The Prison of Pain

Posted: April 30, 2013 in The Journey Called LIFE

Most people wouldn’t guess by looking at me that I was in the military, four years active in the U.S. Army. I think back to when I was nineteen, so athletic and strong. There wasn’t a sport I didn’t play, and I miss that so much.

The truth is, I have been dealing with chronic pain since 2002, only a few months after joining the military everything I did made my body hurt. Only a year after joining the military my body was falling apart, spells of paralyzing pain and immobility that soon lead to me being medically discharged.

Being a “Gimp” in the Army is highly frowned upon, and immediately you are seen as lazy, or unwilling to pull your weight…which was very hard for me to swallow. All the activities I loved had been ripped away, and with no reason as to why. Hundreds of scans and tests left me angry and constantly battling with spells of depression and anger as to why this was happening to me, and why I couldn’t get an answer.

Ten years went by without any reasoning behind why I was in so much pain, or why my body continued to fall apart, and then came rock bottom. Early this year my hands started to swell, my arms locked up, my entire body became stricken with horrible pain and my muscles began to grow lame.

I had already given up all the many physical activities I had enjoyed, but now I was unable to draw or paint, as an artist this broke my heart and sucked me into the worst depression I had ever known. At this point the thought of dying was so comforting as I could barely walk on my own, being carried around and assisted to get dressed was so humiliating, and I didn’t know how much more I could take.

As strong willed as I was I gave into the need to change my life or lose it, so I sucked up my pride and sought out help from the VA, probably the best decision I was referred to a Rheumatologist, brought in by wheel chair it was no surprise he called me an “Inviolate”, and said I was the absolute worst case he’d ever seen. After ten years of dealing with horrible chronic pain I was diagnosed with Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (Autoimmune Disorder).

Finding out the answer I had been seeking for so long was such a relief, but also bitter sweet as this disease has no known cause or cure. This was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life, and I would never be the active athlete I once prided myself in being.

Placed on the strongest regimen of medicine possible, I became severely ill in the beginning. Horrible migraines, constant vomiting, irritability, and fatigue among many other things. It’s been a few months, and slowly things are getting better. I have good days and bad days, and just face this life long disease one day at a time…

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