Or Trying to Find Inner Peace In An Unquiet Mind of a Chronically Ill Person
I’ve been in pain most of my life. In one form or another, my body has attacked itself relentlessly for as long as I can remember. When I would describe to doctors how I felt, they would say it was all in my head or that I was addicted to a certain prescription. If only it had been that simple… I don’t want to take the medicines I take, I have to take them to function. As is, right now, I’m barely functioning. I can’t work, can’t even drive myself to the doctor, can’t do much more than stay in bed most days.
What’s wrong with me? The major issue at the moment is what my doctor calls an “extreme” fibromyalgia flare up. (I went to an endocrinologist just to be sure it wasn’t something screwy with my adrenals or pituitary, like Cushing’s.) I also have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, chronic migraines, arthritis that started when I was a teenager, and other autoimmune issues. What can I say? I’m blessed.
So the inner peace thing… My doctor was freaked out because of my cortisol levels. They were super high, which is why I went to an endocrinologist. Turns out the problem is stress and pain. Doc wants me to try to manage my stress levels. I’m a gifted worrier. It’s what I do best. I make neuroses an art form. And I’m supposed to become zen all of the sudden? Is she kidding? Every time I try to meditate I either fall asleep or have a panic attack. My mind is like a pit bull with its favorite chew toy, it will not let go. Next thing I know, it’s 3:45AM and I’m thinking about the stupid thing I said to a cute boy once in the fifth grade and feeling mortified. There’s no way I’m relaxing now.
That’s when I give up and watch some Netflix for distraction. I’m so glad that there are movies where people are more screwed up than I am.