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Sometimes pain can become a constant thing in your life. It can become something so common that it can become easy to forget about like breathing until it gets worse.
Most of the time my life is constantly uncomfortable. Endless days of joint pain, backaches, and leg pain. And that just names a few of my maladies. Some days I feel like I've been hit by a semi-truck that has struck me at 50 MPH, but here I am, still moving. I'm 25-years-old but I feel like I'm 60. I feel like some old witch has stolen my youth and stuck me with her bad knees and arthritis. Take it back witch, I want a refund!
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other autoimmune disorder or disease, you know very well what I'm talking about. And if you are new to the diagnosis, then I know how hard it is to deal with this alone. There are so many symptoms happening all the time you're afraid to list them all because someone will think you're a hypochondriac. I understand. I can help.
Here is a list of all my symptoms to date:
I used to be a fountain of information, but now I can't even remember names, basic trivia, or where I set my glass of tea down. I feel so stupid all the time. I used to be so smart and quick-witted, and now I can't even think of certain words. It's maddening. When someone asks me a question, for example, "Who is that guy who played in that movie?" It will literally take me hours before the name comes to me. At 25, I should not feel this old or helpless. I constantly re-check my schedule, even though I wrote it down, because I have a tendency to write it wrong. I obsess over planning trips because my stupid brain always forgets something important. I get anxiety because I always feel like I'm doing some wrong or that I'm not good enough because my brain doesn't want to work.
This leads me to my next symptom: anxiety, the panicky feeling you get when someone follows too close behind you in a store and you feel like everyone is trying to push you out of the way. The feeling of always being in trouble. I get sweaty and my heart rate spikes, my stomach flips, and, depending on the situation, I may vomit. I work in retail so there's always an angry customer throwing things and nasty words at me because they didn't get their way. I feel broken, along with my brain issues and other problems, it makes me feel absolutely broken and stupid. Damaged goods..
I also have depression, on top of the anxiety, it's like caring too much but at the same time not caring at all. It is scary at times. All of the above makes me feel so down and undeserving. Some days my pain is so much that I can't brush my hair, so I don't because all I want to do is climb under a rock and hope that I don't have to come out. Sometimes sleep is my only escape, when I dream I don't have to think about what a failure I am. One day I had gotten hurt and my mother asked if I was okay and I legitimately asked her why she cared. What the hell? Why wouldn't she care? She's my mother. I remember recently I was doing the dishes and I busted out crying because my head told me that I was nothing but a maid. It said that no one would or could care about me because all I was good for was cleaning up messes and getting yelled at. I've thought about suicide many times, but then panic sets in and I think about how it will hurt everyone else. Depression is a dangerous symptom and if you are ever feeling the need to even think about suicide, please get help. Talk to someone, even if it's a stranger. Just please seek help and don't self-harm.
Pain is constant. Sometimes it can be just annoying or it can feel like my whole body is broken. The reason I went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me is my thighs we're constantly on fire like I had worked out the day before and was hit by a truck going 50 miles an hour. I was in so much pain simply from bending down on my haunches to pick something up or wipe the floor. The doctor took my blood and suspected that I was diabetic. The results came back and my Ana scatter was surprising to my PCP. He referred me to a rheumatologist and 4 months of waiting and 32 vials of blood later, my rheumatologist was stumped. She diagnosed me with undifferentiated auto immune disease and placed me in the Fibromyalgia category. My pain and complaints were ignored by her even though her specialty was chronic pain patients. I have been on many medications that just make things worse one way or another. I am now off all medications and I just deal with my pain. I hurt so bad sometimes. My stomach gets so upset, it moves across my body in waves and throbs. It acts like a headache and then will settle in my bones and feel like I've broken them. Sometimes I can't move my neck or my back feels like I've been impaled. I'm so very tired of hurting.
Have you ever been in a supermarket and felt like the walls were closing in on you, that people were pushing you around, and that you simultaneously wanted to cry and rip everyone's head off at the same time? That's sensory overload. When there's so much going on that you basically have a panic attack. It also happens when I am sitting in a waiting room. I get aggravated and jumpy and all I want to do is get out of there.
I'm tired of feeling all this at once. It's like I'm being torn apart inside but I look fine on the outside and it's absolutely crazy. But this is me, my body, and my curse. I own it as well as I can, but some recognition and support are needed. If anyone is going through something like this I completely understand and will send you prayers and healing hugs.