Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On a scale of 1-10...

I hate the 1-10 scale. Now, I do think I've got more of an engineer's or scientist's thought process; I analyze situations based on logic, I like things in spread sheets, and the only creativity I have comes out through another instrument... But on a scale of 1-10? I'd prefer colors. Or fruit. Or weather. If you've ever been to the hospital or doctors, you know what I'm talking about. "What's your pain on a scale of 1-10?" "Does THIS hurt?" You know what doc, if I pushed on your gut it'd probably hurt, too. I feel like I complain a lot. Sorry, my ridiculous emotions don't help!
Ugh, emotions. Every time I see my doctor in Cleveland, I have to fill out a paper beforehand keeping track of my symptoms based on a 1-10 scale of frequency and severity. Out of all of them, the cognitive and emotional sections bother me the most. Maybe it's just an ego issue. I hate to let this get in my head too much. I feel like that would be the ultimate defeat. Before this, I thought I'd be the last person to ever experience depression or anxiety. Honestly, I would even think of that as a sign of weakness. Like addicts who damage their body... They had to take that first step. I know there is some psychoanalytical shenanigans and predispositions in the chemical make-ups in their brain and such, and I'm sure addicts' lives probably suck worse than mine. I'm in absolutely no position to judge, but I'm just being honest with my thoughts. I had no choice. I had no say. I can't even tell you what exactly caused this! It's one of my worst fears to ultimately lose control- physically or emotionally. I keep reading about the emotional turmoil that patients like me should be going through, but I truthfully don't experience that.  I don't believe that credit can go to me.
I am so beyond thankful everyday for the people I have in my life. The conversations I've had with patients like me have been so mind-boggling sometimes. One tried hiding this disease from everyone, including her family! I can't imagine doing this on my own. But I have almost expected doctors to have no clue what's wrong with me. Every other patient I've met has been to a ridiculous amount of doctors like I have. While I've made a few friends with ME/CFS through the clinic, my healthy supporters try to understand and they help me so much. I feel like these angels make such a difference. Whether you're religious or not, I feel like you'd have to believe in something. Even when my brain is complete chaos and it feels like my body is spiraling ahead of me- I have to focus on something. Sometimes someone. Sometimes, all I can focus on is tomorrow. I can hope that tomorrow will be better. But the fact that I had no choice makes me believe that there has to be a reason, or this would just be a waste! 
While this is considered the lowest point of my young life so far, there have been many positives out of this situation. I've found out who my real friends are. I've deepened my relationships with some of those incredibly. I've met some wonderful and inspiring people. I really appreciate life and living so much more. I never thought I'd have to concentrate on getting my legs to climb a flight of stairs. I climbed those dam steps (pun slightly intended). When I got to the top, all I could do was cry. I wasn't even focused on my trembling legs, I just didn't feel trapped for once. I wasn't hooked up to a stupid machine, I wasn't swallowing or injecting medicine I have to plan my day around, I just did it. Now, the after effects were rough... But those moments like that are worth it. It's my relationships with others that make this so worth it. 
I now understand why they say laughter is the best medicine. I'll admit my humor can be a little bitter and sarcastic, and sometimes it's not that funny when I joke about my health... But it's just liberating to just laugh at the situation. Thank you for those who make me laugh and tolerate my sense of humor, because on a scale of 1-10, it's like a rotten tomato. 

1 comment:

  1. My mom shared your blog with me (I think she got it from a Facebook group) and it's really good! I think we have experienced some of the same things but I just had to comment on this one, as I have never encountered someone who hates rating symptoms on a scale of 1-10 as much as I have. It really is the worst.

    I also really get what you're saying about not wanting to lose control of yourself. When I first got sick I didn't know what was wrong or if I was going to die, but that didn't freak me out near as much as the time I was so tired I decided to cut my own hair. haha