Relax and SketchI’m battling my mind and body.
I’ve had sporadic periods where pain has knocked me off my feet. Funny thing is, at the time I remember thinking to myself, I understand suicide. That thought would be strange if it wasn’t for my brother’s death being fresh on my mind. The lack of information concerning my sister weights heavily. It is also true that there are times I think I can’t take another second of pain and that I’d rather be dead. Dr. D has noticed some PTSD issues associated with my chronic illness. I feel validated by that. This is traumatic. It’s like my private civil war where I die every single time. There are times, like yesterday when I thought to myself, I understand suicide. 

I’d say there were 5 times yesterday when my pain level rose to a level nine and five times I thought to myself, I should call an ambulance…. followed by, why? Really,, why? The only thing they’re going to do is ‘make me more comfortable’ by giving me pain medications, strong pain meds. That treatment is good on one hand but terrible on the other. For one thing, treating nerve pain with the types of high dose pain killers would proven more harmful than helpful. The pain meds will help with some of the pain but it will increase pain associated with nerves. I chose not to go through a backwards treatment at the hospital and stayed home to nurse myself through this.

By the end the night I was bent over, not able to stand upright. My muscles felt sooo tight that I could hardly move. I used my cane and got to the living room with my cervical traction machine, yoga mat and heavy foam roller. I got to the floor in a less than graceful way and just laid there for a second. I started off with the dead man pose because it was less painful. I moved to a few light stretches; gracious my right side hates life and mocks the Flexeril I take three times a day. I stayed in traction longer than usual but I could tell a huge difference in how my right side was moving so I went ahead and used the foam roller. It didn’t take much to get up from the mat but when I did, I felt soooo much better. I was able to do a back massage on the roller and able to get my chest muscles to relax a bit which relieves pain. I got up, took two milligrams of Klonopin and went to sleep.

Here it is Sunday afternoon and again I’m sporadically hitting high pain levels. My right hand is shot through with pain, my forearm is shot through with pain and my shoulder is rock solid. My tailbone is screaming and it hurts to talk because my jaw muscles are so tight. When my muscles bind like this it affects my eyesight.

It’s time to start steroid treatment again. I won’t wait to get too close to the line where I’ve lost myself. Last time I waited too long and went through this for three months, I ended up falling into a risky depression. There’s no need to do that. The best pain relief for me right now is to reduce inflammation.

As Dr. D suggested, I have kept up with doodling while in pain. I’ve been drawing when anxious which means I’ve filled quite a few books. These four sketchbooks are active in that they have work in them that I return to for details or color. These books symbolize two things: 1) the use of healthy coping skills and 2) way too much pain and anxiety.

During times of high anxiety and stress, I find it helpful to look at artwork by others. I’ve visited art blogs and ‘benign’ art galleries online. I’ve searched for paintings of sunflowers and looked at art on Pinterest which has lifted my spirits.  I’ve looked closely at my own plants that wait for me to do something with them. They’re good and healthy though. I love my Juniper plants. They’re really strong and are doing quite well.

There’s no way on earth I’m going to get the painting Encaustic Rise finished, scanned and posted in time for the encaustic sale. I didn’t expect things to turn so bad this quickly. Despite knowing this disease I’m still caught off guard by its force and the exhausted by the clean up after it strikes. This is ugly, this is so ugly.

Crystal did choose a new name. I really like it. Emerald. She’s called Emery for short. 🙂


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