One Year Pain-Free

As of today, I think, but definitely as of this week, I’ve officially been pain-free for one year. This is something that I feel shouldn’t need to be celebrated by a 28-year-old who hasn’t been in a horrific accident. But after nine months from the end of 2012 into 2013 filled with terrible pain, the majority of which I barely gritted my teeth through with the help of ibuprofen, Tylenol, and a heating pad strapped to my side, a year ago today (or this week) was when it stopped. So, here we are. One year pain-free!

The fact is I still have six or seven kidney stones in my right kidney, but without all of the pain that the ones in my left kidney had been causing. That means I could continue to be pain-free, or eventually the right kidney could pick up where the left left off. It’s a waiting game. I’m just happy that I’m waiting without the kind of suffering that affected most of 2013. Friends and family truly had no idea–I have a very high tolerance for pain, which has often been a detriment when asking people to understand why I’m not myself, and especially when dealing with doctors. They don’t see the tears they would from other patients, and assume I’m exaggerating. They also didn’t see the fits of anger I was experiencing because I often couldn’t stand for more than five minutes at a time–which may or may not have resulted in a furious rage against my counter and a bag of popcorn kernels. It wasn’t until the tech found all of the kidney stones that the gyno I saw said, “Wow, you must have really been in pain,” and I said, “Yes, I believe I mentioned that.”

A year later and I’m still not 100% myself, but I’m getting there. I’ve started seeing someone locally for bodywork and massages once every couple of weeks. Having to keep myself crumbled up or lying down to stay comfortable for so much of the day resulted in my carrying myself differently. That means I need to take the time and care in retraining my muscles how to move and workout properly again. It’s likely a large part of why I’ve injured myself so many times this year–it’s hard to remember that my body’s not ready to move the same way it used to.

I have a follow-up with my urologist in September, and one with my endocrinologist in February. If all goes well, as I expect it should, then those follow-ups should continue to be spaced further apart until they’re unnecessary.

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