Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dealing with the Pain

I have arthritis. It has settled in my hands, one shoulder and one foot. I'm only middle-aged, so I'm sure it's going to get much worse. I take Advil and I have a prescription for an anti-inflammatory drug I take sparingly because I hate to regularly take prescription drugs. I always think they are doing something deadly to my organs they just haven't discovered yet.

So I am in pain sometimes. Last night I was falling asleep. I love going to bed. I love the whole process. The smooth, cool sheets. The dark room. The humming fan. The feel of the sheets against my body. The soft pillow supporting my head. That feeling of drifting and the heavy-eyed sleepiness. (I have now written a blog about napping AND about sleeping. What does this say about my laziness quotient?) I had just reached that point when I had one of those oh, I'm falling off a step experiences you get when you are falling asleep. I jerked my right arm - my arthritic arm - up and pain shot into my shoulder. I was certainly wide awake then. I laid there for a few minutes, then gave up and went to take some Advil. That pain wasn't going away anytime soon.

I don't like being in pain. I hate it. Who doesn't? But...and I often remind myself of this...it's not THAT BAD. My sister-in-law is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Comparing my pain to hers at this point is like comparing a stubbed toe with a shark taking a chunk out of your thigh. I often think of her when my hands are hurting or my shoulder is throbbing and how her pain is so much worse and she is bearing it with such bravery. My beloved niece is suffering agonizing pain every month with endometriosis. I have two friends whose daughters are suffering agonizing migraine headaches. Medicine doesn't work for them. They spend a great deal of time feeling like their heads are going to crack open and their brains will fall out. My daughter suffers with migraines as well. And there are more people who are experiencing excruciating, unrelenting pain. All the time.

So, my shoulder hurts sometimes. My hands ache occasionally.

But...it's not that bad.

4 comments:

Lucy's Mom said...

I'm sorry you hurt Sis. I can SO relate. Your hands, my knees. I really understand. You won't listen, but I'll say it anyway. Take your antiflammatory meds regularly, as you are supposed to, and get the pain under control and KEEP it under control. That way, no unexpected flare ups. I understand how you feel about meds, but I've given up the battle and I just take my stuff regularly and faithfully and I am oh so much better when I do. I fought the "I don't want to take drugs" battle for a long time. When I finally gave up, it was a wise decision. Don't suffer.

Nikky said...

I have to agree with the above comment... try it for awhile, if you find you don't like being on the meds all the time (if they make you groggy, goofy, whatever) then talk to your Doc about changing a dose or something, but if they have meds out there that can ease the pain, you shouldn't deny your body that relief!

sarah said...

Pain is such a difficult thing to discribe.Saying "I just hurt" just never really cuts it. You want people to know, but when it becomes a constant in your life you just learn to adjust. I am sure Carole and Nikki are right and we should all take our preventative meds, but I have to say that I don't either. I have such sharp (stab me in the eye sharp) pains durring my off weeks with my endo, but they go away. I am always medicated durring the terrible week, but the rest of the time I am like you and I just deal.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for a wonderful Rheumatologist and medication my RA is getting better every day. And I do take my meds every day!

Cici