Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Woke Up Five Months Pregnant

I woke up this morning five months pregnant. Except that's impossible, because there is no equipment in there to allow another human being to incubate inside my body.

So, what I really mean is today I woke up with my abdomen swollen so large that I expect people to be asking me when I am due. (Never, ever ask a woman when she is due unless you know for a fact she is pregnant.)

And I'm in pain. A lot of pain.

My doctor tells me that it's from the Lyrica for the fibromyalgia. The only drug that keeps the fibro at bay even a little bit. I could go down on the dosage, which would free up my gastrointestinal system to actually move again and probably shrink my mid-section, but the fibro would roar back with a vengeance.

It's a constant choice. Do I want to have the fibromyalgia at its peak or do I want to have side effects? I hate this choice.

I've always said that having something wrong with my stomach was the worst possible illness I could personally imagine, which is saying a lot. It's not my stomach that hurts, but the area right below it. It's painful, it's hurting, it's bothering me, and I want it to stop. I don't want to have to shop in the maternity section for my pants. I don't want to wear sweats every day. And mostly, I don't want to be in this much abdominal pain from a medication that is helping the main disease so much.

The narcotic pain relievers actually make this pain worse. Because they slow down my intestines even more, making it more swollen and more intensely painful. This seems like a total oxymoron to me. How can a pain reliever cause such intense pain?

My doctor has no answers for me. I have to choose. It's either don't manage the symptoms or live with the side effects of the medication. What kind of choice is this?

There are all kinds of things going around Facebook and the internet right now about breast cancer awareness. Football players are wearing pink. The water bottles we buy at the store are encased in pink. The world looks like a pepto bismol bottle exploded.

For the record, I am not against breast cancer awareness. I just would like to see some fibromyalgia awareness. I'd like to see the whole world turn purple just for a week. Or even a day. Or for the researchers to figure out what this disease is and how to either control it better with no side effects or (gasp!) cure it.

So today I am in pain. A lot of pain. And it's not from fibromyalgia. It's from the drug that is treating my fibromyalgia. And even though this is not acceptable to me, it's the only choice I have.

Because if I choose to stop the drug, I will be completely non-functional and that is not acceptable in any way. Not with a house, a husband, three children, and three pets. I don't do much, but I play my role and it's an important one. My kids need a mom and they all need their laundry. There are dentist appointments and orthodontic appointments and dermatologist appointments and school conferences. And those are my job. I have to do my job, so I will continue to take the medication. And I will continue to shop in maternity at the store and I will continue to bitch about abdominal pain and weight gain. Because I have to.

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