Chronic Pain Diaries III

It has been a bad few weeks. I can’t say exactly what triggered this particular adventure in excruciating pain, but if I were to hazard a guess I would say it has something to do with my attempts to live in the real world as a normal person who does not have chronic pain or a muddled spine. Just a guess.

Don’t get me wrong. It has also been a good couple of weeks. I did really well on a second midterm after bombing the first. I got to see my little sister for a couple days this week. I’ve been trying to be more positive after a bit of a negative slump, and I’ve felt the changes because of it.

But damn, pain. You harsh.

At some point in time over last weekend my left back muscle that sits next to those two free-floating vertebrae decided it was time to start spasming. This muscle is responsible for a solid 40% of my pain. And that’s just when it is in its normal spasm state. I say normal because of the whole structure of my back now, it doesn’t get worked around like the rest of my muscles which means it is hard as a rock and twice as stupid on an average day. However sometimes I step the wrong way or I sleep on it funny or I, I don’t know, have a regular bowel movement or something, and that particular muscle, hereby called Joffrey for obvious reasons, decides to lose its fucking mind and go into uber spaz mode. When that happens the pain stretches down to my hips, across my lower back, down the back of my legs and up my spine. It’s like one of those laser puzzles in video games where you have to arrange mirrors in a particular way in order to make the laser reflect off of them so it hits a particular point on a wall, except the laser is pain and the mirrors are everything in my body. I don’t know what the goal is. Maybe candy? Maybe some sort of piñata filled with candy? When I am in 100% pain do I get candy? Can someone look into this for me?

Alex, bless him, has the elbows of Slenderman, assuming Slenderman has excellent pointed elbows that fit nicely into that space between my bottom rib and the top of my hip. He has worked relentlessly on Joffrey over the last few days to loosen up the mess that is that damn muscle. Plus side, I can now bend side to side again, or, at least as much as I could before. Con, it feels like I am sporting a bruise shaped like the southern half of Brazil.

It’s worth it, though, because when Joffrey goes full-spaz my ability to simply stand, sit, or walk is impacted by the pain. And as I’ve said before, when that pain rears its ugly head, the rest of life gets impacted too. Pain means no sleep; no sleep means no concentration at school; no concentration at school means failing midterms; failing midterms means no graduation, and that is simply unacceptable.

There is a plus side to Joffrey, though, even though it doesn’t sound like it (because, you know, I named him Joffrey). For one thing, when Joffrey is in a state of spasm, as he is now, he sort of bulges out from my back and acts as a sort of cushion device that gives the illusion of offering lumbar support. That illusion is a lie, of course, because nothing good can ever happen when something or someone is named Joffrey.

Maybe it’s just because the stress of school has set things off, but I’m starting to feel more like the Elephant Man. My shoulders are sitting at uneven levels; I’m hunching, but at an angle, as if trying to compensate for the hump on my back. I might as well put on a wide brimmed hat and a cloak, start hissing at school children, and call myself The Claw (we’ll call that Plan B.)

If I had a choice I would be at home right now, wrapped up in my giant blanket with a heating pad, two cats, and a tumbler of gin clutched between my fingers while Sailor Moon blared in the background.

If I had my way, I would take a knife to my back and carve Joffrey out of my body and toss him onto the nearest road. Just imagine the satisfaction one might get from proclaiming “Screw you, Joffrey, I’m glad I was the one to destroy your sorry existence!”

You’re thinking about it, right? You get it. You see the appeal.

The worst part is the motivation. I have free time now. Two projects left, yes, but those can be done quick enough. I could theoretically be writing or editing right now, but I can’t get comfortable. Every time I move something tweaks and I am reminded that there is an irate child-king kicking the left side of my spine and trying to urge me to commit ritual seppuku. No, Joffrey. You first.

I want to edit. I want to write. These are things that make me feel better about myself, about what I am capable of. So, how do I force myself to write in order to battle the lingering symptoms of chronic-disease related depression when that chronic disease is trying its utmost best to remind me that it is there? Drugs? Ice cream? I don’t know.

I guess that makes the blog a handy alternative. Instead of actally being productive (IE: editing Chapter 11 so it finally feels right) I can just spit out a post like this and pretend I am actually doing something in my time. In reality, we all know I am just thinking of how many bees I can fit in my mouth before my tongue swells to the point where it starts to choke me. Okay, that’s a lie. I wasn’t thinking that, although now I am genuinely curious. Some dunce probably attempted it for a world record and ended up in a morgue/Wikipedia for it.

I wish Joffrey would eat a jar of bees. The King, not my muscle. I’m still dealing with the fallout from Sean Bean. The guy just can’t catch a break.

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