Sunday, 6 September 2015

I am really, really broken

I've been struggling mentally recently, an inevitable byproduct of living 24/7 with the pain, burning sensation, hypersensitivity and everything else that CRPS throws at me. As is so often the case I turn to my blog to try and work through what's going on in my head.

My 10 year 'wedding' anniversary with CRPS will be on 16th December, Notice I still remember the date? That's because it really was a monumental day in my life. The day my life changed forever. The day I started living with a condition that never gives me a break, is constantly 'getting' at me and affects every aspect of my life. And like a really bad marriage it's changed over time, being ever more intrusive, affecting more areas of my body, gradually reducing not just what I can do but how long I can do things for. But unlike normal marriages I can't get a divorce, we're stuck together for the rest of my days. There's no cure, they don't even have an understanding of what CRPS is or why the nervous system effectively 'turned' on me all those years ago.

It's so demoralising the way CRPS impinges on everything, making completely unrelated events considerably worse. It even caused problems with the tooth extraction I had several weeks ago. The same tooth developed an infection about a year ago and recurred again a month or so ago. It was time for the tooth to go. Despite injecting three separate lots of lidocaine into the gum around the tooth, the dentist couldn't numb the area properly. I told her to go for it, and subsequently felt every movement of the tooth as she loosened it and then pulled it out. Not to be recommended I can tell you, but it was the only way it could be done. Hypersensitive nerves made it so much harder for lidocaine to work. It hadn't occurred to me that CRPS would be an issue. Is there nothing it doesn't make worse?

I never seem to have anything even vaguely resembling a good day anymore. It just a case of how bad am I going to be, how much of the day will I lose to sleep, how badly will I sweat, or conversely feel frozen? We can't plan to do anything really because you can never tell how I'm going to be. If I have to pull out something it's never because I can't be bothered or don't fancy it. No, it's because I literally don't have the energy to get dressed let alone anything else. Or the pain is just too bad. The other day I was falling asleep whilst eating a bowl of cornflakes. I kid you not....

I can say, without doubt, that my arms have worsened. My driving days are coming to an end. Not that I drive very much anyway, once in a blue moon really. The car is fitted with hand controls, but my arms now become more and more painful the longer I hold the steering wheel. The left arm isn't really doing anything but it becomes unbearable very quickly. Just something else CRPS is trying to take away from me. The one thing that I will continue doing, no matter what, is archery. Thankfully it still acts as great physiotherapy for my arms. Plus there are the mental benefits. It gives me something to look forward to, immense pleasure to do, and a constant challenge. It keeps me sane, it's as simple as that . Plus it's nice to still be good at something.

Reflecting on what I've written is it really any wonder that I'm struggling mentally at the moment? I don't know what I'd do without Eric, he is my rock, my reason for living and the reason why I can't give up. The dogs are wonderful, so loving, funny and always ready for a cuddle. I have to keep fighting, stay positive and continue pushing back at it's relentless assault. I owe it to Eric and to myself. Life might not be what I thought it would be, but I have to make the most of it. I think I've got my mojo back.....