Jul. 27th, 2001

My feet hurt... they really *hurt*.

They've bothered me for years. At first, it was a pang that struck when i stepped on my foot wrong or drove my car (manual) too long. Right in the ball of my foot--quick, fleeting. You'd think that feet with perpetually numb toes couldn't HURT this much, but they did. With time, it grew to happen when I was barefoot or when I wore any non-flat-soled shoe. I complained to my doctors as early as 1997. They brushed it off. "It's just fibro, it's nothing to worry about, wear better shoes."

Then it got to happening whenever I wore anything but sneakers (nice, supportive cross-trainers) or good walking boots (rockport, doc marten's). I asked for an eval. My doctor ignored me, choosing to focus on my ever-present food allergies. I totalled my car and ended up relying on mass transit and my feet.

It's been nasty. My feet always hurt--even when i wear good shoes--whether they're bearing weight or not. I have trouble falling asleep (yes, more trouble than the CFIDS and fibro normally cause). The pain wakes me up in the middle of the night/day/afternoon.

Two days ago, I finally saw a podiatrist. I had to beg my doctor to give me a referral and last week she finally caved. He rubbed my feet, poked them, prodded them, made them hurt a lot more... And he told me I probably have neuromas. He said that I need to go back to my physician and that she needs to order some tests (send me to a neurologist, rather) and prescribe some meds for the nerve pain. He felt that she needed to oversee the medication regimen, so he sent me on home that day.

He didn't do anything for me other than validate me. I felt so happy, I nearly cried. I rarely take pain meds, but I'm considering it now because nerve pain is so hard to ignore. I can cope with the fibro pain even if it means crying myself to sleep some nights. With nerve pain, I can't do that. The pain literally takes my breath away, the way fibro pain did before I grew accustomed to its omnipresent nature.

And the doc said I shouldn't have to live with this pain. He's right, I shouldn't, but some docs seem to disregard chronic pain--especially in young women. I'm tired of planning my schedule based on whether and when I have the stamina and pain tolerance to walk 30 feet to the bus stop. What's more, the neuromas can probably be FIXED, unlike CFIDS, fibro, and MCS. Somehow, I find that exciting.

I'm awake right now because I cannot sleep. I hate giving into the pain like this, but that's my life at times. Soon, I'll have to stand and go brush my teeth, remove my contacts, and wash my face. Then I'll crawl into bed. I might read a little. I don't know if I'll cry or not. I'm feeling happy because a doctor agees that my pain isn't all in my head. On the other hand, I'm still confused and distressed about yesterday's allergist visit. This reminds me why I quit going to doctors for a year or so.

Having a chronic illness is very overwhelming at times. I don't consider myself a strong and resilient person, but most other people do. I guess that's what happens when one refuses to let anything wear one down. I may pay for grocery shopping or museum browsing with pain and bedrest, but I *earn* those. If I'm going to be all achy, whiny, and tired no matter what, I'd rather have the impression that I've brought it upon myself. Yes, it's a fucked up form of empowerment. So it goes.

I have a love-hate relationship with crying. It makes my eyes feel good, my sinuses burst with pressure... It makes me feel weak, but helps vent pressure. There are times when I can't help it--thoughts of loss, sad movies, happy movies, dead animals. And there are times when I can't make the tears flow.

Tomorrow I'll go to the dentist and then hang out with a good friend for the evening. Boy is going to a concert with an old roomie, so he won't be around to entertain me. That's okay--Ive got other friends who love and understand me. ;)

We've dinner and a movie planned. I'm sure we'll be doing lots of walking, but I refuse to let this rule my life.

Someday, I'll learn how to levitate.
Screw self-pity. I'm making cookies.

December 2016

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