When you were a child, did you ever always get ‘found’ first or ‘tagged’ first when playing games with your friends? Well, I was always horrible at hide and seek, no matter where I hid I would always be found first. 20 years later I am still losing to that game. The only difference now is that I am trying to hide from my chronic pain and seek a life away from my suffering. Yet, no matter what I do, I can never fully hide from my chronic pain.
Update: Where I’ve Been ‘Hiding”
The past few months I have been offline: I stopped blogging, reading blogs, and journal articles, even disconnected from Facebook groups I follow. The main reason was that I had so much to say, but could never find the right words to do so. In fact, by the time I submit this one post, I will have written it at least 10 times. I also felt like I was dealing with so much that I couldn’t center in on one topic to focus on for a new post. I honestly just felt overwhelmed and lost. Then again, I still feel like that…
Where I am Physically
Physically, I am “healthy,” and I use that term lightly. This pandemic has been hard as I have to continue to quarantine and social distance at all times because my immune deficiency makes me somewhat high risk. I miss going to the gym and seeing different atmospheres. And yet, while seeing no one and going nowhere, I have had 2 double ear infections in 3 months.
As for my period, I am a mess. Over the past year, my cycles seem have been getting worse. But lately, these past few months, my cycles are “abnormal,” meaning even more irregular than my “normal.” For instance, I’ve been having irregular cycles, 45, 25, 36, etc. and I’ve been having pain at least 15/30 days a month. Also, my energy continues to vary on a daily basis, and my hip and leg pain continues to worsen during periods and ovulation.
Where I am Mentally
Mentally, I’m a mess too. Lately, those close to me continue to check in and ask if I am depressed or why I am “doom and gloom.” Ironically, I don’t feel like I am depressed. It’s not depression, well sometimes it is, but it’s more frustration. I am so frustrated with life lately. I specifically get fixated on the question: Why me?! Why do I have to have immune issues and chronic period issues? I am aggravated by the fact that I cannot do more during these pandemic times like others can. As a result, I am also frustrated with my country’s government and the lack of safety measures that should be taken to weaken the pandemic. And most of all, I am frustrated with my body. I am frustrated that before this year, I thought I had my life under ‘control;’ I thought that I learned to manage my periods without birth-control, injections, and surgeries. So, I am so confused and annoyed as to why my body hates me now. I just wish I could find the answers to my questions, any answers.
Additionally, this mental state combined with my physical wellbeing has also left me struggling socially. On a daily basis, I continue to talk with my family (household), the same 4 people I’ve been staring at since March (haha). Besides immediate family, I FaceTime my cousins at least three nights a week. I also attend graduate courses virtually 3 days a week, meaning I have plenty of virtual interaction with my peers and professors. Yet, I have noticed that I have distanced myself from most of my friends. I find myself unintentionally ghosting my friends because I either have no energy to give them advice if needed and I also don’t know how to truthfully answer the question “hi! hru (how are you)?” My therapist says not to worry about this yet, since I spend plenty of time with family and classes. But, I still worry that I am not being social enough, leading back to the original mental stress of my current life.
Seeking New Medical Advice
Since I can no longer try to hide from the truth, I am seeking new medical advice. In my next blog post, I am going to discuss my journey of finding my fifth opinion from a new medical doctor. For the past year, I have been searching for new answers, any answers, that could help me manage my chronic suffering. It has been a long and emotional journey, one that I will need a whole blog post to detail.
In the meantime, how are you all? Have you done better or worse managing your chronic pain during the pandemic?