As I mentioned here, I have tried to blog before. It didn’t work. In my head it seems like such an easy thing to do. Type out some thoughts, press publish. I have lots and lots of things going on in my head at any given time, so it shouldn’t be hard to get some of them onto virtual paper. But it is hard. It is just one. more. thing.
In fact, everything is hard anymore. There are days when I don’t understand this. Why is it so hard for me? What is wrong with me? Why does it seem that everyone else has it all together, and I just can’t pull it off?
Then there are days when I have clarity about the answers to those questions. As for the last one, I know that everyone else doesn’t actually have it all together. I suppose some people do, but I suspect most don’t. I remind myself that from the outside, to those who don’t know me well, it actually looks like I have it all together. Ha!
So on to the real questions. Why is it so hard for me? What is wrong with me?
I am in chronic pain.
I have pain in my head nearly every freaking day. Seriously. 80 days out of the past 85. Intensity varies, yes, but just about half the time (based on my daily headache journal) the headache is what I consider to be severe or very severe. And the other half of the time varies between moderate and mild. So to give a generous estimate right now, I have a “mild” headache approximately 25% of the time. The other 75% of the time it is bad enough to interfere with my daily functioning, and sometimes it is bad enough to be downright debilitating. And that’s with medicine. So, yeah, things are hard for me. Normal, everyday tasks can be difficult. Sometimes insurmountable.
I am in pain while I get ready to go to work in the morning. When I am working. Smiling at everyone the best I can, pretending that nothing is wrong. Seriously doing my best, but knowing some days that my best isn’t fast enough. Isn’t efficient enough. Knowing that I wasn’t able to concentrate as much as I should have, and that I would have been more productive if not in pain. Knowing that although some people know that I am struggling, and that they care, when it comes right down to it I have a job to do whether I have a migraine or not. Then there’s a fear of mine: that others might have the perception that I can’t handle it, that I can’t keep up, that I’m not doing a good enough job, because of the headaches. I tend to view it as a weakness that needs to be concealed.
I am in pain when I rush home from work, hurrying so that Jerry can leave to get to work on time. When he leaves and I have two littles who are depending on me to be what a mother should be. To do what parents do. I try hard to do it with joy, despite the pain. To be in the moment, so that this time, their childhood, doesn’t pass me by before I know its gone. I truly wish that Jerry did not work at night. That we could split the tasks. It sounds silly, but life is so much easier, so much more enjoyable on the nights when he is home. Then I feel like I get to enjoy the things that we do, rather than just worry about checking them off my list. Working during the day is not an option right now because of our childcare situation, but I look forward to someday.
Add food allergies into the mix. If I don’t feel like cooking one night, don’t feel well enough to cook, I can’t just gather them up and take them out. Or order in. It’s not that easy when food allergies are involved, and dairy is particularly difficult to avoid in a restaurant. And I don’t even have any family who can help take care of us. Someone who can invite us over for dinner sometimes when things get especially overwhelming. Somewhere to drop off the kids for an hour so that I can take medicine and lie down. Or so that I can run an errand or get something done around the house.
Now let’s add diabetes…huge sigh. What can I even say? Highs, lows, sets, sensors, basals, boluses, blood sugar checks, carb counting, symptoms. Constant decision making that has to happen no matter how badly my head hurts. Things are never the same from one day to the next. It can be exhausting. When things aren’t going well, even despite all the hard work, it can be very defeating. Even more defeating than the unrelenting pain in my head, because it is about Chase. I can deal with my pain. He shouldn’t have to deal with his. The unfairness of it all hits hard sometimes.
Then I am in pain when the kids are in bed and I finally get to sit down for a second. 14 hours after my day started. I am in pain on the weekends when we go out together as a family, whether to run errands or to do something fun. I admit that I am not always pleasant, but I really do try, honestly I do. I am in pain on the nights when Jerry is off and we try to enjoy our time together. I am in pain on my wedding anniversary. On vacations. On birthdays and holidays.
My last appointment was July 21. I started a new medication after that appointment, and it is obviously safe to say that it isn’t working. I go again in three weeks. Another new med will follow, I’m sure. We’ll see what happens. I suppose there’s nowhere to go but up.