Hi Cheryl, and welcome to the family. You've already gotten so much wonderful advice from others, but I mainly posted just so you knew that I do sympathize with so much you said.
Im in my late 30's, a single Mom with an 8 year old boy. I've lost a relationship and a husband to my pain; not specifically, but it was an aspect of going our seperate ways. Nothing hurts more then being told to suck it up, that you're faking it, that /your/ pain gets in the way of other's happiness.
Long strait hair... guess I'm a member of the club too! Because the heat in the desert tends to damage my hair (and those nasty high winds don't help!) I tend to use a thermal protectant and a leave in conditioner and just let my hair air dry. I also have some cute short bangs for the same reason. I found I have a natural wave that only shows up with a wide toothed comb and air drying; anything else and it disappears.
I have a similar problem with my right arm, from my shoulder down to my finger tips. I get ocassional numbness and tingling, and the all day, all the time pain. Sometimes it's steady, and other times it flares up. However I have CRPS, which they clasify as a disease of the nerves. It started out with tendonitis from a work related accident. But my tendon got better, but the pain never went away. I actually had one doctor, who after reviewing my file, my x-rays, and my MRIs said to my face, "I can't find anything wrong with you, there for you're obviously fine." Talk about insulting! I thought my pain was bad then, but nothing compared to the emotional hurt of someone suffering CP with no one believeing, or understanding your pain. I had my folks, and that was it. I had been living with them at the time thanks to losing my apartment when I lost a previous job; I was in the process of getting my life back in order and back on my feet when I got hurt at my new job. My life has never been the same since, and as crazy as it is, and frequently frustrating being my age and living with my parents, I am grateful. On bad days when I succumb to exhaustion from combating my pain I know someone is there, that I trust, that can take care of my son for me though I seriously try to only fall apart when he's at school.
You no makeup isn't a big deal. I wear a daily mositurizer with sunscreen with a hint of foundation, and one of those long wearing lipsticks; low maintenance, that's me!
I /love/ your comment about "low tolerance of pain". LOL! You're so right, how can someone look at you and say that! That'd be like sayng I had no pain tolerance at all. Just disscount the 5 tattoos, the tongue and navel piercing, and the 3 earrings in each ear.
For your shoulders, do any of those creams for sore muscles help at all like IceyHot, BenGay, and the like? I'm partial to Bio-Freeze, but only in the summer as the high temps out here make my arm so sore and swollen... my pain spikes so bad you can't even run your fingers over my arm. The rest of the time I use Tiger Balm, especially on my shoulder. Another consideration would be a TENs unit, as that might help as well. I have one, but after having gone through my trial for a Spinal Cord Stimulator Unit the difference between the two is night and day. Oh I'll use it on a bad day, as it's that or nothing, but I really hope when I meet with my new surgeon this coming week I'll feel comfortable enough to go through with the surgery.
Know that you're always welcome here, and that everyone is so kind, compassionate, caring, sympathetic, and has wonderful words of wisdom or advice based on their own experiences. You'll always have a shoulder here for bad days, and folks like Dani and Chutz are priceless friends to have. I know just finding this place was such a huge reliefe to me; I felt so alone and misunderstood till I came here. So remember from here on out... you're not alone.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant