About seventeen years ago when I finally decided that constant pain was really worth mentioning to my GP he put me on an anti-inflammatory drug called Orudis (Ketoprofen) which is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID). One pill a day which suits a busy slacker like me (my son was about 1 at the time). He also said, "Welcome to middle age" which I thought was a bit rough seeing as I was only around 32 and most women live well past 64! The first few days this drug was like a miracle for me, for the first time I was pretty much pain free. Then, on about the third day, I got depressed... flat lined... no joy (even with my wonderful absence of pain) and started to cry... and cry... like a willow I wept! On around day five I went back to the doctor who rapidly consulted his MIMS and found that in some infinitesimal percentage of people depression is a side effect. Of course we immediately discontinued. This was the real eye opener - the depression lifted and the PAIN came back, it came back in spades, with friends (whole tour buses of painful friends tap danced on my joints and muscles). I was astounded by the level of pain that I had been living with... acclimated to... Unfortunately, as an aside, further attempts at NSAIDS revealed that I have a reasonably serious allergy to them and because for some reason the doctors are worried about anaphylactic shock I am not allowed to take anything from an aspirin on up. It's a real pain in the arse (and elsewhere in this case!). So I am left with over the counter paracetamol/acetaminophen or narcotics and one is useless and the other twists my head. I think the only reason I am dribbling on about this is that I had to fill out the questionnaire for the pain clinic today and it was a pain of its own kind.
I want to go to the Occupy Sydney rally tomorrow, even if I have to go alone I want to go. I might even meet a friend there who I have not seen for 30 years (another story no doubt) which would be really cool! Naturally there is a but... I'm stressing out about walking too far and standing too long. I think back to the anti-uranium rallies I attended as a girl in the 70's and I remember an aching back and sore feet from standing for so long (and I was a pretty fit athletic kid!). I'm stressing out. I tried to write a sentence on facebook chat to tell my old friend and I wrote and erased four times before deciding not to mention it. I don't have any mobility aids (I used to have a cane in the US but it hurt my hand/elbow/shoulder too much to use it so I never used it, not even once) and I look resoundingly healthy (which makes my GP question my veracity when I tell him it hurts everywhere) but I am scared, I feel very vulnerable. This is a VERY unusual state of affairs for me. I am actually thinking of buying a walking stick before going in the morning. In truth I have been thinking about getting one for a while but I have been resistant, very resistant... I must say I was using the putter when I got exhausted on the golf course, the other day, and it did help. My balance is not all that flash, I lurch along like an old drunk even on the rare occasions when I am sober! (just kidding). Over half of the severe pain I get is such that it impacts my walking until it passes, at those times a cane would really help... Why am I so resistant? Why is this causing me such anxiety and concern?
Is it my ego or concern for my image? It never bothered me when friends and former lovers used aids, am I that shallow?
Am I concerned people will think it is unnecessary or attention seeking? Because after all I can get by without it most of the time.
Is it just plan stubborn cussedness that makes me not want to let go? This is hard, it is another step of acceptance, one I may not be ready to take...
Am I going to let something like this stop me from contributing to a cause I believe in?
I really don't know what I am going to do about this but I am not going to decide tonight. I will think about it , and if I am so lucky as to hear your opinions I will think about those too... I will make up my mind in the morning.