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Battlefieldđź–¤

Life with Chronic Pain

Pills, pills, pills. Appointments, needles, massage, pain specialist, dry needling, physical therapy, acupuncture, more doctors, chiropractor and the list goes on and on. Thoracic outlet syndrome, nerve damage and complex regional chest pain are the many invisible complaints my body deals with day in and day out. 

Many people in my life, even close ones have no idea how much pain I am truly in. The fight against my own body is awful at times. Most nights I’m fighting my own battle. At night alone in bed, me, myself and I have secretive meetings alone where my emotions get the best of me and I can no longer keep it together. I do not like to show that I am always in pain. Crying quietly in bed for ten minutes once or twice a week seems like a good way to let out my emotions.. It's a battle against my body. On one side of the battlefield is my aching body wanting to give up, on the other side is my head and heart working together to encourage one another and to fight the pain. I'm a warrior, all alone standing on top of the hill looking down on my chronic pain planning and preparing to end the pain. When can all three parts of myself be together again?

My body is not allowing me to be very physical. Being physical is my true nature, the only thing I’ve known how to do all my life. Playing basketball for ten years or more, competitively and non-stop was what made me feel good in life. Running cross country and track or just running in the rain in college, made me feel good. Physical activity has always made me feel productive or simply just normal. Now, my body has decided that being super physical is not for me. But my mind and heart still believe that one day I will run again.

Three major surgeries in the last seven years. I’ll never give up but at times frustration and panic settles in. Will my life always consist of so many doctor visits or trying new drugs that only make me feel like a zombie or lackadaisical? Lyrica kicked my ass. That medicine is almost as strong as the morphine the nurse gave me in Chicago from my first surgery.

Hallucinating at night, from the Lyrica, I would wake up my husband seeing black figures in the hallway whispering to one another. Or I’d wake up just talking to him about the most random things. One night I talked about the wedding bat everyone signed in our wedding party. It was in the corner of our bedroom and I wanted my husband to move the bat. It was bugging me to the point that I was sweating and having a panic attack over it. 

What felt like forever, was only five minutes, my sweet husband finally got up and moved the wedding bat for me so that I would calm down. Shortly after, he told me as nicely as possible to be quite and go to sleep. Feeling relieved about the bat, my eyes shut peacefully. After about a month of being on Lyrica I told the doctors, "No thank you."

Will my three-year-old daughter have to keep listening to me weep at night when my body is crying out for any kind of relief? Will my husband look at me, thinking where did Alyson go? I will never stop fighting to make my health better but it can be extremely isolating and discouraging at times. Just remembering how blessed I am in other areas of my life keeps me hopeful for the future.

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