The Return of the Skewer of Death and Other News: Day 83 of Medical Leave

A while back, when I was trying lamely to explain what fibromyalgia pain feels like, I mentioned that I almost always felt as if there was an invisible metal skewer piercing my right ankle, making a nice little ankle kebob for me to carry around in case I need a snack. Well, like most of my body pain, that skewer has been gone since mid-March or so. Until about an hour ago.

I noticed the presence of the skewer when I got up from reading and started to get ready to go return some library books. How odd, I though. The skewer is back. Then I dropped my keys on the way out the door and bent down to pick them up, and Oh my holy hell the skewer the skewer holy shit! That was some serious pain. As I walked down the stairs to the car, the pain was so bad that I actually felt nauseous.

The strange nature of this pain is that it completely disappears when I am not moving. When I’m sitting down as I am right now, I can’t even make it hurt by poking at it. But if I were to get up and walk the three feet to the refrigerator right now, I would be in agony. And like all fibromyalgia pain, it doesn’t come along with any discoloration or swelling or anything to make people believe you when you say it hurts.

On that note, I would say that overall my last week has been one of backsliding and setbacks. Last Monday I was so exhausted for no particular reason that I couldn’t get out of bed to go to my doctor’s appointment at 3:30 pm. Granted, I didn’t really want to go back to this doctor anyway – the one who routinely makes me wait between one and two hours and then enters into her computer that I’m constipated. If I thought I might have been able to get some actual help, maybe I could have gotten out of bed. Then by Thursday my neck, arms, shoulders, and chest all ached, just like they did back in the old days. On Saturday, I told my acupuncturist that I was having increased pain, and she made some adjustments in the placement of the needles. About an hour or so after I got home, I sank into an incredible depression. The whole world slowed down, and I just stared out at it from behind my eyes with a constant and implacable sadness. I wasn’t sad about anything – if anything I was grateful for the nice spring weather and the fact that I didn’t have anything I had to do – but just intransitively, existentially sad.

And then today, the skewer.

In other news, I will be returning to work on a limited basis beginning next Monday. Next week, I’ll come to school from roughly 8 am to 3 pm to work in my office, catching up on book orders and other paperwork, beginning to look at resumes for an opening in my department, and working ahead on lesson plans. The goal is not to get any specific tasks done, really – just to reacquaint myself with the routine of being at work all day. Then from May 7-15 I will be administering AP tests in the mornings and some afternoons. In no case is this hard work, but again, it’s about seeing how my body can handle the demands of living on a schedule again.

Is News Item #1 a direct consequence of News Item #2? Of course it is!

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5 Responses to The Return of the Skewer of Death and Other News: Day 83 of Medical Leave

  1. I do so hate this disease. Hope the skewer finds a bottle of wine to open soon and gets out of your body!

  2. Tara says:

    Oh dear–I was wondering how you were doing, and as you did, I wondered as I was reading if the idea of going back to work is bringing the pain on. My friend Mike always says stress can have weird consequences on the body. But then on the other hand, disease is a mystery–and it may not have a thing to do with anything we could come up with in our minds. There could be no reason for any of it. Sometimes I swear this stuff is totally beyond this world. Anyway–it doesn’t matter really–this is probably my argument with myself. I am so bummed for you–and sad. Maybe it’s just a bump in the road though. That happens, yes? I had acupuncture yesterday and it hurt so bad! He put needles in the arch of my foot, and now I have bruises there. OMG–what is up with that?? My foot is better though. Crazy weird.

    • lfpbe says:

      I got bruises at my last acupuncture treatment too – several of them – this was the treatment that also left me with the depression. It has never happened before. Are you going to keep going with the treatments?

  3. Tara says:

    Oh yes–I’ll continue. My foot is so much better in just two treatments. I have always been a bit baffled w/ the results of acupuncture, and this guy specializes in pain. I’ll do anything to run I guess, or almost anything.

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