The other day I was browsing and came across two Dr. House stamps. I almost grabbed them, but didn't have time to add them to my journal and just figured I'd go pick them up later. I made a mental note as to where they were. Now that is forgotten. *sigh* If anyone knows, I'd appreciate the thumb reference. I want to add him to my collection.
Why? Because Dr. House is my Hero. Not because he is so brilliant, not because he can figure out the most obscure of conditions (though I would love to have a doc like that, wouldn't we all.) No it's not that. What makes him my hero is how he deals with his chronic pain problem.
Lower those raised eyebrows. I'm serious here. More than you realize. Yes, he's addicted to pain pills. But without those pills, without that addiction, he would be in terrible pain. So, he pops those pills like candy and to heck with what anyone thinks.
I think one of my favorite episodes was the one where someone bet him he couldn't go off the pills, because he was addicted. He admitted he was addicted, but he took the bet and went off the pills. He went through the whole addictive withdrawal symptoms, shakiness, sweats, horrible stuff. But he did it - he got beyond the body's physical addiction. And what happened after he "kicked the habit"? He was left with excruciating pain.
Because the pain is a permanent factor in his life. And without those pills, without that "addiction" he cannot function.
So yes, Dr. House is my hero. Because he lives with chronic pain, and he does what he can to continue functioning, and to hell with all the rest, or what others might think of him.
Now, you might be asking, why does this make him my hero?
Because I live with chronic pain, and the only way I can function is to take pain medication. I don't pop pills like candy, I stay within the prescribed limits, but yeah, I'm addicted. A junkie. I'm sure if I tried to stop the pills, I would go through all the withdrawal symptoms of an addict. And what would I be left with at the end of it? Pain.
Pain due to a condition that has no "fix" no cure. For the record, and the curious, I was treated with Cobalt Radiation when I was 15, for Hodgkin's Disease. The upper thoracis, cervical and underarm area was blasted with thousands of particles of whatever. That treatment cured me, literally, of what was at that time still considered to be a "deadly" cancer. My life expectancy, with treatment, was about 5 years. Heh, I fooled them didn't I!
Now, many many years later, that area of my body is changing, the muscles are atrophied, the thyroid shriveled down to nothing and had to be removed, tissues are changing on the cellular / molecular level, and they are now talking about some spinal cord damage. Tons of specialists, and they all say the same thing. Nothing to do, the condition is progressive, the damage is irreversible, so just take your pills and accept it.
Btw, I'm just explaining, not complaining. I'm alive and 55 - That's 40 (and hopefully more) years of life extension and certainly nothing to complain about. I know the why of the pain, and I accept it. I'm quite happy to be here! ;D
Most of the time. Until I have a "Flare", and then the pain becomes terribly distracting, because with the flares, I'm dealing with neuropathic pain, the kind of pain that burns and runs like an electrical current all through the body. Not much you can do about that besides hold on and let it pass.
Some of you out there deal with Fibromyalgia, so I know that you know exactly what I am talking about when I speak of flares. And those flares are something that make me think that I also have Fibro mixed in with this other condition. In fact, I was diagnosed with Fibro by a neurologist years ago when the symptoms first started. And that was the "official" label the docs put on my pain, until they found the underlying condition. Then all of a sudden, according to them, the Fibro doesn't exist, it's this condition that causes the pain. Okay... but I think the Fibro does exist and it is that which causes the flares. I don't know why doctors are so reluctant to deal with Fibro - maybe they are better about it in the States, but here in Europe, they still treat it like a psychological condition. And they can't explain the flares. But I can. I know what causes them, and try to avoid them as much as possible, though they still manage to catch me by surprise.
So why am I here talking about all this, putting my pain on display to the public? I'm not sure. Maybe because the doctors have decided to "do something" rather than just leave me in peace with my pills. They've decided I should try some physiotherapy, try to strengthen some muscles to compensate for the ones that are semi-destroyed.
They did this a couple of years ago, and I ended up with a flare that lasted, literally, 6 to 8 weeks. So this time I warned them about that, told them if they don't go easy, I'll quit because I don't want to live with another flare like that.
After two sessions, sessions that involved very minor exercises, my body erupted with a 3 day flare. Not too bad, but when I mentioned it, the therapist decided to only do pool exercises for now. And that was going okay, until Thursday when I had to pick up some groceries and the girls were both out, and I ended up lifting a sack that was too heavy and snagged a muscle in the lower back. Not too bad, just nagging. So, when I went to the pool on Friday, I mentioned this and the therapist had me do just some stretching exercises for the lower back, things that were supposed to help extend and relax the lower back muscles. Now, thanks to those "relaxing exercises" my lower back hurts more than before, lol! (But thankfully it hasn't triggered another flare.)
I do like this therapist, at least she listens and she suggested I only come in once a week, so my body can rest between sessions. But I'm beginning to wonder why I'm doing this. Why am I letting the doctors decide what my body needs. They get all proactive and try to "do" something, I guess to at least tell themselves they are treating me somehow.
But in the end, no one knows my body like I do. And exercises are a sore spot for me.
There is a very fine line as to how much exercise my body can handle, and if I cross that line... Flare.
Anyway, I'll continue with it for awhile as long as we take it easy. And besides, after my therapy session, I get to use the jaccusi. Ahhhh!
Well, I've babbled enough. Not sure why I went on so much, but I did. I think sometimes when we are having to deal with something that we can't really control or change, we just need to talk about it, express it somehow. I'm not looking for sympathy - at least I don't think I am. On the other hand, when you feel like I've been feeling the past couple of weeks (and the past 10-12 years) reaching out for a hug isn't such a bad idea.
Edit to add: Huge hugs and thanks to
for finding the stamps!
who linked me to a fabulous Dr. House Artpiece!