Let’s get SUPERBETTER!

So, we want to get better, right? Who doesn’t! Well, Jane McGonigal thinks she can help us. Check out her TEDTalk and let me know what you think.

http://youtu.be/lfBpsV1Hwqs

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

SYLVIA PLATH, The Bell Jar

Death must be s…

Like an onion…

Has it really been a year since I last wrote? I guess it has. At the time, I was a bit hopeful. Since then things have taken a turn negative turn. As I mentioned, my physical therapist and my neurologist both believe much of my pain and my migraines stem from Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I was doing physical therapy for it, but even with insurance, that is really too expensive to sustain. Massage also helps, but same problem. That is why the mainstay in my treatment plan for the past year has been muscle relaxers. I’ve fought against the idea of being chronically tied to muscle relaxers to treat my condition, but in the absence of any other solution that really works with my current budget… muscle relaxers it is.

With them I was down to a mere seven to eight days of horrible head aches per month… trust me, that is an improvement! But then I developed a chronic cough. First I thought it was my asthma. Sure, I know it had been years since I’d really had a problem, but… out came the albuterol and all of the other asthma related meds. But the cough persisted. Next step, antibiotics… but the cough persisted… a different inhaled medication… no help… a visit to a pulmonary specialist… and the verdict was… “there is no problem that we can see” – AH!!!!! I wanted to scream.

I went back to my GP, and he suggested that it might be silent reflux. Okay, so I go home and start reading up on that and guess what? It can be caused by taking muscle relaxers. Can you cue a loud scream right here? Since the cough had gotten so bad it was making it hard for me to do my job at work (and was often causing me to vomit), I decided to try to temporarally stop taking the muscle relaxers. Did this help… unfortunately it didn’t. Instead it just sent me into a tail spin. Now I am on week five of a head ache. The constant pain has me on edge. I’m depressed, irritable, and exhausted.

A little joy…

I used to play the viola.

Used to.

You see, one day I was told that if I wanted to rid myself of the jabberwocky, I would have to do away with my viola playing.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal. I’d only started playing as an adult, and I wasn’t even really all that good at it. Nonetheless, playing the viola gave me a joy that few other things gave me, and when I had to stop playing I felt like I had once again suffered a great loss at the hands of the beast.

I tried the guitar, but soon I found that it too was problematic. (sigh)

I was ready to add “making music” to the list of things that the Jabberwocky had taken from me when I decided to try one last thing. The piano.

Fortunately, being the wife of a musician, I already had a piano in the house, so it was just a matter of setting aside some time, sitting down, and getting down to the business of learning this new instrument, and guess what?! Well, it is too soon to declare victory, but I have managed a week of piano playing without any problems that I can clearly relate to playing!

Mind you, I have to keep it short and take constant breaks, but… but… is that music I hear?

There are so many things…

The past week has not been a good one for me.  I’ve had a headache on and off now for over a week. While it has frustrated me to suddenly be in the embrace of the Jabberwocky once more, what has been even harder is seeing how it has impacted my life.  With pain I may be able to drive to work, to go through the motions of teaching a class, to prepare a test, to engage in small talk, but all of these things take so much more energy than they normally would! That means by the end of the day, when I reach my house, I don’t have much to give back to my husband.  He prepares my dinner, he watches what is left of me as I eat my meal.  We try to talk, but I am distracted and unengaged. My nerves are raw. I am fragile.

As hard as this is for me, I know it must also be hard for him. I know he agreed to “sickness and health”, but I don’t think this is the life he had in mind for us. I just wish I didn’t feel this way. I wish I were a healthier, happier, painfree version of myself. There are so many things I would do…