It has been four years since my headaches first started. I always had back pain here and there after my car accident when I was 19 but the headaches took the cake. I couldn’t just pop a Tylenol and be on my way, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t understand. Someone who as a child was simply put, always getting hurt and getting back up and running again (I remember a story of me cracking my head open and needing stitches, my mom was in a pure panic but apparently, I had no tears for the stitches just “Ow, ow, ow”. My mom was “In pain” watching as I was just “Eh, when can I go play?”
Pain impacts more than your physical being. To be honest, I have taken a mental beating as well. I’ve beat myself up. I’ve let others beat me up. I’ve had to fight doctors that told me to just “suck it up” and couldn’t give me an answer. I’ve had to deal with family and friends that just didn’t understand. While I might be told to go home and rest, guess what, I’m a mom and that’s not an option for me. I might be home but I still have a job to do for my girls and I do it.
Now that I’m pregnant again, my body is picking on me. Where as before, we had a game plan of different meds. I could take throughout the day, you can’t do that pregnant. I have to try and suck it up, throw an ice pack on to get some muscles to calm down, take an anti-nausea med to try and slow down my body (and of course, fight the hyperemesis), and when I can’t fight anymore, I have to admit defeat and ask for the help of a doctor. I HATE PAIN MEDS. You are stigmatized, you are the brunt of jokes, and when you have to constantly fight a battle with pain, you are under attack for “Why do you need these meds?” and “What else is she probably doing?” Some people seem to forget my chosen college degree, Criminal Justice. Do you really think I can perform that job on pain meds? No. That’s why I was so glad to have a doctor that gave me an alternative before that is what I had to turn to. I can not stand nor understand the stories of people abusing such things, sorry, I enjoy having a brain. Now, I have to constantly feel judged by individuals, even some I thought were the shoulder to keep me fighting.
It’s not easy but, you have to fight. Some nurses know me on a regular basis unfortunately but, they also know ME. They know if they’re seeing me, I’ve done all I can to try and avoid them, they know when the joking stops, I’m miserable. I might try and still crack jokes so I don’t feel like the pain in the butt patient and they take that little extra time to chat with me about school, about the girls, or just about their own life experiences. My last doctor was a resident but I miss him greatly. While I butt heads with him a few times, when I was defeated and all I could do was cry out of frustration and not understanding, he was the one to grab my arm and say “Don’t give up on me. We’ll figure this out….somehow.”
I just wish there was more people out there like him. Until then, remember if you have not experienced something first hand, you have no idea the emotional pain you make in cracking your jokes, making your assumptions. I’ve had friends that have witnessed first hand and when they’ve seen it or had to experience it themselves, it opens their eyes.