Definitions of stress include the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain, mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension. In physiology, stress is defined as; a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism. In medicine: A physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental tension or physiological reactions that may lead to illness. Stressless is then the opposite of the above, having no stress, without.
Image Credit by Ozra
Included in my letter of resignation to the International Pain Foundation was that “Stress is my weakness” right now. It had become my weakness since January of 2015. I had come to realize a long time ago that stress increased physical pain and uncontrolled physical pain instigated anxiety highs for me. I had struggled on and off with bouts of depression. Prior to this year diagnosed with mild recurrent major depressive disorder secondary to the injury that led to my CRPS and a psych sequela. A confirmed diagnosis of PTSD, which I’ve shared a couple of times over the years, but have not discussed much of. My PTSD isn’t a solo diagnosis for a specific event, but rather multi diagnosis’ for multiple unrelated events.
It’s been a hell of a year! It’s also been heaven! Can you imagine? The best and the worse, the worse and the best happening simultaneously over a short period of time? Next month begins a year since that first night I can’t ever erase from my existence. Valentines Day becomes a year to the day, and the 3rd week in April is the second. I’m really only 8 months forward from it all. I really have a way to go in healing.
I think I’m doing pretty darned good for pain having not been addressed until a few weeks before I tried the Gohl Program (October 24th) and the Manual Ligament Therapy performed by Arik Gohl. After transferring my primary care to the Ellison Ambulatory Care Center and choosing the teaching facility so that students could learn from me and I could learn from them, I was sent to a new pain management facility rather quickly. This though only covered my upper body, not my lower. I was now opposite of what I had endured in the many years prior. I had been covered for my bilateral CRPS and SCS, but not for my upper extremities. I had a CT, learned of what had been occurring with my spine, the several new diagnosis’s, started PT, ended PT and I had 2 cervical steroid injections and decided after the program to cancel the 3rd.
Leaving iPain was abrupt and perhaps shitty, deactivating my Facebook account was also abrupt and spontaneous. Heck, declining followup appointments, injections, and mental health care was also on the spot. I know each of the perceptions that can be considered. 1. I’m reckless. 2. I’m Bipolar. 3. I only considered myself. 4. I’m playing games. 5. I’m crazy. 6. Out of character.
Let me help sort these out. 1. I’m not careless of consequences nor am I irresponsible. 2. I wouldn’t care if I was, but I’m not. 3. I considered everyone in those split seconds, including myself. 4. The only games I like to play are slots. 5. I love my crazy as do many others. 6. Perhaps, though it could have been in character all along.
What does that mean? In character all along? Pain, passion, purpose. Compassion, forgiveness, devotion, appreciation, thankfulness, gratitude,and diversity are all strong traits for me as is compliance, submission, and loyalty. Those can sometimes provoke conflict. But then again, I’m a different kind of duck.
As 2013 ended and I couldn’t change what I needed to, I couldn’t make someone else want to live, take care of themselves, after being given new life, or repair someone else’s frontal lobe from damage, or make tumors disappear in another and I couldn’t change the errors of others from a 2012/2013 healthcare related failure for myself, I rose and fell, but got back up each and every time.
Until I couldn’t, until I didn’t want to anymore.
In 2012 I had my Gall Bladder removed after a painful 20 hour wait in the Emergency Department. Acute or Chronic, the wait was painful. When I was taken back, I was scheduled for surgery immediately. I hemorrhaged during both surgeries a year apart.
I had never felt judgement in healthcare prior to this second removal. I had never been treated adversely or in any judgmental way. Ever!
A month ago, I would have never considered resigning as Advocacy Director and after being apart of iPain 5 years. On the contrary my only vision was remaining indefinitely.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss
Fighting for your own life, while already fighting for others, up close and personal others, in addition to advocacy. And not knowing, or understanding, right in the midst of the end, who to choose, what to choose. Me or them. I can still hear the words that slipped from my lips to him that night. I can see it all so vividly and I can hear my own quivering voice say it to him so powerful that..
(Maybe I’ll share the rest of that another time)
But I survived. And then I survived again. And I was pissed! I had to be who someone else wanted me to be.. still. I couldn’t be unwell, not dangling, and make sure that I didn’t disappoint anyone, pretend it never happened because such events are unbecoming of family matters, social knowledge and sometimes even friendships or that online I had to be talked about in whispers and private calls and that would have all been okay as long as the record was correct. All it takes for accuracy is to ask the question. If someone doesn’t wish to answer it still doesn’t mean to create a scenario.
I was negative for all prescribed and illicit drugs, including all those extra’s screened for. I declined pain care by first responders and I declined pain management upon arrival at the hospital.
Consider that I had not been taking pain meds, opioid related, legal or illegal, benzo’s etc, and once injected in the ambulance there would have been no way to prove I had none of these substances in my system. Not even Marijuana. Understand? I don’t regret the 200 ml bottle of Vodka I finished just minutes before those acts of “I’m done!”. Nope!
All I’ve wanted to do is fight. I won’t go looking for confrontation, but if I’m confronted, hands. It’s really not as wrong as it seems. It just means that I protect my space and my ground.
Stress is down. Leveled.
Without, in regards to the internet.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain
I always knew why, I just didn’t want to know to what extent.