Thursday, July 15, 2010

Post 16 of 100 - Painfully Grumpy

Have you ever found yourself in one of those moods? The kind of mood where you know you're being grumpy/emotional/dramatic/unreasonable, but you just can't stop it?

This morning just sent me over the edge.

- The dog woke me at 3am to tell me that the uncooked rice she ate yesterday didn't agree with her intestines and would I please hose down her and her crate? There's just really no way to describe that experience.

- When I dragged myself out of bed again late this morning, I discovered that the dog had eaten K's poncho which I had worked so hard last year to crochet for her. She had left it downstairs for days and wasn't responsible enough to put it away.

- My arthritis, which has been mostly dormant for 5 years, decided to rear it's ugly head again, and I've been in incredible pain for a week. It affects mostly my lower back and hips which means that it affects every move I make. It's at its worst in the mornings.

- My rheumatologist (arthritis doctor) is no longer covered by my insurance and the new office can't see me for a week and a half.

- I'm allergic to many anti-inflammatory drugs, but I've been driven by desperation to taking Advil the past couple of days. It's helping, but I keep my allergy meds close just in case my body reacts.

- L came down full of questions and comments that I was not in the mood to deal with. I at least had to presence of mind to send her back upstairs before I yelled at her.

It just all came flooding down and I just couldn't take anymore of it. I was overreacting and I knew I was overreacting, but I couldn't change it. I didn't cry or scream or throw things. I didn't curse everyone in the vicinity or accuse anyone of anything. Heck, I didn't even kick the dog.

Oh wait, I did kick the cat. In my defense, she was blocking my way out of the closet, I physically couldn't do more than slightly nudge her out of the way anyway, and she came right back to rubbing my leg.

Anyway, I decided to camp out in my room to minimize the damage, because I wanted to do all the above things and I might have if I had given myself the chance. I didn't know what was causing the weird overreaction on my part until I gave it some thought.

It's pain. It's amazing what constant fierce pain will do to you. I'm normally a very self-sufficient person. I don't like to ask for help. Being incapacitated with searing pain whenever I make a wrong move is humbling and frustrating. I can't sit or stand without grabbing something to help me move slowly and support my weight with my upper body. Any sideways movement or pressure is like someone driving a knife into my spine. I can't even bend down far enough to snap the leash onto the dog's collar.

The pain has been subsiding some as the day progresses and I'm generally fairly mobile and in much less pain by afternoon. As a result, my mood is generally much improved. It's just surviving the mornings, day after day. Dealing with the limitations of not being able to physically do things. Dealing with the terrible pain that every single movement causes. Dealing with the fact that even by evening, there are still movements that cause pain. It's like waking up and finding yourself in a deep pit. You work furiously all day to get out and by nightfall you heave yourself up and out onto solid ground. You lie there panting, sweating, full of gratitude and relief that you're out. And then the very next morning, you wake to find yourself in the bottom of that very same pit.

I have several friends that are walking through tragedy right now. The loss of love, the loss of security, the loss of innocence. Every morning they wake up and the only goal is to survive that day. To deal with the phone calls and meetings and questions and hurts and efforts that day requires. At night, they lay exhausted on the ground, only to face it all again in the morning. Tonight my heart hurts for them.

Far more than my back ever did.

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