The past year has presented health challenges in several forms that have sapped my energy and ability to work on anything that was not an immediate need. Without getting too specific, let's just say that that RA and back issues have kicked my butt lately, and the pain levels are off the charts. Pain doctor thinks I am well managed and leaves snarky comments like "patient told to stay active" in the visit report notes. He doesn't realize how hard I try to do just that, including walking my dogs around the block when the pain is so bad I literally am on the brink of tears with horrendous foot and leg pain the whole way. I think he thinks I sit around at home watching the Hallmark Channel or something, maybe eating bon bons? Sorry Doc, I don't watch tv. Instead, I have spent the last eight months living like half a person -- at least half my time every day is spent laying flat, staring at the ceiling praying for the pain to calm down enough for me to get up and move again. It is actually exhausting to have so much pain you are pushed off your feet. This is no way to live and I resent it. That resentment doesn't help.
Pain used to be better managed, but the state of Massachusetts has made it impossible for me to obtain the medication that worked well for me for about ten years. It wasn't perfect, but at least it gave me more control than I have now. I now am given a "safer" medication that a) takes about 90 minutes to start to work and b)provides about 50% of the previous' medication's effectiveness for about 4 hours, then pain gradually creeps up again. I can take this med twice daily, with doses twelve hours apart. I have been given a "breakthrough" pain med to take when "things are really bad" -- which is truly every day! This med may be taken once a day and again, takes about an hour to be felt and does about 50% of the job for about 3 hours. At the last visit, the doctor said I could take up to three of these a day, but would dispense only thirty pills a month. I said that wouldn't work. He said "Some days you take one, some days you take none." As if pain ever gives me a vacation. When I tried to explain that I am not managed now with the med arrangement we have, I was told "You are getting enough," and that was the end of the discussion. A rational person would say "Go to another doctor!" and I am rational. Trouble is, switching pain doctors is akin to "drug seeking behavior" and makes it less likely that anyone will treat you at all. The devil you know is better than the devil that won't take you on as a patient, I guess.
And, the pain is only part of what has been going on. Good grief. Smacked down with inflammatory colitis of some sort since the spring. Love the weight loss benefit but it has been a pretty terrible way to do it.
Add to it a surgery in June to remove a mass from my face in a very strange place, next to my nose. The cut nerves are slowly coming back, along with a lump of either returning mass or scar tissue. Glad it wasn't malignant, just an inflammatory mass, thank you RA. The sudden itches and nerve strikes to the area have me swatting at my face like I am being attacked by bees. So attractive. No world, I am not picking my nose. I might be squeezing it though to tell the nerves to stop!
And as a final swat to the body pinata, another medical issue has cropped up that gets pushed to the top of the pile and will be evaluated this week. Looks like some type of surgery is likely in my future. Greatttt.
Writing all of this here does help me validate my lack of artistic productivity over the last year, anyway. It is not meant to be a gripe session, just an explanation of my absence from the creatively productive world. In my mind I am still making things! And want to! So many beads, so little time. My hands have not picked up a needle in months. I can see where I'd like these hands to take me as soon as I can find the energy and focus to do so -- as a matter of fact, my hands are one of the few body parts that don't hurt, which is surprising. I used to be able to channel so much energy into the stitch -- hoping for that to become a regular activity again. I need more than hope, though. I need proper pain management. Sigh.
As always I thank GOD for my pups who have been the best pals a human could have through all of this. Their antics and snuggles have given me some much needed joy. They are truly heaven-sent little creatures. Ellie is on the struggle bus with "old dog lungs" and constant coughing, not sure where this will end up. Cough syrup helps a little. Hard to know when she wants to give up the fight -- she is a stubborn little dog, like her mama, I guess! Cheers.