Discrediting Myself

I have a confession to make: I don’t listen to my body. Ever. I’m used to ignoring what my body is saying, because I feel like I need to. I subconciously pretend that I’m okay 24/7 because that’s the only way I know how to deal with this; by ignoring it. By not making appointments for myself when I probably should. I want to be Supermom, Superwoman, Super-everything and I feel that by confessing I’m in pain and actually doing something about it (like, booking a surgery or taking a break) will make me less than super. And that’s wrong, so very very wrong. I would never want Nolan to do that to himself, so why do I do it?

I have a chronic pain disorder, which means I’m in pain basically every single day. Some days, the pain isn’t all that bad. But there are days when it is all that bad, when it’s hard to motivate myself and move around. I’ve been having a lot of bad pain days lately, even typing out this blog post today is painful. My hands, which are fusing, are simply not cooperating. I have to keep taking breaks, correcting my mistakes that I’m making more and more frequently because my hands don’t seem to be able to listen as well as they once did.

This is also why my house is getting away from me. Laundry is piling up, I’m not as on top of things as I was a few months ago. I let dishes sit in the sink for longer periods of time because washing the dishes almost always hurts my hands. The laundry is piling up because I simply can’t do the stairs a billion times each day. Even just folding laundry hurts.

I have a lot of guilt, guilt that I can’t keep up with “simple” chores, guilt that I can’t get down onto the ground to play with Nolan for any length of time, guilt that I have to put down my sleeping baby when all I want to do is cuddle him while he snores away. Guilt that my patience is wearing thin because I’m in pain all the time and I’m tired of being in pain.

Breastfeeding is taking a lot out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I’m not about to quit. But it’s hard for me, it’s hard to hold Archer while he nurses. It’s hard to find comfortable positions for us both, especially now that he refuses my right side more often than not. Archer seems to want to be held by me and only me all the time. Sometimes I can put him down, when he’s out cold and when I can pass him off to Matt (if Archer allows it). But in addition to wanting to be held by me all the time, he wants me to bounce/rock/move with him. All the time. And it’s hard.

When ever I say this out loud, I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m “complaining” about this. And it’s not that I’m complaining…well, maybe I am, but it’s not like that. It’s like this: I want to hold him all the time, I want to breastfeed comfortably, I want to keep my house clean and I want to play with Nolan on the floor. And when I can’t do those things, I feel bad. Horrible, even.

Back before I had kids, if I was having a bad pain day, I’d simply go lay down. I’d call in sick for school or work and I’d allow my body the time it needed to rest up a little, so that the pain wouldn’t be so exhausting to deal with. Now that I’m a mother I can’t really do that. I don’t let myself. I let the guilt push me and drive me. And that’s not good. I know that, I do. I know that I need to give myself more breaks, I know that I need to take care of myself. But lately I’ve been requiring a lot of breaks and I feel bad for that. I’m constantly worrying that Matt will think I’m a burden to him, and I know he doesn’t and wouldn’t, but it’s hard to tell that voice in the back of my head that.

I heard from Dr. W’s office today, they want me to get an x-ray of my hands and send the disc up to them as soon as possible. I’m picking up the forms from my family doctor’s on Wednesday. I’m pretty impressed with Dr. W’s office, my family doctor only sent out the referral on the 11th so that’s pretty quick and I’m thankful. I can feel my hands getting worse and worse with each passing day. I’m worried Dr. W won’t be able to fix them though. When I saw the orthopedic surgeon in this town, he told me my hands were beginning to fuse and that there wasn’t anything that could be done about that. My ankle is fused and it hurts constantly, I can’t walk uphill unless I literally have my foot turned sideways. So, I’m scared about my hands. I use them for so much…or try to, anyway.

I feel guilty when I write blog posts like this, where I “focus” too much on the not so awesome bits of my life…but I need to get out somewhere. I really do. I keep this (my pain) a secret, or try to anyway, and I should stop doing that. I discredit my own pain, and then when others don’t realize I’m actually in pain and I get mad at them for not knowing, it just creates a huge, unnecessary mess. I need to admit to myself, and others around me, that I’m hurting. I need to find a way to manage the pain that works a little better than simply trying to ignore it.

Although, these two are pretty good pain killers…

(when they aren’t driving me nuts that is).
I know this post doesn’t make a lot of sense, my mind is very clouded with pain and frustration today. I just needed to get something out, to try and explain what I’m feeling. Basically? I’m sore, incredibly sore, and I’m tired of always being sore. I’m tired of not living up to [my own] expectations. I’m worried about the future of my hands. I’m worried about Nolan, about his future with this ugly beast of chronic pain and depression, because depression does walk along side chronic pain – a different kind of depression, but it needs to be recognized. This kind of depression gets you when your pain levels are super high.

About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in Instagram junkie, living with chronic pain, me, MHE, pain, pictures, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Discrediting Myself

  1. Tierney says:

    I know it probably doesn't help but you're not alone- I, and many, many others live with chronic pain. I dont always meet my own expectations. I wish I wasn't so sore. I wish I could go to class without having to lay down before the next one. I wish it wasn't so sore & exhausting to work out. I wish, I wish. Don't beat yourself up. You have two awesome little boys that you love like crazy and that's what they need- more so than a clean house. Take care of yourself, rest when you need to & follow up with your doctors. Being proactive is going to give you (and the boys) a better quality of life. I know that medicine isn't an option when breast feeding but try a heating pad to rest the muscles & joints. Research natural pain remedies. Even if the relief is short lived, it will help give you a boost of energy. Most, most of all, take care of yourself. Your boys will learn by example and you want them to take care of themselves. By teaching them it isn't always easy, but if you're determined it can happen, you're giving them the best lesson of all. Sorry for the novel, but chronic pain is so near & dear to me that I wanted to help out. It's all going to be okay.

  2. Courtney B says:

    I am SO sorry you have to endure the pain 😦 And don't feel bad at all about this post. Nothing to feel guilty about. We all have our bad days and sometimes we just need to let it all out.
    Praying for you!

  3. Andrea says:

    You're one of my many MHE heros!!!!!

  4. Sam says:

    You should try and take Archer to the chiropractor to see if he will nurse on your right side again. Sometimes babies get a little locked up. It never fails, I take A to the chiropractor and everything is PERFECT.

  5. I don't have a chronic pain disorder, but I found that my wrists and arms hurt from breast feeding too, until I got a “My Brest Friend” pillow. It really helped me!

  6. You really shouldn't neglect yourself. I'm glad you're taking the steps to take care of yourself. Because if you wear yourself out, what good are you to your kids?

  7. jessi ♥ says:

    Thanks hun. Why DO we set up such high expectations, anyway? I know what you mean about the working out bit. I want so badly to “get in shape” but doing so is extremely painful. I need to get a heating pad, I really do. I want one of those electric blankets. I'm always afraid to research natural pain remedies because I'm afraid I won't be able to afford them. And no worries, your novels are always welcome here ❤

  8. jessi ♥ says:

    Thank you Courtney!

  9. jessi ♥ says:

    Aww thanks Andrea, you're too sweet 😉

  10. jessi ♥ says:

    Chiropractors totally freak me out, I had a really bad experience with one when I was a teen 😦 plus it's not covered and unfortunately we can't afford it 😦 however, it is a good suggestion. Maybe I can give it a go once the numbers are there for it!

  11. jessi ♥ says:

    I have a breastfeeding pillow, but the thing drives me nuts! It never seems to stay in place and he always slides underneath it lol. I'm going to google this “breast friend” pillow, maybe it's shaped differently from the one I have or something.

  12. jessi ♥ says:

    I know I shouldn't neglect myself *hits hand* you're right, very right. Hence the guilt 😦

  13. Liz says:

    I've been putting off x-rays and blood work for… a while now. The medical merry-go-round is exhausting all on its own, never mind being in pain on top of it! *hugs*

    Do you have one of those Boppy pillows? When I babysat my cousin and fed her, that thing was my best friend. Whenever I have my own babies, I'm going to take out stock in those things.

  14. jessi ♥ says:

    I have a Boppy pillow too, only it usually slides out of position. And it is an exhausting merry go round! Need to cut this reply now cause SOMEBUNNY is crying lmao! Every time I sit down. Sigh

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