Pain is now my near constant companion.
It is not overwhelming. It doesn’t distract me from driving or having a conversation or exercising. But it is always there.
It isn’t the same as the joint pain I’ve had for years, now formally named and officially treated. That pain seems to limit itself to one or more joints, I can take some Advil and get moderate relief, keep the joints warm, use them gently and within a week or so, that pain has either moved to a new set of joints or has abated.
This pain is deep inside. It isn’t in a place I can look at or touch. Body functions seem normal but the pain is always there. The idea of food ranges from disinterest to repulsion. I eat because one of my medications requires food and taking it without food is a mistake made only once. I’ve been tested and re-evaluated and scheduled for more later this month.
I find myself thinking bizarre thoughts—what if I took ten or twelve Advil instead of my usual four? Four Advil does not touch the pain. What if I ate some combination of foodstuffs I would never voluntarily buy or consume—perhaps a tin of sardines with a large bowl of cooked spinach followed by prunes? Or maybe I could soak in the bathtub with some vile smelling herb? My reason tells me that all of these ideas are foolish, I must simply wait until something becomes more obvious and then perhaps it can be repaired.
Until then, pain has become my shadow.