt from losing or the fear of losing our lives and identity has a way of sneeking back in. As I have shared before, At times when I am teaching, I can see the words but can't say them. Other times, I I know what I want to say but can't find the words, it is like they are lost somewhere.
I think this whole issue of loss of control is another area of the identity crisis that I deal with and from the post others do as well. We lose control over areas of our every day existence and that is difficult. Ability to travel, where we can sit, what jobs we can do, sleep, even how our body responds to the pain. We all like to have control over some of the areas of our lives. Our doctors even take control away from us. Insurance companies take control away from us. The list could go on and on for some time.
White Beard, I think the next time I have to go to the PMS, I will take a P & J sandwich and a bag of chips with me. When I hand them the brown bag I will hand them one with the lunch in it and wait for their response.