I am in pain.

And because one of my conditions happens to be Sjogren’s Syndrome, I can’t even cry because I cannot produce tears. I cannot cry out of sadness, or happiness, for emotional relief.

I am in pain.

And it’s all consuming. I hurt from the tips of my toes right up to the top of my head. My eyes are fire and in pain all the time. Mostly I cannot get out of bed.

I am in pain.

Someday’s getting to the toliet are difficult, let alone the shower, or the kitchen. I try always to push through it but some days I am left with no choice – my body makes the choice for me.

I am in pain.

From medication side effects causing constant vomiting, from the vicious fatigue, From the aching, sharp, intense pain, and cramping, the swelling. The not to being able to eat most any foods.

I am in pain.

Every single morning I wake up in excruciating pain in my entire body.

Every single day – even on a good one.

And it wakes me, and reminds me, yes, I”m still alive, but I’m also, still in pain. Moving helps, pushing through it helps, and I know for sure my morning medications help because I feel them. The sometimes I have a good hour or good couple of hours mixed throughout the day. I know even on a good day, heavy fatigue out of nowhere will knock me out. It will take me down for the rest of the day, or if I’m really “lucky” more than one day. I am constantly having to plan every chore that needs energy out so that I can put the tiny, precious, bit of energy I have all day into the most pressing things. And these exhausting chores can include just making one phone call a day. I’m not designing rockets.

I am in pain.

In the evening after my joints have been used, I cannot keep my eyes open anymore just from the pain building all day from the dryness, and sunlight (even with my special glasses on.) I usually get so fatigued by then that I start slurring my words, stuttering, and forgetting how to speak. I mean not having the capability to find or say words, or even finish a sentence without choking on my words or just failing all together to get my thought out.

I am in pain.

As I lie in bed at night, and “try” to fall asleep. I take all my bedtime meds hoping they will help. Prednisone wants to keep me awake and in full of pain and panic. I try to read but my eyes hurt too much. I try not to think to much because that almost always leads to worry even if it started off good.

I need sleep, even though I know I will feel no relief or rest come morning. Ever. No matter how much sleep I could get if I were able. I need the escape and reprieve from this pain, from my mental struggles to cope with all of this and my symptoms. I need the peace and quiet. But my body fights to stay awake and my mind does too because it worries, will this just continue to get worse in time? How much time?

I am in pain.

But I will not let it win or take away my entire life.  I will fight it with every inch of my being, until I can fight no more. I will learn about my enemy and I will use everything I can against him. I will take medications, I will focus on art, I will try new treatments, I will allow myself rest whenever I need it without beating myself up about it, and even though I can no longer pursue my dreams in the way I had envisioned them, I will find news ways, or new dreams.

I am in pain.

But I am still… me.

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