Illness is Literally a Pain in the Ass

Illness is literally a pain in the ass. It kicks your butt with its exhausting demands. Ever since the beginning of this past school year I have been struggling to get some type of definitive diagnosis on what is going on with me, yet it still remains a mystery.

I went to the the local doc in the box last September with complaints of chest pain. The doctor said it sounded like pleurisy and handed me a prescription that didn't touch it. I have also experienced a general sense of fatigue and exhaustion. A month later I went to my personal doctor who put me on a round of steroids. Again...nothing. She then ordered a battery of tests that included a stress test and numerous blood samples. In fact, one night I was told to go the emergency room because one of the blood tests indicated that I might have blood clots. After two CT scans (one a clerical error), I was sent home with no new information. I then was referred to a rheumatologist because another test determined that I might have a marker for lupus. After poking me manually for about five minutes, this doctor said that I have fibromyalgia and threw me a prescription for Cymbalta. I stayed on that med for just under two months; it made my symptoms worse. I was in such a fog that there were days I couldn't even get off the couch, let along go to work or take care of things around the house. After reading all of the frightening information on the internet about this drug, I quit taking it before I became addicted. For a short, sweet moment in time I felt better. We went to the beach for spring break. I walked in the sand. I laughed with friends. I drank wine and ate wonderful fish dinners. It was perfect. And then I came home.

That first Monday back to school I had a lower back ache that quickly turned to excruciating pain. My husband took me to the ER that evening and once again, nothing definitive was determined. They gave me some pain pills and advised me to call my doctor. This past week I have been to my general practitioner's office twice and visited the ER twice. I've been poked in the butt with sharp needles in order to administer immediate relief for the pain. The second ER visit to another hospital determined I might have a slipped or herniated disc and that I probably need an MRI. Unfortunately, they couldn't order one for me. Now I need to call my doctor AGAIN and schedule that expensive test. My insurance must really love me at this moment.

This isn't meant to be a rant on my condition or the medical profession. What I have realized over the past few months is that nothing is clear-cut. There are blind corners and misty paths. Doctors aren't gods; they are just simple humans with an excess of education and student loans. Sometimes you just have to rely on your own judgment on how to move forward.

Today was a good day. The pain was minimal. I exercised, read, and even cooked a new recipe. There is something soothing and meditative in the process of chopping and stirring. I actually felt somewhat normal, so I opened my laptop to write about it. This is the first time I've even looked at my Mac in over three months, but I felt these words pouring out as I was preparing a pot of vegetarian quinoa chili. The meal was delicious and will cover me for school lunches a few days this week. If you are interested in preparing it, here is the link:
It filled a warmth that I hadn't felt in quite awhile.

The name of this blog is Drunk on Love in the Kitchen for many reasons. Today the kitchen was my sanctuary, my medicine, my calming drug. Let's hope I have more of these days.