Too much pain today.

I’m not being metaphysical. I’m struggling with pain today. Real pain. Body pain. My hips, to be specific, and not in a conversion kind of way. Because I’ve done conversion too. But transmuted pain mostly doesn’t feel like someone is slamming you in the back of your pelvis with a sledgehammer.

At least they’re using a small one.

It’s not that I want to be a whiny bitch, exactly, it’s just that I want to be a whiny bitch and I can’t in my real life. Very few of the people in my life suffer from chronic pain of the severe variety. They mostly don’t get it.

But I can’t sleep. Suffering is optional, so they say, so I’m trying not to do that but the pain is making me mental, and weepy, and not clear in my thinking. I’m taking quite high doses of non-opioid painkillers that last for less than an hour. I don’t know what to do. The sauna helps some but I can’t live there.

And I’m still not sure if I can call this severe pain. The internet is no help. Experts break pain down into numbers on a scale but I want an outsider to confirm where I land. The chart tells me not sleeping moves this to high-moderate/low severe. I’m not sure I’m willing to believe it. I wish I could slide into other people’s realities to experience their pain and corresponding reaction. Then I can see if mine seem appropriate.

I worry about being a wimp.

Pain scale 0 to 10 is a useful method of assessing. Vector illustration medical chart design

Maybe the problem is the comparison one. I have experienced, on more than one occasion, huge pain. I write about some of it here. *  And here.

There is no second here. I can’t find the blog piece I’m not sure I wrote. The short version: I need two hip replacements because of a birth defect on the left (congenital hip dysplasia) and damage to the right from a childhood disease called Legg-Calve-Perthes. The more the bones degrade, the closer I get to the replacement. The more the bones degrade, the more pain I feel.

The pain is not neuralgia bad. But neuralgia flashes. It’s not constant. This is a grinding, burning, dragging pain that dogs me all day, every day. I see my GP in two days and that’s great, but the referral to my surgeon will take a couple of months and then there’s the whole “surgery while COVID rages” thing. This means I’ll likely have to wait even if surgery is indicated.

As I told my dad, it might not be. This might not be bad enough yet. It might just be pain.

And that would really suck. Although the thought of the surgery also terrifies.

Rock, meet hard place.


By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so things can start to make sense. Once I have both myself and the universe figured out, I plan to take up macrame. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

17 comments

    1. I can manage a little but about ten minutes is the max right now before the left leg gives way. I do it several times though. Recovery will be better if the muscles are strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pain that stops you from sleeping is the worst (at least for me). I remember going through this a couple of years ago myself. Dark times. I’m not sure what is the root cause of your pain, but saunas are great in general. I know you already do Yoga. For me, I don’t know if it was a coincidence or what, but pilates helped me back then. I didn’t believe it but gave it a try. I’ve been a convert ever since. The problem is that I cannot find MAT pilates in the city I’ve moved to…

    The pain scale always annoyed me. I knew people who labeled their pain as 9 when I “knew” it was probably a 3. So subjective.

    Never mind, I got to the part where you explain the cause of your pain. Yikes. I hope your GP gives you some good news.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My mom gets neck and back pains frequently, and my dad boils water and puts it into a hot water bottle (a rubber-looking thing that functions like a warn but uncomfortable pillow) for her. She uses it everyday even when the pain isn’t bad and it helps out some. I don’t think it eliminates pain, but maybe it could help some?

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You don’t sound whiny at all!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My brother just had a partial hip replacements. He had to travel a few hours away for a doctor that did them, but he had researched (he’s a nurse) and felt like the benefits over total hip replacement were worth it. He had both hips done last year, with a short return to work 6 weeks after the first one, and has been pleased. These are not new – just not done by as many doctors.

    And those stupid “give me a number” pain scales are silly. After a certain point in time, it’s simply unbearable even if it is because it is constant and doesn’t allow you to think about much else. I guess they just don’t have an alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re probably right – about the lack of alternative. I’ve learned that Tramadol will not be part of my pain solution. I pill led to 36 hours of vomiting. So that’s a no.

      I’m glad he has been able to work and his operation went well. The partial isn’t an option for me, unfortunately. Both the socket and the femoral head need to be redone. On the bright side, once I actually get there (this might not be bad enough, structurally, they say), I’m buying myself something I want but normally wouldn’t indulge in. You can’t buy happiness but you can soften recovery. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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