An appointment with the doctor: A tiny account

Hey you beautiful people!

Since my last blog post, alot has happened and I haven’t really written anything about anything lately!!!

So let me start by telling you about what’s been happening in my life after the year 2019 started, i.e since January 1st!

I came to college, registered for the 6th semester in study mode and resolved to clear the semester by putting the heap of physical effort that it requires, some of which are going and sitting in classes, standing in labs, writing lab folders, preparing for exams and minors etc. and don’t forget;

All this on top of managing my own life with chronic pain and other debilitating conditions caused by someone seldom understood but very very powerful mind you!

He is called Fibromyalgia. (I bet you know him by now if you don’t Google it or read my other blogs)

After a week of pushing myself, pain triggered and naturally I felt extremely sad, decided to seek help and see my doctors in Bangalore!

Arrived Bangalore on the 11th of January, had my OPD Consultation on the morning of 12th Jan!

Upon asking several questions about the status of my pain, mood, sleep etc. they knew that yet again the medicines prescribed by them had failed to provide any relief;

I remember my doctor looked nervous, I asked him the simple question that I hadn’t been able to ask to any doctor ever.

“Why is it that despite all the advancement in research, they still haven’t been able to get to the root of the disease?”

“Because it’s not something easy to understand, like TB, Diarrhoea etc.” was his simple reply!

I was full of angst and doubts and I went on!

I told him about the results of my online research, medicines that are not approved but are helping a few patients live a better life.

I asked about, Morgan Freeman’s statement that the only thing that works for Fibromyalgia is Marijuana!

The doctor was patient enough to carefully answer each one of the questions I had asked, he explained why opiates cause more harm than good, he also explained that medical marijuana can be helpful but it’s not available in India!

I was still sad, my queries had been answered but I wanted something for my pain relief. Let it cause harm to my other body parts, increase my weight or cause other manageable side effects but without some pain relief, I didn’t have the faintest idea as to how to live or rather to imagine a life with pain!

Before leaving to discuss my case with the senior non residential doctors at Nimhans, he was kind enough to add, “Aditi, what you are going through is alot more difficult than what we have to deal with in trying to solve such rare and difficult case as yours, we understand that it’s really very hard for you.”

Didn’t I know that already?

Yet that gesture by him helped me calm down a little and wait for the result of their tiny doctors meeting, best heads of medical science discussing how my symptoms can be made to go away!

Down he came in a bit of hurry with another junior doctor by his side, “Aditi you do understand that we are running out of options now. There’s a medicine called Gabapentin which can help in neuropathic pain. It can cause alot of drowsiness in the beginning but the side effects will fade away. Take 300 mg of it 3 times a day, add a sleeping pill in the night to it if you can’t sleep and meet us again after a month.”

As quick as he was, I was able to follow his instructions almost at the same pace; after all it had become a habit now.

I took the tiny paper on which the prescription was neatly written down, bid him goodbye with a nervous smile and made my way out of that place!

Another part of my treatment is therapy sessions on pain management by a brilliant doctor in NIMHANS!

It’s quite hard to explain what goes on in behavior therapy sessions, but what I can assure you is that it works like a miracle. Despite you not knowing the doctor or your own problems in some cases, these sessions with therapists can make you regain your efficiency at work, confidence and happiness back in your life.

It’s basically talk therapy, they are good at picking up your thought process through the way you express yourself or your problems.

Remember the movie ‘Dear Zindagi’ starring Shah Rukh Khan & Alia Bhatt?

The sessions in real life are very similar to those shown in the movie!

I remember so many times curled up in the therapy rooms, crying in front of her for hours. They ask you questions, politely and beautifully.

All they try to do is understand and help.

I have been taking therapy for about an year now, though intermittently but each session brings something beautiful out of me, a deeper understanding of things, ways to cope up and most importantly I feel very light and comfortable in my own heart and mind!

“Aditi, you are in a war zone and like a soldier you have to continuously fight in order to win. Such is your fight with fibromyalgia. But soldiers have a definite time for which they have to fight and there are others in the same struggle as theirs. While you on the other hand are alone and your fight seems to last forever, that is our challenge here.” she said in my last session.

The fact that they understand what I go through more than the closest people that I surround myself with makes me open up more and seek help through them.

Pain can only be psychologically dealt in two ways, she said:

1. Distraction Strategy, where in I am doing things that make me happy, having good food, travelling and with people who make me feel happy.

The idea is that I am distracted enough to not focus on the pain much and that’s how it feels better.

2. Body scan meditation, it’s a technique given by Budhha called mindfulness where you are aware of your body sensations any given moment of your life. You focus on the pain sensations enough to see it going away. But then there are pain intensities much higher than normal which can’t be sent away by focussing on it, what you do in those cases is that you just acknowledge that it’s there and you somehow accept it’s existence and as you do that you try to shift your focus to the task at hand.

Of course it all sounds good but is extremely hard in practice, one can get mastery over it by practicing it perhaps for years!

The best thing is that it all makes sense and gives me a ray of hope to keep trying despite those thousands of failed attempts that I have encountered.

Footnote

Gabapentin is currently helping solve only 10% of my pain symptoms.

The messiness of my life, the dilemma, the hurt caused by pain and feelings of unworthiness is unbearable to live with.

Let’s just say, life is hard, knowing that you are gonna have to live with 1000 knives stabbed inside your body 24*7 is one thing, but accepting it and hoping to live a good life with it is another.

I feel I am not ready for this fight or rather this war as my therapist would prefer to say!

I feel like giving up, I feel peace after death would feel alot better than the chaos and throbbing pain of existence right now.

By binge eating and binge reading etc. I am trying to survive these cruel days of my life!

This is something that I posted before writing this blog on Calm Insights’ Insta Account.

That’s all folks!

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