This journey of chronic pain is an unbalanced one. I have good and bad days at random brought on by people and also depending on the weather. I don’t know how to react to the irritations that plague me on the regular. The pain can be so unbearable that getting a good night’s sleep can not be accomplished. Insomnia has become my close friend and I use muscle relaxers to fight it off. I was taking Tylenol PM but became addicted to them since they were the ONLY thing helping me to go to sleep at a normal bedtime. Most people don’t understand how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning or pretend to function normally all day so that no one asks if you’re okay or tries to pity you. It’s a job within itself to exist when your life is so painful but you sure aren’t getting paid to do it. I’ve had a few issues that most either couldn’t tolerate themselves or lost the battle to. I’m happy now to have beat out what tried to take me out and not look like what I’ve been through. I will not apologize for still being alive and still fighting to do so. I was blessed to still have my hair and some after harsh cancer treatments but my skin did not improve so I have like adult acne and hyperpigmentation. I’ve gained at least 30 pounds that will definitely take about a year to get off. So I don’t feel like myself and probably will never be myself again. That new normal is very hard to accept. It’s definitely new but it’s not normal. I miss my old self and this new self is so foreign to me.

But it’s time to get back to nature! I’m looking into acupuncture but if you know me, needles make me panic. You get stabbed 14x in one sitting and tell me you’re comfortable with needles. Whatever! People see the 30+years of 24/7 pain I endure and have suggested other non-traditional methods that I find to be a breath of fresh air. There are so many “natural” ways to handle chronic pain but not as many people that are open to the ideas. Marijuana is the most talked about pain reliever I’ve seen in all of my groups which include Endometriosis, Breast Cancer and Fibromyalgia. If you aren’t able to smoke it, there’s edibles, infused products and oils. I’m not a smoker and most of the edibles I’ve tried tasted horrible but the CBD oil is the best option for me. I do plan on trying some infused honey or coconut oil later but for now finding the right oil is the goal. I was completely open to a new more holistic way to rid this pain that takes over my entire body. I’m over pharmaceutical drugs, opioids and the side effects that come with it. Ever since chemo, everything I take gives me horrific side effects. Sorry I’m not about that life.

We can’t continue popping pills forever. The opioid epidemic is out of control. I’ve lost so many high school classmates to drugs it’s ridiculous. We get hurt and automatically are put on a bunch of toxic drugs that cure one thing and cause another issue along with crazy side effects. Then addictions form that society would rather shine a light on than actually help break. It’s a form of control and I refuse to be controlled by a pill or men. Have my thoughts altered and my life manipulated because a doctor is too lazy to properly treat me so that I can still intern, be me. Or have a man tell me what I should do with my body that is completely different than his. He will NEVER know what’s it’s like to be a natural born woman no matter how hard he tries. And my reproductive parts are none of his concern.

Some drugs I developed an allergy to and others just made my health issues worse. Chemo was the worst and strongest medication I’ve ever been on, if you can call it a medication. More like toxic waste but still it destroyed my immune system, weakened my bones, slowed my thinking (chemo brain) and made me literally get side effects to every medication I get put on that all I’m left with is to either tolerate the pain somehow or try something completely different that won’t cause further damage and won’t make me dependent on it. Radiation increased my fatigue to a chronic level and all my cancer treatments caused my Fibromyalgia diagnosis. I started out with Endometriosis as a young child and now the combination is one big nerve firing off party in my body.

I wonder sometimes how I’m able to handle all this for so long. This pain will be present for the rest of my life. I will probably have brief moments of relief but will never know what it’s like to live pain free. People outside of this world of “what’s next” take their health and ability to function normally for granted. Some had a choice but I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask to have my skin thickened and my strength increased so I can be considered some kind of superhero by those that weren’t built for this type of life. I do what I have to do to continue moving forward. We all do in our own unique way. I just want to exhale already, catch a damn break. It’s long overdue, it’s redundant. Where’s the relief button?

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