Inject Here, Manage There, Vocalize Now

Today’s post will be brief. My body hurts. I’m exhausted. I don’t feel like writing. However, it’s important that I give voice to myself and to other people suffering from chronic illness and pain.

Today I had 6 trigger point injections: two in my head, one in my left trap, one in my right trap, and two along my shoulder blade. While these are not the most painful injections I’ve ever had they are by no means a hayride. My body is swollen, tender, and tired. In a few days though it will be worth it because my pain levels will be lower. I have herniated discs in my neck that cause me horrible pain and limit my neck’s range of motion. I also suffer from migraines and low back issues, but this is for another time. I’m currently in the midst of a god awful spell of migraines that will not end. I’ve had a migraine every day since October 23. My migraine pills (Imitrex) make the headache go away, but once the medication wears off the migraine comes right back. I’ve had trigger point injections once in the past for my headaches and they worked so I thought I’d take a stab *get it? stab? ha!* at them again today.

Moving along.

Because I suffer from chronic pain and have low mobility I receive rides to my medical appointments via my state health insurance program, Masshealth. In theory, Masshealth’s ride program, Mart, is wonderful. In actuality though it’s a fucking nightmare. The majority of the time the vendors are late, many of them are rude, and sometimes the cars reek of cigarettes and the drivers will actually complain when I tell them they can’t smoke while driving me. Many of the drivers drive erratically and scare the hell out of me. They’re usually flipping through pieces of paper, talking on their cell phones, or driving way too damn fast for city traffic.  In some instances what should be a short trip home from an appointment takes 3 times longer than it should because of their ineptitude for scheduling. Then there is the music. Oh dear Goddess the music. The radio is either blaring loud to the point of triggering a migraine or it’s quasi tuned to an am station out of Guam that I am barely able to make out what is usually Russian amidst the crackles and static.  This is all if they even pick me up. I’ve missed doctors appointments because the vendors didn’t pick me up from my home. Some of my specialists take months to get into see. Doctors charge cancellation fees too. Thankfully my doctors have all been sympathetic and haven’t charged me any fees, but it’s ridiculous that I’ve been put in this situation. I’ve had to spend my own very limited resources to get home from appointments. I had to pay for a cab home from the hospital when I was on crutches and only 6 weeks post knee surgery in unbearable amounts of pain and barely able to stand all because the bastards didn’t pick me up.

Today’s asshole driver was 20 minutes late and complained when I sat in the front seat. This cretin kept me standing outside in the cold after I had all of those injections and when I said that the front seat was more comfortable for me he had the audacity to say that it wasn’t comfortable for him because his car was like his office.. I couldn’t get in the back seat if I wanted to anyway because he wouldn’t move his front seat up so that I could get in the back. He later picked up two other people so someone would have had to get in the front seat anyway! He didn’t get me home until an hour after my appointment and was horrifically unsafe while driving, and the cacophony (we’re talking three cell phones going off non-stop, him yelling into the phones, and the music rather loud) of that thoughtless sob’s car brought back the migraine that had finally gone away.

Oh, today I  also spent about 15 minutes on the phone with the pharmacy arguing over prescription refills because they can’t seem to be bothered to look in their computer for my remaining refills. I spent 20 minutes on hold with the dermatologist office today and 5 minutes repeatedly explaining myself to the answering service about how I need the nurse to call me because my face has become so dry, itchy, and uncomfortable that I use cetaphil moisturizing cream close to 10 times a day now. Trust me, this is not normal. That should make anyone else’s face look like a pepperoni pizza yet mine is still dry enough to bring to mind the Mojave. I tried to make an appointment with a second nutrionist-yes, now I’ll have two nutrionists-who specializes in eating disorders. I had other things to do today, but I just didn’t have time, or the energy, to take care of them all.

So why am I blogging rather than falling into bed? Because my pain and illness keeps my voice silenced. All of the above is just one day in my life. It’s not an unusual for me. Actually it was a light day simply because I only had one appointment. Last Wednesday I had four appointments in one day. Between feeling miserable every day and managing my health care I’m left with the barest semblance of a life. I don’t have a sense of recognition for my humanity. I have become simply a body to manage the upkeep of, similar to a car.

The voices of the ill, the disabled, and those who suffer from chronic pain are stifled for a wide variety of reasons, but simply keeping ourselves going can easily silence us.  I’m exhausted. I’m in a great deal of physical pain right now. I have a voice though and I’m expressing it here.

I’m  off for my hot date with a migraine pill, ice pack, and my oh so snuggly bed. Jealous? I thought so.

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