So it’s been six months-ish since I posted anything here, but what a six months it has been, amirite? This year, man. Obviously, there’s the pandemic (which the rest of the world seems to have under control but not our shitshow of a country, but whatever.) The distance learning, the kids being at home all. the. time., the not knowing if you’re exposing yourself to a deadly virus every time you go to the store to buy milk.
But also, I’ve been going through some shit.
In April, about three weeks into this pandemic/quarantine/apocalypse, my left shoulder began to hurt. NBD, I thought. I probably slept weird. I probably overused it. I’m probably just old. I waited for it to go away. But it didn’t. Long story short, despite 3 months of physical therapy, multiple diagnostic tests, two different doctors and one chiropractor, the pain is worse than ever, my whole arm hurts, and I am looking at possible surgery.
This really, really, really bums me out. I don’t want surgery. I can’t make the connection between how cutting into my flesh will somehow take away pain. I know, I’m an RN and logically, sure, it makes sense to remove the probable source of the pain but the surgery and the recovery will also cause more pain, so…..
But also, can we talk about chronic pain? Because it is a nasty bitch. When your physical body hurts all the time, it makes you tired (because you can’t sleep, but also, because pain is just energy-depleting.) It makes every little annoyance unbearable. I’m exhausted. I’m mean. I snap at my husband and kids. I hate everything. And that’s so not me. I’m the patient one.
We had a guest on the podcast who is a therapist specializing in the trauma/emotional roots of chronic pain. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot. How much was figuratively heaped on my shoulders at the time when my pain began. Suddenly having full responsibility for my kids’ schooling, having them home 24/7, having my essential worker husband at work every day and not knowing if he was safe, being in fear for our lives and well-being every minute of the day, worrying about my aging parents who live 200 miles away with no family nearby, seeing everything I was looking forward to this year get washed down the drain by corona, and then as time went on, dealing with not being able to go places and see people and do things, finding out school will be 100% online at least until November, deciding to homeschool my youngest rather than attempt to make his 5 year old self try and sit at the computer all day, and trying to somehow keep it together emotionally so my kids didn’t/don’t freak out. (And don’t get me started on racial injustice and the piece of garbage in the Oval Office who wants us all dead.) It was a lot. It’s still a lot.
And on top of all of that, I also had to deal with a cancer scare. I’m fine, but it was scary as hell. In June I had pelvic pain on my right side that was so bad I went to the ER. (In the middle of a pandemic. So you know how bad this pain had to be.) An ultrasound showed a complex cyst on my right ovary. It turned out to have a lot of cell divisions which is a red flag for cancer, so I was sent to an oncologist. Scariest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, with my own health. Fortunately, everything turned out to be okay, the oncologist was one of the kindest doctors I’ve ever met, and the cyst was likely an endometrioma. But yeah. So that was also on my shoulders for most of this summer.
I’m trying. I’m trying to revise my book and get it ready for publication. I’m trying to advocate and raise awareness and funds for PCOS. I’m trying to homeschool my kindergartener and support my 5th grader and my college kid with distance learning. And all the other, regular, everyday stuff like cooking, laundry, cleaning, bills, etc.
I’m not a whiner. I know plenty of people are worse off. But this is all just…… UGH.
No positive spin, no happy signoff. Just UGH.