Bipolar and Chronic Pain Just Plain Suck

Monday my Bipolar brain took a chance an had a lumbar steroid shot to attempt to relieve massive pain I’ve been experiencing for years. I respond quickly to medications and other treatments and it’s been this way with the lumbar shot. By the next morning I was experiencing muscle cramps and painful spasms. Although I wanted, in my strange way, to think something had gone wrong I decided that these things were happening because my body was moving more freely because there was less pain. Even a slightly longer reach or stretching a muscle beyond what it has been doing for the last 25 years.

The second night my back lit up. All the nerves in my lower back were on fire again. I got an ice pack and sat in my recliner (which my mother thoughtfully gifted to me) and tried to ride out the storm. No such luck. Kyle was staying up late playing a game on the X-box and for the first time he saw a little of the hell my body puts me through. I thought I could get it to calm down with the ice. No such luck. I was reclining in the chair to better freeze the painful area. I couldn’t stand it any longer and I started kicking my legs and groan with the pain.

My anxiety level was reaching critical mass and I felt I was losing control. My mind was unable to restrain or reign in my response to the pain. It was excruciating. I asked Kyle to rinse out the tub for me (Bailey, the puppy, loves to play in the tub when she’s not having a bath.). Not knowing what else to do he did so quickly. I climbed in before the water got more than a few inches deep. I sat with my back to the spigot and the water turned hot. I was so tired I kept falling asleep.

I don’t know why I didn’t use the heating pad. That’s what it’s for really. That and the big ice packs. I think when the pain becomes so great that we can no longer think clearly. Also being Bipolar I’m not always prepared for nor able to deal with such pain. I was so drowsy. I walked close to the wall so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs. Finally I realized I’d not taken anything for my back all evening because I was feeling better. I jumped the gun.

I keep a record of when and what and how much of each drug I take during the say so I don’t over or underdose. I was way under.

Today I asked Kyle if he’d ever seen me like that, in that much pain. He hadn’t. I told him how this was only some of the pain I have been in. If it had been any worse I wouldn’t have reclined my chair because I knew I would break it. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. I know he is starting to understand.

This, this is Kyle in the first grade. Today he is a sophomore at UWT (University of Washington at Tacoma)

I’ve tried to hide my infirmities from my kids as they’ve grown up. The fits of anger and depression, the aggression and the manias… I couldn’t hide them all the time. Maybe never. I’m not sure. Today all three are remarkable individuals.

Raising them I was in constant physical and mental pain. I nearly lost myself. Today, for the first time in…. forever I put away the groceries anfter shopping and wasn’t in any pain. No pain in my physical body at all.

I had no idea how much pain I’d been in… until after some of it was gone.

It is my hope, that now that some of the chronic pain is alleviated my work to balance my mind will be more successful.

My friend, I have learned many lessons from this experience with ongoing pain. I didn’t know I was blinded by the pain. I didn’t know the pain made my mind, my Bipolar mind, more messy. If you experience other pain in your body that can be addressed, pain so great it alters your daily activities including you need to be doing with your kids. Myself… I couldn’t even stand long enough to cook. When coaching softball my pain was like a monster. I’m sure I wasn’t very effective. I cared a lot about those kids though. I just thought the pain was part of carting around sports equipment. I was wrong.

Consider your body… has it got a hold on your mind? On your Bipolar behavior?

Be well my friend.

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