Sadly, my chronic pain is in full swing. All from the nape of my neck, to the shoulder blades, to my arms and calves, in my knees, and a migraine. 🤕 Fuck, even my face from the pressure of the migraine hurts. Even slept 10 hours and am still fatigued.
It is not so bad I need my cane to walk, but definitely may need it in the coming moments.
I can say for certain that even though I have a muscle relaxer prescribed to me, it does the bare minimum and only causes me to have an irregular heartbeat. This is definitely a turn in the opposite direction from what I had wanted it to be but shit happens. Hopefully I may be able to get up with a neurologist, if possible due to the global health pandemic. I do see my psychiatrist soon for my psychiatric conditions, which home alone, does make this worse.
Fibro flare ups can be one of the most debilitating thing to ever have happened to me, seconded from the constant panic attacks and flashbacks that cause me to be a major fall risk.
Luckily, this is my first day of three days off. Since I am a full-time college student, now moved to online courses because of the health emergency. So hopefully this flare up does not continue past these days like it is.
I do need to get some house chore stuff done, but this may set me back. 😪
I am very lucky and privileged to have a job in the food industry that keeps me, despite my chronic illness and psychiatric conditions. It has been hard to obtain any disability benefits because of my age, and I need to exhaust all options before it is considered. Which has been rough but I’ve been trying to push through it for years now.
My previous job before this, was not as kind. They had let me go in the height of my psychiatric journey. They feigned understanding what I was going through. Letting me know that it was alright if I had so many appointments in a given month. But let me go, stating that they weren’t sure they believed me, and that despite my qualifications from the community college with ServSafe certification. They stated I was no longer qualified. I disassociated constantly in the midst of food service, this had also been my first job, a sous chef also had the tendency of triggering flashbacks but because I do become selectively mute when panic attacks occur. I was never able to say how apologetic I was, that it happened like it did.
This is the thing.
Psychiatric disorders such as C-PTSD, takes an extensive amount of time to heal. Musculoskeletal disorders like Fibromyalgia, is not curable. As much as I understand that it can be hard for neurotypicals or individuals who may not have chronic illness or psychiatric conditions, to comprehensively understand what we are going through. It is important to take the time to understand those individuals and to accommodate them as seen fit. Because people like myself, who are chronically ill and still work, rely on a income even if the money produced is not great. Because it is harder for younger individuals with chronic illness to obtain any benefits. We are still individuals who need to pay bills, and are trying to get through the day as much as possible.
Which despite the fact that even my current job, is far from being perfect. I am lucky to have it. I may not get all the accomodations I need, I have fought long and hard to educate my employers and let them know what I need to survive this life.
Someone told me recently via comment, that I essentially was entitled and was not trying hard enough despite my immense obstacles, while only being paid my state’s minimum wage. I didn’t reply to them, I simply blocked them and waved goodbye. I won’t ignore the fact that while I may be privileged to have my job, don’t assume that I am not trying hard enough. It took me a year and 6 months of fake smiling, flashback induced panic attacks, and me hitting my head on the floor of my job to get me where I am now. I was solely a worker who just took phones and wrote down orders, never mind the fact that there was always a ‘Karen’ or a “Kyle” who screamed at me, cussed me, berated me, and who later once in the store would treat me like dirt. No person would later realize that I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, caused by years of neglect, abandonment, emotional abuse, and disdain and paranoia of confrontation, contact, and aggression. No matter how nicely I treated these customers, it is not rare to have at least a handful of people I can list at the top of my head that caused me to panic. It wasn’t until recently, finally having years of chronic pain answered with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, written notes to my boss about the months that have taken a psychological and physiological turn for the worse, and boom! I finally being able to do mostly cooking at the restaurant.
Don’t ever say to me or anybody else who has suffered from chronic illness who happen to be working, those with illness that may not be working but rely on a check that barely helps, or anybody suffering through hardships at their jobs period. That they are not trying.
Because I believe that all of us who suffer from these long chronic conditions that we are trying, we are doing our best, that they deserve to be believed in, that they deserve to have the quality of life that brings a smile to their faces and for a moment. That despite all of the pain they may be pushed through, they know that they are doing enough.
That is my TEDtalk.