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I’ve Still Got My Health?

I have health issues. Epilepsy, which is fairly well controlled by medication; major depression; chronic migraines; RLS; fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder. The one causing the most problems these days is the fibromyalgia. In Portland’s wet and damp weather, my body hurts all the time. The last few weeks, the has gotten increasingly worse. Day by day, my body seems to be turning against me.

I no longer have words for this pain. It has gone far beyond aching, stabbing, throbbing. It is constant, as present as breath, a companion I neither asked for nor want. Like that one person at the party who won’t shut up, or they guy at the bar who refuses to take a hint, this pain has latched onto me, and is staying for the night.

I woke up this morning, swung my legs out of bed, stood up, and crumpled to the floor. The pain was so bad I couldn’t stand; all I could do was lay on the floor and cry, as my cat looked at me in confusion. After a few minutes, and with help, I hauled my sorry ass back into bed, where I slept for another hour. Upon waking up again, I tried to have a simple cup of coffee; the pain in my arms was so bad that I couldn’t lift the cup, let alone the coffee pot.
Once upon a time I went out of the house, had friends who I actually saw in the real world, dated, had sex, had a job, had fun. These days, the very idea of sex causes pain. I seldom leave the house because I don’t have the energy. This week I will have to go to the doctor, and that relatively short trip is more than I can bear. Two buses across town, then two more to get home; just the idea hurts. I can barely stand the pressure of clothing on my skin some days; some days a shower is as painful as being whipped. I would love to be out in the world again, the idea scares me. Just a simple trip to the market is exhausting; how would I ever make it in the workplace again? How on earth would I be able to get myself ready for a date when I can barely get out of bed? The whole idea scares me, makes me tired. Depresses me. It is easier, safer, certainly less painful, to stay here in my chair, in my room, and read. Watch television. Surf the internet.

In two weeks I have a hearing with Social Security to decide if my disability appeal will be denied. I was granted disability based on my epilepsy, which, at one point was so bad I could not work. The seizures are under control, for now, and the government, in their infinite wisdom (I need a sarcasm font!) has decided I am cured! Nope. I am hoping, praying, that they will see that  A) my epilepsy isn’t gone, and B) there are so many other things wrong that prevent me from working that the seizures really don’t even matter now! I can only hope I get a judge with a compassionate heart and a brain.