Thursday, September 11, 2014

I want this pain to go away.

The last few months have turned me into my mother.  I have spent a great deal of time whining about pain.  Of course, there are certain levels of pain I put up with willingly on a daily basis.  Stabbing, burning pain that causes me to shout or cry out does not fall into this category.  The pinched nerve – if that is what it is* – has caused me to act more in a more curmudgeonly manner.  I have also whined about it a bit.   This post contains more whining, but it will not be about the problem. It’ll be about the circumstances and conflicting emotions related to it. I don’t even want to think of myself as temporarily physically disabled. I suffer from a mix and dismay about the situation.
The dismay first hit me when my roommate suggested I use a cane. She noticed a lack of stability I had not.  I resisted, even though I was several weeks into the burning, stabbing thigh pain at this point. I did not want to be one of those people.  Eventually I gave into her request. Using the cane helped reduce the pain. It also gave me something to lean on when it flared up. (I do not use it while I am  on the floor at work. This results in excruciating pain by the time I end my shift.)

The second realization that all was not well came when I entered a local Sam’s Club. The old lady who checks for membership cards asked me if I needed a scooter.  The suggestion appalled me. I almost said, “Do I look like someone who needs a scooter?”  Although my mouth frequently acts independently of my brain, I realized that that this was a good time to shut up.  She was doing her job, and I should not have taken offense. I had seen many people with canes using the store’s mobility scooters while handing out samples.

The leg still goes through the sharp, stabbing pain phases. Two nights ago I could not even touch it without screaming in pain. Last night I almost cried myself to sleep. Everything I’ve read tells me my experience should be temporary. However, I’ve suffered from anxiety problems for years. It wants to interpret every symptom as something more serious. As the burning pain has spread to other areas of the body, I want to give into my mind’s subconscious whispers. That part of the brain tells me I might have to put up with this for a long time.  Feeling kidney stone-level pain when I touched the skin above my thigh a two nights ago did nothing to help this.

I have curtailed my activities when it became obvious I would have to.  An exercise bike reduced me to tears.  I had to ask someone to slow down while walking to a local gaming convention. It dawned on me that this condition is debilitating in me. Everything I’ve read so far tells me it should be temporary. My subconscious mind, however, is busy feeding my anxieties. (As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, I ignore it as much as I can. Physical evidence is starting to weigh in on its side, however Burning sensations in the wrists, elbows, knees, and feet suggest that the initial diagnosis is wrong.)

I want out of this position. I want the doctor to do something that will help with the pain. Although a part of me likes the attention I receive because of this situation, I would gladly forgo it.  There’s also a part of me that wants to yell at the person every time someone asks me if I’m all right.  The truth is I am not okay, but I know the people who ask these questions cannot do anything to help me. I want this to end, but I’m afraid this may be a permanent disability.  I am scared.

*The doctor who told me the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was pinched performed no tests. This results in a condition known as meralgia paresthetica. I was willing to accept this diagnosis because his staff was asking questions about a family history of multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.