So I’ve had a lot going on since I first posted…I kept meaning to write but was either too busy or too exhausted. And I don’t mean tired in the traditional sense. I mean chronic-pain-can-barely-move tired. The issues that I’ve had for the past four years seemed to have worsened in spite of various doctors, treatments, meds and self- care.
The facet joint injections have solved my occipital neuralgia ( a sharp, persistent piercing headache in my right eye) but have done little for the constant throbbing, cracking, and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. That is constant now. It has gotten harder and harder to sleep, even with sleep meds. We did blood tests, so far auto-immune has been ruled out…next up is a rheumatologist. Fun!
Being young and unwell is the worst – while my peers are out partying, dating and furthering their careers I’ve been hanging out in waiting rooms, horizontal on the couch or nursing my sore body with body massagers, hot pads, and strategically placed pillows. I feel old, and at my worst I feel helpless and isolated. At a time when I should be in full career mode I’ve missed auditions, classes, networking opportunities and have relied on my artist friends for helping with projects; without them my resume would be getting stale.
Acting requires stamina, and involves long days in rehearsals or on set. My body can barely take it. I’m wiped after a weekend of performances and often spend the Monday after in bed, having to get twelve hours of sleep before crawling out of the covers. I want to support friends in projects, but feel hesitant to RSVP knowing I’ll be in too much pain to make it.
I used to love going to the movies and the theatre, but it’s nearly impossible to sit for too long- sometimes my lower back starts to scream. Not all of the theatres have lush seating! My movie pass gathers dust. I have a very intimate relationship with all streaming services. At least I have that for company…and my cats.
Being able to snuggle and chat with them keeps me from going completely bat shit. They may not answer me when I talk but at least I don’t have to invent an audience. They meow in response…sometimes.
Oh, and let’s not forget the bathtub. I live in my bathtub like Margot freakin Tennebaum. I’ve got a whole set up: neck support pillow, cushioned bath mat, a tub tray that holds a drink and a book (or iPad). I spent hours soaking in a boiling hot bath to relax my muscles, and it’s the only time ( besides when I’m asleep) that I don’t feel pain.
I’ve lost my appetite, some hair, loads of weight and a lot of what’s left of my sanity. I have also lost what few hours they were giving me at work, so I’ve started remote sales and dog walking when I can actually get out of the apartment. The debt is climbing and I don’t even have a diagnosis yet. Chronic fatigue? Fibromyalgia? We shall see. I have more appointments this coming week…
This fun (and unflattering) gadget helps to stretch my neck.