The agony…still waiting for the ecstasy

2 Nov

The pain’s gotten pretty bad. At 34 weeks, I’ve had to stop working. As I’ve gained weight and started to enter the end stages of pregnancy, my body just can’t keep up with the intense physical demands of working in a burrito restaurant.Okay, the demands aren’t that intense, but this fibro/pregnancy is. I was hoping to keep working through the end of the month, but it’s just not happening.

One of the real pains in the ass about chronic pain (ha!) is how you can forget what it’s like to not feel pain. If I stop for a moment and concentrate on my body at any point throughout the day, I’m in pain. It’s usually only about a 3 on the 1-10 scale, but it’s there. Pre-prego I was at a 1 most days (sometimes even 0!), and only peaked every couple of months when I flared up. When you live with chronic pain, you forget what it’s like to move smoothly from sitting to standing, what it’s like to live life without noticing what aches most today, what it’s like to be able to say “no” when a doctor asks you if you’re in any pain. I cannot physically remember what it’s like to be at 0 anymore; I know I have been, but my body just can’t remember what it feels like.

When you’re not in constant pain, it’s not something you think about unless you start to hurt. That’s what pain is supposed to be, a warning or indication that something’s wrong or out-of-sync. When you have fibro, pain becomes your baseline, and it muddles your sense of what’s normal. If you don’t have fibro, you don’t spend this much time thinking about pain; when it’s a constant companion, it eventually permeates every aspect of life, an insidious shadow that drains your energy, your hope, your joy. It sucks.

I do remember that when I first went gluten-free and got my pain under control, waking up with no pain was a joyous experience. When I started exercising regularly and could suddenly do things I’d not been able to before, I had so many “aha!” moments, so many grateful moments when I realized I was doing something without pain that had always been painful before. I’m really looking forward to feeling that again, and relearning what it’s like to live without constant pain.

I was really disappointed when I realized I couldn’t work anymore. I feel sorry for letting my work buddies down; I’ve been working recently, but definitely not at the top of my game. I already miss the social interaction with the customers and my coworkers. Also, I miss my shift meals – pork taco on corn with yogurt and medium, chips & guacamole…and now I’m hungry. Shocker.

But part of being prego, especially fibro/prego, is recognizing limits. As much as I desperately try to forget sometimes that fibro is a part of my life, it never lets me for long. And I’ll admit it; as disappointed as I am about not working, I am also kind of starting to get excited about not working. Financially it’s a bummer, but when I think of everything I’d still like to do before the Kumquat gets here, those three days a week open up a lot of possibilities. Plus, having only 6-8 weeks left (or less!) makes it a lot easier to make it through the days when the pain ratchets up to a 7 or 8. Because soon, this will all be over, and there will be an adorable little Kumquat to take care of, and by this time next year I’ll remember what it’s like to be at a 0.

Worth every second…just wish that knowledge made the seconds go by more quickly. 5 weeks and 5 days!!!!

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One Response to “The agony…still waiting for the ecstasy”

  1. Sana Johnson-Quijada MD December 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    woohoo! great perspective. keep on.

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