Monday, April 13, 2009

Yet Another New "Normal"

A person can learn to live with just about anything, I told my acupuncturist last week.

I was complaining about the ear specialist I'd seen who dismissed my worries about mastoiditis (based on my MRI report), who said that if I had it, I'd be writhing on the floor with pain.

But, I told Abby, he never asked me about my pain levels. And he doesn't know the depth of the other pain I live with each and every day since I gave up pain meds. The pain levels I have most days now used to make me cry. Now it's "normal."

Anyone who reads the Rose Is Rose comic strip regularly is familiar with Rose's Dungeon of Resentment. She ends up sitting chained to an iron ball at what looks like the bottom of a very, very deep well. Usually it's because she's angry at her husband, or just in a very, very bad mood. And she always come back out. Eventually.

Rose Is Rose

Last week, I told my internist that that was sort of how this flare, that started back in mid February, felt: I've fallen into this Pit of Fatigue that sucks every drop of energy out of me, and the pit is so deep and has no hand-holds to help me climb out. And yet, I find myself adjusting to this too. Either it will be temporary, and I'll feel better and become more functional again, or this is my new "normal" and I need to find a way to live with it.

I mean, what are the options? You either learn to live with the hand you're dealt, and work around it as best you can, or you kill yourself. And I'm not the suicidal type.

I wish it were as easy as making my mind up to feel better, or "pushing through it" as I've had more than one doctor recommend.

I still have hope that this mystery illness will either go away or get under control, and I intend to continue to pursue a diagnosis and treatment plan. But in the meantime, this is normal. This is my life.


Today I'm scheduled for the first of five infusions of iron to try to improve my low ferritin levels. The hematologist says that the ferritin level is unlikely to be my only source of fatigue, but he's hopeful that bringing it up to recommended levels will give me at least some boost. I get three this week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) and two next week (Thursday, Friday). Hopefully this time I'll absorb it properly and maintain my level.

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