No pain, no pain?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

It's not often that I'm afraid. I don't talk about it much (unlike my massive over-shares about EVERYTHING ELSE)... because I'm usually somewhat ashamed of my fear.

I don't enjoy whining. I don't feel like I have the right to complain about something if I'm not doing something to fix it (that's my rule: you get two free b!tch sessions, but after the third, you have to start working to resolve the situation). So I don't talk about pain. And it's because I'm afraid.

I don't want to be on medication from now into eternity, because I know eventually that's my fate (diabetes -- of the genetic persuasion -- runs rampantly through my family, along with glaucoma, and a host of other age-related degradations of the body). So I put it off. But medications don't scare me.

No, what scares me is the idea that they might work, but not forever.

I have chronic headaches. Migraines too, but they're not what worry me. I get a few of those a year, but not enough for me to interfere with my quality of life. My headaches? That's a different story. People who know me (even well) forget -- or even have no idea -- that most of them have never seen me completely free of pain. I have had approximately 6 pain free days since I was twelve years old -- excluding a single month of physio. Most of the time, it's low-levels: maybe a 3/10. Not even enough to bother with painkillers -- they don't really work anyway.

At the end of my second year Uni, I spent one month seeing a physio two to three times a week (very expensive), and she successfully reduced my headaches, giving me just under a month where the majority of my days were painless. But then I went away on exchange.

Two years ago I got up the courage to go back (and had benefits enough to cover visits). We dropped my pain level down to about a 2... but that one point reduction wasn't enough to warrant the interference in my life (having to avoid my favourite activities, limiting my time for anything, occasionally triggering migraines). So I started trying a massage therapist. I recently switched to one a bit closer to my new home, and we're trying to balance an unpleasant massage that reduces my pain with one that doesn't hurt, but doesn't really help either.

In September my Doc prescribed a pill that -- taken once a day -- might help my headaches. But that pill makes me nervous: it's supposedly non-habit-forming, but it works as a sleep-aid, so it might be anyway. Of course, if it works, I might take it for the rest of my life anyway...

It's not the potential side effects that scare me -- not really. Nor is it the possibility that it will cause me to gain weight (it's a very mild antidepressant). It's not even my body's tendency to react strangely to drugs.

What frightens me is that maybe, just maybe, it will work, but only for a little while. I don't know if I can handle being free, only to return to dealing with the pain day in and day out. Right now, I'm used to it. It may be omnipresent, but I can just push it to the back of my mind and go on with my daily life. Sure, I'm only 3/4 of the hyperactive, happy girl that is me, but that's more than enough personality for most of those who know me.

My dance teacher had back surgery two years ago. It helped enormously. Suddenly she could do all the things that she had done before without pain. But then, when some of the pain returned, she had a hard time coping. Suddenly, small pains which she wouldn't have even registered before, were debilitating.

That is what I'm afraid of. What if, 2 years after I free myself from the pain, it returns. Right now, I'm not depressed: I deal with the pain and move on. But depression is another thing that runs rampantly through my family, and there's another group it runs rampantly through: chronic pain sufferers.

So I am afraid. Afraid that the drug will work, but that two years from now I'll be sitting in the same place as I am now, but feeling lower and more powerless.

I tell people all the time: change is good. Change is an opportunity. Change isn't scary.

And to me, it isn't. Change isn't scary. Pain is.

I need to get over myself and head to the pharmacy. Soon.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I really understand. I also have headaches, almost daily. Mine are caused by noises, lights, and smells. And having two parents that smoke, gives me headaches all the time. Luckily they do it outside, but it's still enough on there clothing to give me one. Plus the train tracks near by don't help.

    As with medication, well I have been through the ringer with all forms of anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety. I know the risk of your body getting use to something, then having to increase...and increase...and increase. Then you have to change it.

    As with depression medication, it always made me WORSE! I was always having to switch from one kind to another. Some depressant medications don't have weight gain, and to be honest, the weight gain usually comes from cravings. I was on this one antipsychotic (stupid), but I think it's what gave me insulin resistance, and pcos.

    If it's really mild, and a low dosage, it might be worth a test.

    Have you though of homeopathic stuff. They are little white pills that you place under the tongue. They work really well for certain things, and you might get the relief you need without side effect medication. abchomeopathic.com (i think) has a good "software" that asks you about your symptoms.

    Well I hope you feel better. Minor headaches can turn into major ones really fast, so it's understandable why you want them fixed.

    By the way, if you want to message me about what kind of medication they are wanting you to take, I can tell you my experience with it. I swear I have been on everything.
    1965 days ago
    Oh my goodness, I wanted to cry reading this and to give you a giant hug. You are talking to my soul here. You & I have very similar issues. I recently gave up physio because I was going broke. I spend most nights now with my heating pad on my neck for some relief and every time I feel like lifting weights at the gym I end up with a worse headache and go back to "laziness". My physio told me when I started to try to run that I was making the headaches worse from the running... so what can I do? Some days I just can't think about working out because my head hurts. It makes me feel weak. It makes me feel like my body hates me. It exhausts me from worrying about it. It scares me to think of things like... what if I get engaged and come down with a headache on my wedding day? It scares me terribly when I think of "the rest of my life" like this with pain and fear. I hear you so loud and clear here that I seriously might cry because (unfortunately and fortunately) you get it.

    I try to suck this up so badly. I think my bf is the only one who really knows the extent of the pain, because you don't want to waive a flag every day like "go easy on me, my head hurts!" Again, don't want to be weak!

    There has to be an answer, right? I'm curious what the drug is that they recommended for you, I just got a recommendation I haven't taken up yet either.... ugh. You aren't alone their either!

    But seriously, massive hugs your way. I truly believe people can't fully understand what headaches are like until they experience them, definitely so with the migraines. It is the worst and I wouldn't wish them on anyone. Hope you start feeling better soon!
    1965 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.