Posted 12/31/2017 4:34 PM (GMT -7)
I lived with a painful joint condition for 7 years that was loosely diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My back, my neck, my hips, my butt, my knees, ankles, feet, toes, arms, hands, fingers, everything hurt constantly. Whether I was sitting, lying down, walking, exercising, whatever - my joints felt like they were being stabbed with burning needles. Nothing relieved the pain aside from Oxycodone, which I quickly realized the danger of after a severe withdrawal. There was no relief from this strange condition and it never got better over the years: long drives were agony, sitting in class in college was agony, going for short walks with my friends was agony, lying in bed at night was hell; it affected every facet of my life and the worst part was doctors had no answer for me.
Despite that, I put myself through college and went through the motions of having a normal life. I thought about and made half-hearted attempts at suicide occasionally, sometimes putting myself in the hospital, just wanting it to stop. It was unbearable. At a point, I began passing kidney stones due to the amount of naproxen that had built up in my system over the years; it was then that I realized just how unusual what I was going through was, since the kidney stones didn't hurt that much more than the rest of me did.
Finally, after seven years of seeing doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, I received a treatment called myofascial trigger point release which gave me the first relief I'd ever felt. After a few sessions of only mild pain reduction, I took the matter into my own hands and began grinding out, with my fingers and knuckles, a series of large knots of muscle that had fused to my bones in nearly every joint in my body. After three weeks of this painful self-treatment, I had gone from 10/10 pain constantly, to 2/10 pain. And it didn't come back. Three years later and it still hasn't come back. It was nothing short of a miracle for me. I couldn't believe it.
And so began the pain-free life I had only dreamt of. But it wasn't really what I'd dreamt of. I mean, I could not have lived in that pain for another year - it had to go; I am infinitely more comfortable now and can do normal tasks and sleep soundly. However, a lot of the things I had blamed on the pain, as it turned out, had little to do with it. That's where the frustration comes in. I got weaker afterwards; a lot weaker. Socializing became more difficult, I felt no drive to do anything, I've found myself settling for the lowest paying jobs...I was stronger with the pain, in a lot of ways. It forced me to be present, attentive, to not make issues out of small annoyances. I felt wiser back then, and in the three years since I've pretty much been useless. And the thing is, and maybe those of you suffering from chronic conditions will understand this, nothing before or after chronic pain holds a candle to it. I feel like there will never be another mountain as tall. I got over it, I got my miracle, everything I had desperately prayed for (despite not being religious) and I just don't care enough to do anything with my life now.
I'm content. Most chronic pain conditions are never solved, most people go to their graves with them. I was one of the lucky few. And d%mn if I just don't give a d%mn about anything any more. I just want to shout, "%#*% yeah yahoo it's gone!" Anyone wants to point their finger at me, call me lazy, not driven? Well what do they know about unending physical agony. about what that does to you. about how I never even want to touch pain again.
I just want to ask, why didn't losing it make me stronger?