CRPS Symptom Limbo and a Sickbug

Dear Audy,

It’s been my shittiest week in a long time.

Last weekend, I went into hospital for a single day ketamine and lignocaine infusion. The procedure went fine, just a regular day reading Walking Dead comics while drugs dripped into my belly fat. The pain didn’t drop during the actual infusion as much as it has in the past, but it still dropped.

This was the second time I’ve had lignocaine with ketamine. My experience both times has been that it reduces the side effects of the ketamine, meaning I am less brain fuzzy and nauseous, which is always nice. It’s hard to speak to the actual pain relieving benefits because it’s really hard to tell what my body is doing at all right now.

I came home on Sunday night, feeling pretty fine, dozed through most of Moody-Weather-Monday, felt better Tuesday morning and then BAM! Crash. Wednesday. I got sick. Sickbug type sick. Evil virus from Hell type sick. I’m still sick, this sniffly sucker seems determined to stick around.

Sickbugs on top of chronic illness are dreadful. My body throbbed and ached, swelled and sweated, creaked and groaned. Pain levels shot up, demanding painkillers (which don’t kill anything but the edge) and constant lying down. My throat burned, my snot tap dripped and my chest coughed. I drank water and relaxed as much as I could, there’s not much else that can be done for sickbugs that aren’t infections.

I wondered, was I in so much pain just because of the sickbug? Was it the stormy, fluctuating winds of Spring? Did the infusion just not help? Was there any point asking questions amongst so many variables? Likely, my pain had a cocktail of causes.

I’m really quite used to uncertainty, to proceeding without answers, to accepting without explanation. Really quite accustomed to it, indeed. So, I guess, Life just decided to raise the bar a little bit higher to find out if I can still hurdle it.

I’ve had some strange sensations in my left arm. I’m not sure how often, but enough for me to notice the repetition. It felt like suddenly being corked in my arm, a few centimetres above the elbow, towards the back of my arm. The sensation would throb a bit, burn a bit, crush a bit and then fade. Until last night.

Last night, the kind-of-corked feeling pain reached through my elbow and grabbed ahold of my funny bone. Sudden agony. Very quickly, it felt like my whole arm was a funny bone that had just been belted into a door frame. Not funny at all, just incredibly painful and a little distressing.

I was just chilling in my recliner when this happened, there was no trigger that I’m aware of, just pain. Sudden, bone crushing pain. Yep, really. It felt like the bones in my arm and hand were being squeezed to death, boa constrictor style.

Wait, ARE there invisible snakes? Because I feel like that would explain a lot of the world’s problems.

I tried moving my arm, I tried resting it in different positions, I tried rubbing the shoulder, stretching, showering (god damn OW that was). I smooshed my face into my dogs’ fluffy little heads. I even cried a bit. The weirdo, neo-CRPS-flare wouldn’t settle.

It still hasn’t. I’m typing this with one hand while the other arm throbs beside me like an evil deadweight that can attack even whilst it’s being dead and weighty.

It looks like it's been bashed up, but it has not. Total faker.

It looks like it’s been bashed up, but it has not. Total faker.

It takes a lot of concentration to keep moving my left fingers because I feel the hand wanting to stiffen. It feels like the whole arm wants to turn to stone and I could just about believe that was happening going by the sensations that I’m perceiving. It’s very weak, I can’t even hold a drink in my left hand. My elbow feels very much like it was recently fractured, which is a feeling that I’m surprised to find out I remember from childhood.

Aside from the left arm, I’m getting a lot of those kind-of-corked, sharp, jabby pains in many of my other joints. I’m concerned that typing this will set off further pain in my already compensating right arm, but I gotta deal with this crap somehow.

It’s a lot, ya know? Especially right after an infusion… I was really looking forward to pain relief and Life served me up an extra helping of agony and confusion instead.

I’ll be OK. I’ll cope and keep going. But, for now, I’m a bit sad and disappointed, feelings I’ve just gotta feel and release.

If only I could release this damned pain along with them.

I will wait. I will manage the pain and I will wait. Nothing lasts forever.

Love & Exhausted Sighs,

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