Can Pain Kill You?

Can pain kill you? According to the responses from my Google search, yes, it can.

Can Pain Kill You

Some days, like today, I feel like my pain might kill me. I know that might sound over-the-top, but if you’ve never experienced debilitating pain, there’s no other way for me to describe it. When I used to get frequent blinding migraines or my monthly menstrual cramps made it impossible for me to get out of bed, I always took comfort in knowing that those pains would eventually end. Now, with this pain, there is never any relief. There is no day on the calendar or time frame after taking medication that I can look forward to because they mean there will be an end to the pain threatening to split my skull open or implode my reproductive organs. The pain radiating from deep in the right side of my pelvis, out towards both hips, down both legs, and up my back has no schedule or half-life to which I can look forward in anticipation of relief.

Some days, like today, the pain is so unbearable; walking, standing, or even sitting still, hurt so badly I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what to do with this anxious energy racing through me that probably adds to the frenetic activity within my nervous system and amps up the pain. I don’t know how to make myself comfortable when I sit because no surface can ever be soft enough against my aching tender skin. While just the thought of trying to rub and massage the hurting parts of myself makes me cringe and nauseated to the point of wanting to vomit.

If the pain, like the type of pain I feel, can kill a person by pushing them to suicide, I can understand why. I’m not, by any means, contemplating ending my life, but I’m uncertain about how long – it’s been three years already – I can live like this not knowing when or if I will get any pain relief. How long can I continue to accept being characterized as a “mystery patient” by my doctors who can’t pinpoint why my body is still reacting, to a growth that is no longer in my pelvis, before it becomes too much to bear? A psychological episode most likely will not be what brings my life to its end. It could very well be the stress of constant pain on my body that makes my blood pressure boil over, causing a stroke, or my blood could become poisoned by the copious amount of opioid pain medications I take, leading my organs to start to fail. Que sera sera…

I know none of this is helpful or optimistic, but this is where my pain sends my mind on days like today when I hurt so badly I don’t know what to do with myself.

 

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10 thoughts on “Can Pain Kill You?

  1. Living with such extreme pain every day myself, I can entirely comiserate with days like you are experiencing today. I’m so very sorry you also suffer so terribly, never knowing how long it will last, hoping it would ease just a little… There is nothing to say but the old “hang in there” — it’s terrible and an awful cliché, but there is really nothing we can do about such pain except be more stubborn than it and wait it out, until those moments of some relief comes. I feel such empathy when reading about someone else who suffers so much. You are certainly not alone and I wish you luck in being able to cope with it. Keep strong… 🙂

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    • Thank you 🙂
      The “hang in there” never feels cliché when it’s sincere, and like you I don’t like knowing that others out there are suffering in the same way I am.
      Sometimes the worst part is not the pain itself. It’s not knowing when it will end and no one seems to be able to even guess at that.
      I hope you’re having a day where you can cope with your pain 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Two weeks is a long time to deal with company, no matter how charming and delightful. You pushed yourself past your limits. Your body has rebelled. Are you sure you really know your limits? Because I think your body is trying to teach you a lesson.

    Some of your energy is being used to constantly wonder when the pain will end — something that seems out of your control, kinda like lightning and thunder. Fighting against things that are out of your control can make the pain worse. And sometimes, acceptance can work like a drug.

    You have to be angry. I’m angry for you. It seems like such a small thing to have company for a couple of weeks. Was it worth pushing yourself past your limits? Only you can say.

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    • As always, I appreciate your perspective. However, my cousins left more than 2 weeks ago, and I get pain spikes whether I’m active or not. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to my confounding pain condition. I landed in the ER a month before they got here (http://wp.me/p5JzjS-kG) and I hadn’t engaged in any excessive activity then.
      But I have to agree with you that a lot, not just some, of my energy is still constantly focused on “when the pain will end” and it’s still hard after all this time for it not to be because I had plans for my life that have been put on the back burner indefinitely and being housebound so much of the time is maddening.
      I also appreciate your anger on my behalf :). It makes me emotional when I think of all the people in my life who have invested themselves in my well-being and are constantly offering their support to me – even my virtual friends 😉
      To answer your question about whether it was worth it to have company for two weeks: Yes. It felt good to have people sharing my home and hanging out, even when we did nothing on the days I scheduled for rest. Having daily human contact with people I love was wonderful 🙂

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      • I’ve tried to track my pain levels for 30 years and I still can’t figure it all out. Sure, I know certain things can increase my pain, but sometimes there isn’t any reason for a pain storm. Chronic pain doesn’t get better or worse on a schedule.

        Acceptance for me was to stop trying to control something that was uncontrollable. It’s like trying to control another person or trying to control the weather. All we can do is be prepared with a big umbrella, rubber boots, and a raincoat.

        I’m glad to hear that you received treatment at the ER. If you lived in the states, things would’ve been a lot different.

        Your case is a mystery, which makes it interesting to me, but I assume there will come a time when your doctors will not find it so interesting. It’s hard to advocate for yourself, especially if you don’t know which direction to go in. I guess you’re at the point where you might try something like ketamine treatments, but that’s not a cure or anything. And I know you want to find a cause.

        You might think about getting your DNA tested for things like how you metabolize medications. This is a story about a patient with that kind of genetic defect:

        http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=16776

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Gratitude and Creativity: Death Comes | My Small Surrenders

  4. I’m so sorry your going through this. Thank you for writing honestly about your experience. I have a friend who’s suffered from constant migraines since I’ve known her (6 years now), and it’s only in the last year that she found something (botox injections in the base of her skull/back of her neck) that really helps after weaning herself off pain meds that wiped out her memory of most of a year & that never made the pain go away entirely. This post has helped me better understand what she’s gone through & is still going through – thank you.

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