Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wiped Out

I haven't been able to write lately. I probably shouldn't be writing right now. The stresses of this term of college combined with a continuously-developing three year old who not only can rattle off the spellings of his full name as well as tell you our entire address and phone number, but yesterday astonished me by reading a newly-explored book meant for elementary school-aged kids... starting the process of re-doing our bedroom complete with a brsnd new frame, mattress, bedset, all new pillows... *sigh* There has simply been so much to do, and so much more cold, winter weather still lingering that is clinging to my body like a leaden suit, magnifying the oh-so-persistent pains of not only the fibromyalgia, but also the herniations in my back that send spasms of pain down sometimes both legs at once.

There have been days I question taking on the task of returning to school at this point in my life, if for no other reason than the absolutely exhausting mental tasks that these two current courses have required. I have yet to experience a single week without at least one research paper due, and I am now, after this current paper, facing finals - two incredibly detailed research papers dealing with both the investigational and legal aspects of the criminal justice system. There are times where I catch myself somewhat laughing at myself, having gone from an original major upon finishing high school of both music and psychology with a goal of becoming a music therapist, making the decision to toss all that aside and enter the world of a crime scene investigator. I wonder what I will be facing, knowing that the medical limitations on me right now would leave any prospective employer laughing before offering me a position working as an on-scene investigator - especially with me wanting to become sworn and not just remain a civillian investigator. I wonder how I am going to be, facing possible swing shifts and needing to be focused and prepped at different times throughout the week, knowing that right now, I completely rely on prescribed medication in order to barely get the sleep I need as a stay at home mom... and even then, sometimes, it's like grasping at straws wondering if those pills will work one more time. I think the running total has been nine different medications over the course of two-plus years in order to try and bring me that absolute essential of life.

I have both the relief and stress that comes from being in the same house as my parents for this overwhelmingly NEW shift in my life. It's not always pretty, but there are times it's my lifesaver, my rescue raft. But even now, knowing that when I need it, I will have eyes to watch Grey while I go for my second MRI, I am finding myself lost in even deciding when I have the time - even though only when I have it completed will I know what next fate holds for me, be it having to schedule spinal surgery or fit multiple appointments at yet a different pain management clinic in order to try and attain some level of normalcy on my day-to-day functional levels.  And also knowing that, as I do this, I have to continue to look for some form of employment - even at a part-time level - in order to keep this little family of mine afloat, trying not to be downtrodden by the numerous applications that I have already submitted and heard not a peep from.  There are only so many positions available where I could actually perform at an optimal level for that specific job, and also know that I'd actually be able to get out of my car by myself after I drove home again.

There are times where I wonder just how or why I have been hit by this pain.  The spinal issues - okay, Dad's side is chock full of degenerative disc disease.  But something else has caused this late-in-life scoliosis (as minor as it may be), something else has triggered this hell they call Fibromyalgia.  And only for the last year or so has there been a singe medication approved for the treatment of it.  I'm on a high dose as it is, at 300mg, and even then, there is no such thing as full relief - only a higher risk of drug-related weight gain, which in turn puts more stress on my body.  A wonderfully spinning catch-22 for all of my ailments.

I feel as if I'm become this horrible friend, choosing to spend the majority of my free time, the little that there is, at home and trying to rest up for tackling the next day ahead, especially since I can never truly predict just how the mext morning will find me.  There is so much that I have missed, so much that I feel others hold against me, for not being that initiator of contact that when I do, it goes unnoticed.  I find myself wanting to do oh SO much, yet failing to find that energy that even less than a handful of years ago I had more than enough of... and I have yet to even face the big "3-0". 

I keep trying to tell myself that it will all work out, that I will find again what has gone missing from this shell of "me," and yet day by day I seem to lose sight of it even more.  And damn, if there aren't some days that I don't even know how to fight for it anymore... IF I can fight for it anymore.  My mind can go wherever it pleases, but if the body is unwilling or unable, well... here I sit.

I am trying to hold onto some possible optimism, that I am supposed to be involved in a new study for fibromyalgia treatment this month.  Will I see results?  Only time will tell on that one.  As for now, I face scheduling one more test to see if anything can be done for this searing back pain... three more papers by the 17th to determine my student status at the end of yet one more term... appointments with not just one, but three separate doctors to try and manage the different facets of my daily medical needs.... a son who very obviously needs less sleep than I do, and is quickly leaving me at a loss of what to do to keep his exponentially developing mind occupied... a husband who, having just gotten out of the hospital himself once again for diabetic complications, needs to rely on me for things that I wish I could promise but can't always keep up with what my mind holds in its plans... friends that I fear losing all for what I have no control over, and wondering if that makes them truly friends anymore at all...

With that, I'll shuffle myself into the kitchen to throw together a leftovers of a dinner for those who need me right now, including the little man who is currently singing along to one of Metallica's newest releases on his Mp3 player, and the big man who is only doing God knows what in the lower level we call "home."  I'll walk the patterns of the everyday in the hopes that one of these times I'll stumble upon something new, something enthralling and envigorating, something that will give me a little sense of the self that once was. 

For those of you who have lingered and clung to me as I have clung to you through everything... I can only begin to put into words just how much that means to me every waking minute (one of you especially).  I promise, someday, it will be paid back, I will find a way...

Larissa

3 Harmonizations:

Kari said...

I'm so sorry Larissa, I really hope you can find some relief soon from the pain. You're doing an awesome job with school and everything else on your plate.

Larissa said...

Thanks, Kari... it really is rewarding, all of it... just sometimes a lot to tackle. I appreciate your support! =)

Pacific Northwest said...

I am writing to you from the Pacific Northwest Foundation about a case study that may be of interest to your research into fibromyalgia. While this was not a study undertaken by the Foundation, it was a case with which we have had access to in virtually every detail. This includes the chart notes (with the patient's approval) as well as the observations and insights of the patient's health care provider.

The case involves an adult female who had been disabled for eight years with diagnosed fibromyalgia. Within four months of treatment, she was able to backpack, regularly work a full day and have little or no pain.

As with all our studies, it is our hope to stimulate additional efforts to determine if these results were an aberration or have wider implications. To this end, we wanted to make you aware of the cast study (which can be found online at http://pnf.org/html/fibromyalgia.html), in the hope that it might prove useful as a starting point for research within your organization.

Thanks and kind regards,

Frank Cook
Pacific Northwest Foundation