grown ups are like that....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's all in my head. . .

It started with my knee many years ago in high school. It would ache and smart and generally bother me until I, finally, sought help through physical therapy in college. Unfortunately, I did not get any relief. A few years later I hurt my shoulder while doing archaeological field work in graduate school. The pain, like my knee pain, never resolved itself despite treatment. Then, a few years ago, my right leg began to hurt terribly from my hip to my foot aggravating my knee and an old injury to my calf. The pain forced me to stop running despite the fact that I had grown to really love it. A few months ago I hurt my left shoulder, and the pain was so intense that for a while it kept me up at night along with the pain in my hip, knee. leg, and right shoulder.

I finally had enough when a few dear friends encouraged me to seek help. I've seen my family doctor, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a reiki practitioner, a yoga therapist, a physical therapist, an orthopedic surgeon, and a back specialist. I've had countless x-rays, blood tests, three MRIs, two cortisone shots, and several courses of anti-inflammatory medication. Now all the test results are in and the results show. . .


I have some inflammation in my right shoulder and runner's knee (a term which really means: "your knee hurts and we don't know why"), but that is it. There is nothing damaged whatsoever.

Of course I'm immensely relieved to hear this, but I also feel. . . foolish and embarrassed.

The pain I've been feeling for years has no source and therefore no cure.

I've exhausted and annoyed my caregivers. The orthopedic surgeon finally told me (kindly, but firmly) after a long discussion about my knee and right shoulder that he didn't even want to discuss my left shoulder. He said that there was basically nothing to be done except perhaps more physical therapy. The physical therapist has not returned my call, but the last time I was there I could tell that she was frustrated with my odd array of issues. The back doctor left a message today that said that there is "nothing to explain your right leg pain."


Nothing is wrong. Nothing in my physical body is broken. So, if every aspect my my person is completely healthy then where does the problem really lie? The answer, I'm afraid, is difficult to admit.

Why am I writing about this in such a public forum? Because I, like my doctors, am exhausted, I am tired of hearing myself talk about it, and I fear answering direct questions regarding my situation now. I simply lack the energy and courage to say these words out loud to those who are bound to ask. So I've written about it here to head off any questions that may come my way.

I need to close this chapter and deal with this all in my own way now. I'll be working with my yoga therapist and my friend who is schooled in natural healing. I'm going to work on understanding the mental and (if there are any options left) physical origins of my pain and work on alternative ways to heal my mind and body.

I'm going to thank the universe every day for a sound body with no diseases or serious injuries plaguing it. I'm going to work on finding a way to make myself understand that I am in control of my body and my pain.

I'm going to move on.


flutter said...

acupuncture. and also, I love you

De said...

I know you want to move on, but I don't buy the "all in your head" thing. Just because they haven't found what is causing it does not mean you are imagining or manufacturing your pain. It just means that it is caused by something they can't see or aren't looking for. Yes, even in this modern age of medical miracles, there are things the doctors don't yet know. So there's nothing to fix to alleviate your pain (and yes, that's a great relief), then you still need to treat the pain. I think you are on the right track.

(I'll confess that one of the reasons I am so willing to be a donor for blood, marrow, etc., is because they test your donations. Maybe they'll catch something that I might miss.)

InTheFastLane said...

So frustrating!
Sometimes, though, the all in your head is just because they don't have the answers. I think you are right to keep looking for solutions, even if they are not mainstream, rather than just accept it.

Anonymous said...

No way, don't buy into "it's all in your head". I think that utilizing your resources, yoga, natural healing, NSAIDS as needed, etc., you will find relief. Just because the tests don't show anything, doesn't mean there aren't over used joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles etc. and / or injuries that aren't real. You know your body better than anyone. Don't lose hope. I think you have a pretty good grasp of your mind too. I know you. If I thought it was your mind I'd tell you. Be your best friend and continue to treat and listen to your body. I love you. K.

Aliki2006 said...

I agree with Anonymous--just because there isn't a obvious reason doesn't mean the pain is only in your head. Listen to your body, try yoga, natural healing, etc. but if the pain continues you deserve answers and help..hugs to you.