The past few weeks have been rough for me come nighttime. Things are all right during the day for the most part. But once midnight rolls around, pain comes out to play.
I feel like this chick is sneaking around somewhere. If anyone sees her, stake her for me, will you? (After I burn for EVER referencing the trash that is Twilight on my blog…*face palm of shame*)
For the past two weeks or so, I’ve been suddenly set upon by intense anxiety right around midnight each night. I become anxious, grumpy, restless, and otherwise moody. But when I try to pinpoint what could be causing these feelings, I come up with nothing. I sit with my journal and try to write through it, thinking there must be something buried deep in my mind that is causing me anxiety. Yet nothing comes to mind.
Around the time I decide to (try to) go to bed, the pain begins. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve had chronic pelvic pain going on four years now, but the calendar tells me it’s true. Stupid lady parts, thinking they own the place. But despite the fact that I have endometriosis (successfully surgically excised in 2014 with no recurrence to date) and probably adenomyosis as well, the actual cause of this particular pain is unknown. I have a theory, which I won’t go in to here.
Suffice it to say my right ovary likes to throw irresponsible raves without my permission, resulting in a pain level I’d call “hella.” I give her ibuprofen. I give her heat. I give her stinky hemp ointment. I give her a rub that could clear out your nostrils with its intense wintergreen and camphor scent. I zap her with electricity. She’ll listen to her pal oxycodone sometimes and turn the volume down to a dull roar. (I like to call it the “roar of four” because it takes the pain down to a four out of ten.) But she’s a needy little brat is what she is. By the time she calms down, usually at least three hours have passed and it’s the middle of the night.
But the pain doesn’t stop there. Oh no, of course not. Due to its proximity to my misguided ovary, my right lower back decides to join in, pinching and spasming until I finally give it some attention with the heating pad. Or the nostril-dilating rub. I’m assuming this pain is likely a result of involuntary guarding on my part due to the ovarian pain. I never notice when I’m guarding, but it’s something at least three different medical professionals have pointed out they’ve seen me do over the past four years.
And since I also probably have adenomyosis, there are times when my ovary is joined by my uterus in the fiesta del dolor since she’s not gainfully employed doing anything actually useful at the present time. Those two cause plenty of trouble on their own time, but put them together and it’s a whole other problem.
But after a long day of being bored, my left wrist then decides to express its displeasure. That’s an awfully random body part, isn’t it? Indeed it is, unless you have an “unspecified connective tissue disorder” like myself, which may or may not be hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) in development or a Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD). No one really knows and no one seems to care. Except my body, who knows exactly what is wrong, but is being coy about it.
My body instead gives me little hints to ponder, such as a painful wrist in which uncomfortable tension builds up from my wrist to my elbow and to relieve it, I must extend and then flex my hand, resulting in some uncomfortably crunchy snapping going on in my wrist. Sometimes the snapping is on the outside (ulnar side), sometimes the inside (radial side), and sometimes the middle, just to add some variety. There seems to be no pattern. I recall no injury, but the snapping has been happening for several (perhaps as many as ten) years. The wrist has been hurting for a few months now. It often feels weak, like it wants to be adventurous and make a journey out of alignment if I put weight on it. And then, lo and behold, the exact same problem, minus the pain and weakness, spread to my right wrist and elbow within the past year. I think my tendons and/or ligaments are extremely unhappy. So I subdue my wrist with a straitjacket (aka wrist brace) until it agrees to stop hurting. But it still continues to snap and pop all day. And it is often in a cranky mood when I wake up.
All of these things conspire against me to make sure sleep stays as far from me as possible. Any sleep I do get is shortlived and not restful.
It makes me wonder. Am I somehow anxious about the pain, even though my pain at the time the anxiety starts is tolerable? The pain is quite literally always present to some degree. It has been for four years. It bothers me, but it’s become a constant companion. I would be afraid I was nearly at death’s door if the pain suddenly disappeared on its own. So how could it be making me anxious?
I’m so tired but I hurt too much to be able to sleep. I’ll usually end up passing out around sunrise, but sometimes it’s not until much later in the morning. I wish there was more I could do about it, but I’m at a complete loss.