Chronic Pain Diaries: That Old Waiting Game

On Friday I have my appointment with the good doctor to get my spine poked and prodded. First time in nearly two years. I didn’t make the connection before, but since I’ve made an attempt to be more, shall we say, self-aware, about what my body is doing and trying to tell me (insert witticism re: the separation of body and spirit), I’m very, very aware of how damn nervous I am.

My tummy has gone full wibbly-wobbly, and I’m having a difficult time kicking the nerves that have settled into my brain. Why my brain decides to go all negative-nelly every time appointments come close when the rest of the time I am, generally, fairly positive, is beyond me. Why now? Why worry about the worst outcomes now instead of focusing on what will probably be good news? Hell, why not stay completely neutral until I have an answer?

I suppose after so many years of getting the obligatory check-ups at the hospital and receiving less than stellar news regarding the state of my spine, I just have a tendency to expect the worst. I could probably talk myself out of it, but the trouble is that this sort of nervous, negative, niggly knot in my noggin (HA!) permeates every aspect of my life. What is even worse is that I know it. I am like Muggy, the self-actualization Robot from Fallout New Vegas DLC Old World Blues who knows that his only purpose in life is to collect dirty mugs, and he hates doing it, and he despises the fact that he knows it is his only purpose. I know how my negativity impacts those around me, but try as I might I can’t kick myself back into shape.

It is classic Chronic Pain mentality. I don’t want to go to work today. I want to curl up at home with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a book. I have not one but two girl’s nights that I’ve been invited to this weekend and the thought of going to either makes me sick to my stomach because I can’t imagine a state of happiness existing, even temporarily, after my appointment on Friday.

To me, the hospital seems like a whirling black hole that I have been drifting listlessly towards for some time. Now I’m being pulled into the void and I can’t bring myself to focus on what is on the other side.

It’s problematic, because this is exactly what we are taught to avoid in CP classes. We aren’t supposed to get caught up in the negativity, but instead make a concentrated effort to imagine… well, happiness. We meditate, listen to music, write, draw, create and destroy. We force ourselves to become part of the world around us by contributing to its beginnings and ends. We focus on anything other than pain. Maybe it’s been so damn long since I’ve had to fight this mental battle, but the idea of being part of the greater metropolitan Earth makes me feel exhausted.

I know this is just a bad day, maybe two. I know it won’t last because I’m not the sort of person to let it dig under my skin and fester. I know all this, courtesy of perfectly rational thought, and yet I cannot shake the nerves. The more I try to distract myself with the larger Universe, the stronger the pull of the black hole. Whatever is on the other side, good or bad, surgery or another year of waiting, I have to find a way to get back to the old me. What is particularly troubling is that I’m not entirely certain if the old me is happy-go-lucky or doom-gloom-and-shrooms (I was trying to go with rhyming. In reality, I find fungai to be disturbing. Largest network of connected organisms? Creepy as hell is more like it.)

Two more days until I cross that event horizon. I’ll see you on the other side.

3 comments

  1. ((hugs)) for you. I hope and pray you can find your old self and that she is happy. Wish I had something awesome to say to cheer ya up. Miss seeing you trawling for trolls. You’ve got a bunch of people rootin’ for ya on the Progress Report Thread. Best wishes! ~Bethy

  2. Oh. Never mind. You have to approve my comments. They were not eaten after all. Teehee. Hopefully, you will get some amusement from all these posts from me showing up in your inbox. *imagines Kathleen cackling maniacally* *shivers*

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