Monday, May 25, 2009

When things are tough...

"I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day
When the burdens of this place
Will be no more
We'll see Jesus face to face"
Jeremy Camp "There will be a Day"

It's been a while since I've been physically and psychologically challenged like I've been for the last two month. I count myself lucky compared to so many but it's hard to get outside myself when pain settles in. When I am not listening to NPR I listen to Christian rock on the radio. The song above has been particularly comforting lately.

Great for medical research, including studies on EDS, NIH put out calls for applications with lots of money to offer for good grants but the deadline was incredibly short (~6 weeks!) and occurred at the end of April. My boss is the director of a lab and an institute that study genetic disorders and I am his assistant - I put the grants together and edit them. I'm not going to bother explaining the details but we put together an admin supplement, a Challenge grant, and our annual (May 1) Progress Report for the institute. We also had a big meeting of our Internal Advisory Board just before these deadlines - I have to run the A/V. I was very stressed out. For those of us with EDS, stress and hormones can play big factors in how well our bodies hold together.

Since the end of April, my left shoulder has been unstable. This is the one I dislocated several years ago. Hormones added their contribution and now it's been subluxed for the last 10 days straight. I'm at the point where I need to consider options, including having a stronger pain reliever (currently taking only tramadol and aleve). I want to avoid surgery and will discuss this with my doctor tomorrow. Everyone who cares about me has been suggesting surgery but it's not that simple in EDS. I don't know that it would even help. My MD may say that my shoulder doesn't need surgery, which would be a relief but then I worry about long-term pain/instability.

I've discovered I really don't like the attention a brace brings to the situation. I've had to wear a sling for my shoulder and everyone asks why and how, etc. It gets so tiring. Any suggestions on how to deal with inquisitive folks, including family who tends to worry?

My lovely husband has been stressed out about my pain and potential disability as well. I don't want to worry him but I also can't lie about my condition. There is so much impact on our relationship from my pain, inability/challenge to do things (including around the house), struggle to contribute to the household income vs needing to work less. ...and other more intimate stuff.

I am currently changing meds too. My MD wants to shift from Effexor to Cymbalta. I don't know if my incredible fatigue is from the meds or from the pain? Both? As the pain has gotten worse, my anxiety and depression has increased as well. When my doc and I started the switch in meds, I was doing ok mentally and my pain wasn't so bad. How can you know when the body is going to crap out on you?

I meet with my PCP tomorrow and a therapist on Friday. I'll see what they think.

Thanks for listening.