Dear Insurance Company…

Dear Insurance Company.

All I’m asking for is a real pain management program and treatment.

I’m not asking to be a druggie. I’m not asking for much.

I have tried all those medications for depression that you think will help the pain.

I have tried every supplement that doctors, health coaches, other patients, supplement companies and random people have recommended.

I have tried so many varying diets that are supposed to help pain, migraines and inflammation.

I have tried every over the counter medication that might possibly work….. multiple times. So many times that ibuprofen under 800mg and any acetaminophen don’t work at all, that even Aleve and aspirin now cause GI upset.

I do stretching and yoga.

I do meditation.

I do Acupuncture and Physical Therapy.

I push my body beyond what is practical and beneficial simply so I can lead as normal of a life as possible.

I ask you to tell your children they can’t turn on lights or open the blinds in the house because you have a migraine….again.

Tell your children they can’t go outside because you can’t have the windows open to listen to them or sit out with them because it’s too cold and too bright.

Tell your children you can’t walk 5 blocks to the park because your back hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t tickle them because it hurts you too much.

Tell your children they can’t talk or make noise because of your migraine.

Tell your 7 yr old child to watch his 1 year old little brother because if you stand up you’ll throw up from pain.

Tell your children they can’t hug you or sit on your lap for story time because it hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t take them to indoor play places because the noise and fluorescent lighting triggers migraines (if you don’t already have one).

Tell your children they can’t invite friends over because their friends are too noisy because they weren’t raised with a migraine parent.

Do your children under 7 years old know how to completely load and unload the dishwasher, do laundry start to finish or make themselves breakfast and lunch because standing causes your feet to lose feeling and makes you lightheaded from the pain?

On your good day, try not to feel like a terrible parent when your child get exuberantly happy because you are making “real breakfast!”

Stop treating me like I’m a drug seeker. My pain won’t ever go away. Never. It’s called permanent chronic pain because it’s always there. Always. I don’t want to be so medicated I can’t enjoy my children’s moments and childhood. I just need the pain managed to I can be their mom. So I can be the wife who is a partner to my husband. So I can help take care of my failing grandmother instead of her taking care of me because I’m worse off. So I can be me. I’m not asking to climb mountains. To run marathons. Just manage day to day pain without saying no to almost everything. Without crying myself to sleep because my body hurts… if I can sleep.Thanks,

Me 

Anxiety is like a cheese grater…

Scraping away at my skin from the inside like some alien force that I just have to get out. Any time I have a panic attack it digs in. Just scraping me raw, making me itch. Not just itch but the need to peel flesh from my body to get it to stop. 

Years ago when my anxiety started I would hyperventilate, but people noticed that which drew too much unwanted attention. I learned to mostly control that symptom so my body internalized it. No one noticed the thumb scratching away at my hand or arm as I escaped the crowds. But anxiety comes for various reasons, the more intense the more I had to get it out. 

I’ve tried cutting it out with knives. Dont worry, no pictures of that.  Works to distract and calm the intense itching at the time but leaves marks on you body that people ask about. Then leave scars as reminders of how I couldn’t control my anxiety. How I couldn’t be like most people and just deal with it.

I saw a post on Tumblr a couple years ago about using a sharpie or marker (NOT a pen) to draw on oneself instead of cutting. I’m not much of a doodler so I wrote the litany of things I was telling myself in an attempt to calm the panic attack. It kept me from scratching. It kept me from bleeding.

Unfortunately, panic attacks don’t choose convenient times or places. They don’t wait for you to have a sharpie woth you. They come with a blink of an eye, whatever triggered them. Doesn’t have to be rational to trigger the attacks. And then I start scratching. I scratch until I bleed all the while screaming in my head to stop. It just won’t go away. 

Life will settle, my skin will heal, and I will continue looking for healthier ways to deal with the alien cheese grater that shreds my body.

Being the Support

In my last post I mentioned that my husband is an alcoholic and is in the detoxing process. This is a fantastic thing. Now before you get it in your head that he’s this Hollywood movie version of an alcoholic that sits in front of a blaring tv with a beer gut yelling “woman, get me a damn beer!” and I’m this haggard woman with a child on her hip trying to keep the house and everything else from falling apart…. Its not like that.

More often than not, alcoholics are fully functioning people ……. To a degree. They can only function for so long before the alcoholism catches up with them. Usually they find a level they can maintain normal functioning that calms their demons, helps them function “normally”, whatever their reason is for their addiction whether it be ptsd, anxiety, depression, racing minds, you name it. However, that level slowly doesn’t work as well, especially when there are bad episodes or weekends, parties, social events, basically any excuse. Because trust me, they will use ANY excuse to over indulge.

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Alcohol becomes their best friend, their pacifier. So just like when you take away a toddler’s pacifier, when you take away an alcoholic’s beer they throw tantrums. There are various forms of tantrums just like in children. Mood changes from sullen and quiet to explosive rage and back again. They don’t always understand what’s going on inside of themselves any more than you do, and really, sometimes I think they understand it less. They’re finally forced to deal with unaltered reality which can be a very scary thing.

Continue reading

Panic Attacks and Fingerprints

Panic attacks come in a different shapes, sizes and forms. They’re individual like a fingerprint. Everyone has lines, swoops and swirls, but how they present and affect the person is each to their own.

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It’s hard to put into words what it feels like, but here’s my attempt.

Hard to breathe, like a heavy weight sitting on my on my chest and stomach. It’s like you can’t get enough air, but you don’t want to breathe either.   

Vision and brain activity get static-y. This is one of the hardest ones to explain, but for those of you old enough to remember tv with bunny ears and how whenever there was a storm even the best channels would get fuzzy. Continue reading

Physical Health not Mental

Went to my counselor again. Yep, big step from being terrified of going to kinda looking forward to it.

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They got a new office, it even has chairs and a coffee table with magazines! Best part of the new office is that each room has windows. That’s really big for me. Not only if I have a migraine can we shut off the lights, but also because I don’t feel claustrophobic in there.

The counselor was a little surprised I knew my depression triggers so well. Perhaps most people haven’t really looked into why they feel the way they do, but I tried to heal myself when I didn’t want to be on medication. And 3 out of the 5 triggers are related to my physical health and the limitations it places on me. One kinda is, but has deeper roots that we’re going to work on.

After talking, she pointed out that my social anxiety might be less of a mental problem as opposed to a physical one. How? Well, everything I avoid usually comes back to what it might trigger physically.

I don’t like crowds.
Crowds = people that might bump into me. (Fibro)
Crowds = smokers and perfumes and body odor. (migraines)
Crowds = standing in line (SI joint dysfunction)

Concerts and Bars
Crowds – see above
Bright flashing lights (migraines)
Loud or just constant noise (migraines)

Being in social situations is draining. Emotionally and physically. Even things as simple as bbqs with friend are draining. But it all seems to lead back to my physical health.

So it’s been interesting. We’ll see where things go. But it was investing to hear that it may be my way of protecting myself physically rather than just mentally.