I'll admit it-- sometimes I get really angry at how "easy" other people have it in their lives. I mean, yeah, okay, everyone has their stress and troubles and hard times but some people just seem to have a charmed life, you know? Yes, my incredibly troubled and grueling life is definitely the source of some good points, such as the personal strength, insight, and empathy that I have honed, but sometimes it'd be nice to just have it kinda easy for a while you know? And it hasn't been. My whole life, without exaggeration, has been one fight or another for sustenance, sanity, survival… what's up with that?

And then, just when everything was finally going my way… my health tanks. I was so happy. I was in school, pursuing my dream career, I was planning my wedding, working hard for a cause that I loved with a boss that adored me, I'd paid off my school debt, made huge headway in counseling… I had it made, man. I was good. Things were looking up. But then, then, everything fell apart around me and life is harder than it's ever been. Maybe. Life was really hard during the decade plus of abuse too, though. It's hard to say.

It's just not fair, man. And it pisses me off.

However

There is good news. I have finally found a doctor that is both willing and able to help me with my pain! I'm diagnosed with "intractable pain" which, according to Wikipedia, is "a severe, constant pain that is not curable by any known means and which causes a bed or house-bound state and early death if not adequately treated, usually with opioids and/or interventional procedures. It is not relieved by ordinary medical, surgical, nursing, or pharmaceutical measures. Unlike the more common chronic pain, it causes adverse biologic affects on the body's cardiovascularhormone, and neurologic systems." (emphasis mine) Doctors kept getting hung up on "fibromyalgia" and "chronic pain", missing the bigger picture of my pain, but this doctor gets it, and he wants to help me very much. I could cry. It was seriously everything that I had hoped for.

This is the dr's website, Dr. Porcelli. I have to drive 4 hours to get there, but to get my life back? SO worth it.

I was incredibly nervous, because I was afraid that I was just going to get shut down again and I have nowhere else to turn for help but the emergency room, and that is horrendously expensive. (Seriously… I have no idea how I'm going to pay all of the ER bills. *sigh*) He was very cheerful, funny, and engaging right from the get-go, though, and we chatted and joked back and forth the whole time. He looked at my chart and symptom list and was immediately like, "Yes, you definitely suffer from intractable pain! You've got one foot in the grave, huh? Just one banana peel away from packing it in!" (I thought that was funny. This was after he saw the "draw these shapes on this outline of a body to describe what kind of pain you have and where" chart that I filled out. It was pretty well covered in scribbles.) He thinks that with proper pain management I can actually go back to work part time in the future! Also, after a physical examination he discovered that my eyes have been damaged some from the pain, but they will heal when my body calms down.

The plan is to do a long acting opioid with a lower dose one for breakthrough pain. The ones he gave me this month aren't working very well and I'm still spending about 5 or 6 hours a day soaking in the tub, but we can address that at my next appointment. I'm working on getting physical therapy started, trying to do regular massages, and I'm also starting a few supplements (vitamin C, sublingual b12, omega 3 fatty acid, etc.) to boost my general health. I really want to start eating healthier again now that I'm more capable, but really, I'm basically just happy to have meds at all and to know that things are only going to get better from here! I mean, today my friend the Artist came over and helped me clean the house, and I was able to do quite a bit! The house is so tidy now. Ahhhh… we got to things that I've been wanting done for months, or at the very least since I got out of the hospital. It feels good to see my home in order again.

Also, I applied for disability this past Monday, and it was actually a really fun experience thanks to the lady who did my interview. I should get word in about 3 to 6 months, and she says that it's about a 50-50 chance as to whether I'm approved or denied. We'll see. I'm definitely going to appeal if I'm denied, no worries about that.

Oh, and I'm going to make an appointment with a geneticist this next week. Still pursuing further diagnosis, especially since Dr. Porcelli agreed adamantly that while fibro is part of my problem, it is definitely not the entire issue that is causing me to be so sick and in so much pain. So… we shall see. I've got my money on hEDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, hypermobility type). I fit the criteria so, so, so well, and a large majority of EDSers are either misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. The most common misdiagnosis is fibromyalgia, from what I understand.

I'm learning to live with this broken body, even as I try to figure out in what ways exactly it's broken, but it's not easy. I'm pretty resentful at times, especially when I can't get the help or answers I need or when I see my peers traipsing around and fulfilling dreams and stuff that I wanted to do and cannot join in on and will possibly never recover enough to achieve.

Like pregnancy. Due to the nature of my pain, I will probably be on strong pain medication for the rest of my life. That's just a fact of my life. (Ugh, my poor organs…) The implications of that, however, mean that I would have to stop my pain meds (and a couple others) in order to carry a baby, and that's not something that is feasible for me at all. Remember how I ended up in the hospital and ER a ton last month? Yeah. Just like that. And do you think that the stress of being so sick and in so much pain would be good for a developing fetus at all? Not a chance. Either way, my baby is at a distinct disadvantage while residing in my womb.

I'm never going to be able to carry a baby of my own, and that grieves me something awful.

People don't understand. I've shared with a couple of friends, and with Drogo, but the response I get is "Don't worry, you can adopt! There are other options. Have you thought of surrogacy?"

You guys. That's not the point, not the point at ALL! I know I can adopt or do a surrogate pregnancy. Creating offspring is not the issue here, the issue is that I am never going to be able to carry a baby or give birth, and that's something I've wanted for a long, long time. It's just another precious dream ripped callously from my heart and tossed carelessly on the midden. I don't care if I can adopt; I care that the vaunted experience of childbearing, one that I've already had bitter experiences with, is now beyond my grasp, through no fault of my own, and there's nothing I can do about it.

But folks don't seem to catch that, even after I explain, so… I just let it go. Whatever. Who cares if Cassie's world and future is shrinking and dulling, hope and happiness sloughing off like dried up scabs?

3 thoughts:

  • Friko | July 20, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    Poor Cassie!
    My heart bleeds for you. You really seem to have been handed a bit more than your fair share.
    Perhaps this new doctor has an answer? I hope so, anyway.

    Life is a bummer for many people, certainly at some point. We all get it in the neck and take pains to pick ourselves up again. It may seem that some sail through life, but that isn’t necessarily so. Only a very few get away without trouble.

    Keep your spirits up. I know that’s hard when you are in pain permanently. Try anyway.

    Good luck!

  • Joan Kelley | July 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Oh my dear. It hurts so much to see our fondest dreams crash and burn. I'm so sorry about the babe. There is no substitute for that. It hurts. No matter what other options may be out there, this loss is a big one and is a monstrous grief. And I'm so sorry it's your cross to best. Along with others you don't deserve either. I care.

  • Cassandra | July 24, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    Thank you, my loving friends.

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