To that end, I have arranged a series of counselling sessions. I went to one last week and I think it might have been helpful. The counsellor again assured me that the grief I was experiencing was totally normal in the circumstances, even if I hadn’t experienced all of the life stressing events of the last few years.
This time around I told him of my mental health diagnoses and my physical health issues. Last time they hadn’t been mentioned, purely because I was too sad to even think beyond the immediate situation, let alone give a history. He asked a few clarifying questions and told me that I was extremely well balanced and aware and that he felt I was doing amazingly well on my own, given the day to day problems I had. I didn’t exactly need his validation but it did make me pause to reflect on the issues that are my day to day normal, which I don’t usually see as hardships but which potentially are really hard things to deal with.
One of the questions he asked, in relation to my arthritis diagnosis, was about how much pain I was in on a day to day basis, on a scale of 1 -10. I had to pause to think about it because pain is a normal thing for me; my response was ‘anything from 3 to 9’. I usually don’t dwell on it too much but there is some degree of impairment every day and most of the time I suck it up and don’t medicate: years of this have aggravated side effects of anti-inflammatories and I don’t want to take opioids because of the tolerance factor.
Mine is an auto-immune disease and stress aggravates auto-immune diseases; this past week it has been very bad, with yesterday being extreme. There is so much around my house that I haven’t done because even walking is extremely painful and bending right out. Sadly, my one good choice of pain killer (rectal anti inflammatories -rectal to bypass the stomach side effect issues and for higher dosages and more immediate relief) hasn’t been an option. I can’t reach the area to administer and I am still at the stage I won’t ask my husband to administer.
I’ve long believed that the mind is an important aspect of control of pain and I do wonder whether actually acknowledging my pain to a third person led to lack of control of it. I hope I can get it under control: this next week involves a lot of driving and lifting and generally being functional; none of which I currently am.