I often find that changes come in groups of two or three. The thing about living with chronic pain is that when these changes bring along new people into your life there is that often necessary conversation about it. And the hope that maybe they’ll understand just a little bit, or rather, enough to not make it add more challenges.
As many crazy changes as October brought, flying away to LA was one I needed to bring as well.
“What triggers it (pain)?” asked my new boss when I told him about my autoimmune disease. My answer: stress, illness, weather, and sometimes nothing in particular. Then of course there was my need to reassure him that it wouldn’t affect my work, but sometimes I’ll need to call in sick (I called in yesterday), and that there is a doctor’s note in my file. How will all this play out at work? Only time will tell. I’m hoping he’s like the other GMs I’ve had that have generally been pretty good about it, though I know sick calls is the thing they hate the most, it’s also not my favourite thing either (like it’s hella boring staying home all day because you’re in too much pain, or for me yesterday, feverish to actually do something).
Fever, aches & pains, and a weird red dot by my eye are what Saturday brought to me.
As I said, changes often come in multiples. I’ve gone on a few dates with a woman, and while I don’t want to go into the details on such a public forum, let’s just say I rarely date anymore. After my last breakup, I went on so many dates that I burnt myself out, found that every date was the same (other than two friends I made, which turned out to be two of my best friends), and overall, I’m very happy being single. Explaining chronic pain, or at least mentioning to a potential love interest is something I don’t shy away from. Usually it comes out on the first date, if it doesn’t bother them then I figure date two will come (I also always mention that I’m divorced on date one in case that bothers anyone). Take me as I am or don’t waste my time. Reactions always come in one of two ways – either lack thereof, or a million questions. Personally, I always kind of hope for somewhere in between but that may be wishful thinking.
Keeping up with my social life is an important part of my mental health – we were headed to Rocky Horror Picture Show, thus the costumes.
Managing chronic pain isn’t easy, and when you’re thinking about how you’re affecting other people in your life, and how those other people are affecting you, it certainly doesn’t make it any easier. But navigating the waters is just part of life.
According to this gem my friend literally just sent me, all I need to be happy is Food, Sleep and Friends.
Check, Check and Check.
P.S. I realize it’s been a few crazy busy weeks since I last posted. I’ll try to ramp up the frequency again. Between the two psychology courses I’m taking at school, holiday season beginning at work, volunteering at the children’s hospital, and trying to manage a social life, I need to do a better job of making time to write this blog, because it is as important to me as any of those other things, and I don’t like making excuses for slacking.