When I started my very first blog I gave myself a holy promise to never write about my pain, because I didn’t want to give it more focus than it already had in my life. Today I feel differently. My pain is one of the things that make me who I am, and a large part of my life circles around pain; to find the right path in everyday life and not ending up in some kind of evil spiral stuffing painkillers. All to be able to work at all, or even to get out of bed some days.
It dawned on me that if I never write about my pain, I’d be exactly like the social media profiles I don’t like – the ones that make their own lives seem like something magical straight from the fairytales! I am real, I exist and I feel like crap – a lot! But I can still manage to do some fun stuff – travel and cuddle with the furry ones, snap nice photos and sit by my laptop for hours (some might think this is boring though…). Hanging out with people is still something I’m struggling with.
So, I’m now going to share my pain, and my (+others’) tricks for relief – and maybe it might help someone else.
I’ve had problems to find a niche since I moved back from Thailand – the reason for starting this blog was after all to write about all the craziness I experienced over there in search of a “normal” life, but back in Sweden there aren’t that many culture clashes to write about, so my blog has mostly turned into a place where I share my photos and other irrelevant stuff. However, I now believe I’ve found my niche – pain! At least it feels right in this very moment of now. Still very unsure whether I actually want to be this open with my soul and my life, but…
I’d also like to point out, if you feel like sharing your own thoughts and struggles – feel free! We can all learn from each other.
Then let’s do a presentation of my ailments, let’s just introduce my best friend: Mr Pain!
1. Whiplash injury
About 17 years ago I got a whiplash injury in my neck due to a traffic accident. No “hard” parts in my back nor my neck was injured, so my worst parts are the “soft” parts.
I was bitter a very long time, simply because I knew the pain would be with me for the rest of my life, and before I ended up in pain rehab in Sweden a few years after the accident (more on that subject another time), I was so fed up with my life I actually wanted to just end it(!).
Rehab saved me and today I’ve learned to live with my pain, without the bitterness. Sometimes it “paralyzes” me, and other times it’s just a pain, but it’s always there, there is never any pain free days for me, and what bothers people the most is probably that it doesn’t show!
Is there actually anything worse than people walking around, being sick or feeling bad, but really just looks as healthy as anyone else?? 😉
I also have migraines. Got it when I was only 12, as I got my first period, and after that it just showed up like clockwork twice a month. It happened, though it was rare, that I experienced attacks aside from these in my youth, and for many years I had loads of caffeinated aspirin, but they never helped, obviously, and I didn’t really understand I should’ve gone to see a doctor to get some effective medicine. I thought everyone felt this bad on a regular basis, so instead I bit the bullet, as the tough saying goes.
Along with the accident in 2000 the migraines started to show up more of their own choosing = really awful!
For me, an attack is anywhere between a few hours and 3 days, but sometimes it gets really extreme…
Sometimes, like the last year of my miserable life, it just stays – and tortures me every day! It feels like being sea sick and it never ends! No wonder people feel like jumping ship!!!
Ok, so problem no 3: my stomach! It has been annoying me since childhood. One doctor diagnosed me with IBS when I was a teenager, something I loudly protested for years, but I’ve sort of given up now, he was probably right. The upside with this one is that you can actually keep it under balance, and I did for years. The key word here, which is also connected to the migraine – stress!
4. Occupational burnout
While my current doctor and I don’t agree on my diagnosis (more on that subject another time), I’ve discovered on my own that I’m actually on the verge of an occupational burnout – hence I thought: “slow down and take yourself on a wellness trip for a few months – get back on your feet, get balanced!”
As many people on the verge of a burnout I had plenty of vacation days and overtime just sitting there – waiting – so I decided to take well over 3 months vacation! For once I just thought of number 1 – me! But I have to admit, it kind of buggs me I needed to use my vacation days to heal, and not get any sick leave!
5. Panic attacks
Another thing I’m dealing with is panic attacks (probably connected to the burnout as well). I experienced an attack for the first time in 2012, and after that time they just decided to show up at any given time. In the end I avoided most things I knew would create an attack, creating some kind of false safety zone, thinking I had control over everything… which I didn’t – obviously!
Last year they started to show up on a more regular basis. This was the point I felt completely fed up and started seeing my doctor to get some help – something just wasn’t right. Well, apparently I was so mistaken – everything was perfectly fine! “Just take a Paracetamol and go home, get some rest. Come back if you feel worse!” (This is the classic response from doctors in Sweden!) The health care in Sweden is horrible – why do all doctors in Sweden assume you are there because you simply don’t have anything else to do?
I’m not at all sick, I just enjoy getting degraded by an old guy in a white robe… who does not at all hear me!
6. Way too high diastolic pressure
I, myself, discovered my diastolic blood pressure was a bit off – and by that I mean way too high – when I’d already visited my doctor a couple of times. My doctor, however, did not think a blood pressure, where the diastolic pressure was way above 100, was something to be concerned about (whereas many of my friends told me to switch doctors)! Usually it’s not supposed to be over 87 for my age (according to the internet!).
I felt really low, sad, and deserted, but managed to keep my blood pressure under surveillance on my own – we have one of these thingys at work. Occasionally the pressures were almost equal: 116/106 – that’s a good pressure.
“No worries”, my doctor repeated.
The blood pressure, and particularly the diastolic one, is connected to the above mentioned no 4 – occupational burnout and also to the most dangerous guy of them all – Mister Stress, who apparently are under the assumption we are best friends!
Well, that’s it, I think I managed to scream out all of my ailments and problems. All secrets out. No more dirt under the carpet!
Now that I’ve outed all of my problems there is only one way to go – ahead! I will blog a lot about my pain, my problems and a lot about travels, animals, and random stuff, just like before. For all of you, my readers, I do hope you’d like to share your own thoughts and troubles. Everything is welcome!
Tag along on my journey to try to heal my body from all the crap it caught in the wicked west – see if I succeed! Because if I can – so can you!