I wake up sore, like I overdid 3 workouts, and only less tired, a matter of degrees, than I did when I collapsed into bed. Heat helps some, mostly because it feels comforting and is a distraction. I scramble for distractions when pain, in a single area or in total, gets above 6.5 on a scale of 10. TV. Bejeweled. Solitaire. Crime. Anything.
Then there’s the hm? part, the continuation of The French Quarter Fest Incident. I had another, shorter, milder, Incident two Sundays ago, more or less. ["more or less" = all summer, I have had growing problems with brain fog and mental exhaustion, confusion, word recall, short-term memory, spelling, typing (never a strong suit) and dropping things. Repeatedly. I have about 4 hours of mental work in me a day, which includes reading, Writing, blogging, Facebooking, organizing, planning, deciding, analyzing, email reading and writing, annotating. If the mental work is intense, like organizing a 300+-page document or checking a document for plagiarism against sources, I have 3 hours. After that, I get loopy and become The Me I Have Become And Still Haven't Accepted.] I stood up, had that blurry feeling in my lower spine and legs, my vision tunneled, went black and I dropped to the chair, also dropping a Febreze bottle from my right hand. When my vision cleared, I felt a bit stiff and light-headed and Mister was giving me That Look, concern tinged with fear and urgency that I see what just happened as serious, worth attention and worth immediate attention.
“You dropped that, y’know,” he said.
The doctor said, hm? Still no clue. She suggested postural hypotension, and I do have on-the-low-side-of-normal blood pressure [a fine line, I know, between that and hypotension], but that’s different—instead of tunnel vision, I see colored spots, a small and sometimes growing percent of which are black, my face flushes like I’m going to throw up and the front of my head throbs once, maybe twice. Then the black spots clear and the colored ones vanish, too, and I realize I “stood up too fast,” something I still don’t know how to quantify and which no one has to my satisfaction. I suspect it’s connected to my lower back stiffness and constant aching, an aching that started this summer that feels constitutionally different than the usual fibromyalgia [FM] bullshit. What’s most different is the spine pain. My spine aches, sometimes at a 2, or a 5, occasionally an 8-pushing-9. It’s excruciating. No position is comfortable when your spine aches and when your spine aches you need comfort. What does it mean? Who the fuck knows. anything from arthritis to MS to muscle strain to shut the hell up.
I miss being able to read for hours without losing reading comprehension/short-term memory, or hurting more in an odd place like my chest from mental fatigue, or just hating being less than I was 4 years ago, when burning my candle at both ends and in the middle was the norm. I’m afraid what I value most, my mind, is…something. Different. Less. Limited. Brittle, perhaps.
Update, Oct. 2012: A treatment adjustment has given me much of my mind back, except for when I say things wrong and have no idea, like saying “sushi” when I mean “spring roll” and having no idea why The Girl is giving me the head-tilt huh? look. Pain, though, is a constant. Today’s isn’t severe, or steady, but it is consistently irritating. I have no idea what brain pathways and neurotransmitters tie pain and irritability together. Right now, that connection is twanging and vibrating all over my nervous system.