The last post I wrote not only was a thank you to those of you that stick around and put up with my random mix of mostly nonsense but a hope that I would make it through two more days of holidays/ the weekend.
Obviously I’m still alive and kicking and Mr. Mango’s had a little change of attitude towards his time home. Though that second part is mostly due to almost a complete collapse of my physical being. Over the last 48ish hours, he’s not only seen how bad it can get when he’s not looking (or I’m hoping no one sees) but how much I have to fight to hide all of it.
It takes a lot, emotionally and mentally, to fake being well. Even more-so when it becomes rather standard or expected. At some point, it’s almost forgotten by others exactly what you’re dealing with on the inside under the make up, hair spray and forced smile. To be fair though, when you don’t really show your true pain all that often (or at all) you can’t really blame anyone for assuming it’s not that bad.
After all, you wouldn’t see someone who just broke their leg in three places smiling for the camera, chatting away at a birthday party or slaving over a hot stove to make a meal. No, they’d be screaming in pain, sobbing quietly or well enough medicated that they’re completely zoned out into oblivion. That’s the difference between acute pain and chronic pain.
Those of us that experience re-occurring pain so often that it’s NORMAL aren’t in any less pain than someone who experiences it for the first time. We’ve just had to adapt to it, learn to cover it up and move on through life with it constantly there. Not just to hide it from others, if anything that’s only a small part of it. It’s because we just can’t live in a chronic state of that much trauma.
Enter in breakthrough pain.
Just when I think I’ve gotten this facade pretty under control, well at least enough that even Mr. Mango seemed to think this flare was better handled and medically treated than the last, the tide turns and all the wounds feel fresh.
I have spent the last couple days feeling like death (or rather, almost wishing it to take me). Like every part of my body has decided to attack all at once from my mind-splitting migraine down to the swollen and burning muscles on the bottom of my feet and everything in between. I have spent my nights awake, tossing and turning, most days in and out of the bathroom due to nausea and erm… unfulfilled urgency, and still any time in between trying my best to not let all of it show out in the open.
Thankfully I managed to not completely fall apart. We had easy going company over Saturday night and somehow manage to go out for 1 1/2 hours on Sunday without any traumatic experiences and to be honest, those few moments of ‘normal life’ are all that kept me going.
It’s not that I like constantly hiding what’s going on. It’s not that it’s always easy to smile and nod when having to brush off a painful grunt, an extra long bathroom trip or a refusal to eat a tasty treat. It’s not even that I care about the judgement or pity I’d receive if others knew exactly what I go through.
It’s that I need a good laugh. It’s that I need to make new memories with my kids. It’s that I need to have fun with my partner. It’s that my life has to be about something more than my piece-of-crap-fall-apart-body and what it’s putting me through.
The last months have been full of a shit load of obligations (construction, appointments, family birthdays, doctor visits and more and more tests) and that’s about it. It’s taken almost everything I could muster to get through it and now I’m left a mess. This weekend was the worst I’ve felt in I don’t know how long, but it’s also the first time in months I’ve had a few moments of being part of something fun and fancy free.
Sometimes it’s NOT a fake smile, it’s a REAL smile even through the pain.