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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Crappy

Some anniversaries are more crappy than happy. So happy crappy
anniversary to me. Today is the one year anniversary of the
worst decision I have ever made in my life.

I remember being so happy and full of hope when they wheeled me
into the operating room. I knew they would fix me up and
everything would turn out just fine. All I wanted was for the
elbow pain to be gone. I needed to be able to read braille and
use sign language without pain and limitations. The surgery
would do that.

But it didn't. Instead of making me better, the surgery made
the pain spread and worsen. I thought I knew pain before. That
was nothing compared to what I would experience later... and
now.

I am starting to understand what happened to me. It wasn't
tendonitis or over-use after the surgery. It wasn't anything I
could have predicted or prevented. The truth is not a pleasant
answer, yet there is some peace in understanding.

No, I'm not making up the pain. No, I'm not exaggerating. This
pain is real and it is bad. It doesn't respond to most
treatments because it isn't tendonitis or bursitis or a rotor
cuff injury or nerve damage.

What I have is called Fibromyalgia. It results in the
amplification of wide-spread pain. I have been reading a book
about Fibromyalgia. It's almost like finding all the pieces of a
puzzle and finally putting them together to create a picture. As
I read, the pieces are falling into place. All the mystery of my
condition makes sense. It's all becoming clear.

Actually, it was always there. No one noticed I had to reach
such awful levels of suffering before anyone would figure it out.
That's common with Fibromyalgia. Since there's no concrete
test, it's very hard to get a diagnosis. Getting treatment is
proving to be even harder, but that's a different story.

So, it was a year ago that I had this surgery. The doctor said
he cleaned out a lot of scar tissue. That was caused by the
numerous shots he used to unsuccessfully treat the elbow pain.
The surgery was unsuccessful, too.

I realize now that I never had tennis elbow. The elbow pain was
just the first sign of fibromyalgia. Then I had surgery and all
the other symptoms showed up. According to the book, that is
often how it works. A person has surgery to fix a problem that
has been mis-diagnosed as something other than Fibromyalgia.
After surgery, they begin experiencing all the other horrible
symptoms. They usually face a long time of misery as they try to
figure out what went wrong. There's even a chapter in the book
about preventing "Fibro flare-ups" after surgery.

If only I had know. If only I could go back and do it
differently. If only... If only... Crappy, crappy, crappy.

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