Where Does it Hurt?

In my fifty-four years of living, I’ve experienced a significant amount of physical pain. Some sources of pain have been directly linked to my chronic illnesses, whereas others have not.

In my teens and twenties, I had debilitating migraines that rendered me completely incapacitated. I’ve had multiple episodes of optic neuritis, where I experienced intense eye pain, prior to temporarily losing my vision.

Most fortunately, I’ve only had one episode of trigeminal neuralgia. It resulted in the most intense jaw pain that I have ever had. I’ve also had recurrent periods of TMJ pain, secondary to bruxism that was unexpectedly triggered by an antidepressant.

Each time that I have had a dilatation surgery for my subglottic stenosis, I’ve experienced excruciating throat pain. Thankfully, it typically only last for a couple of days after surgery.

Nearly thirty-two years ago, I was in labor with my daughter. I had contractions for twenty-four hours prior to giving birth.

When I was twenty, I worked as a personal care attendant. I pulled my lower back muscles at one point, which was very painful.

When I was younger, I had periods of intense abdominal pain. This was due to irritable bowel syndrome.

At age 38, I had an episode of crushing chest pain. I truly believed that I had a heart attack. My primary care physician at the time assumed that I was having a panic attack. I informed him that I had experienced panic attacks in the past. Looking back, I should have insisted that I received a cardiac enzyme assay.

I had significant pain when I fractured my right wrist. I had simply slipped and fallen in my kitchen. When this took place, I was more vulnerable to sustaining a fracture due to having taken very high doses of corticosteroids to manage my relapsing-remitting MS.

This afternoon, I’m having significant pain in the bottom of my feet. I suspect that I have developed plantar fasciitis.

When I was age forty-nine, I was prescribed Cellcept. My rheumatologist decided to choose this medication for its immunosuppressant action. For the first few days of taking this medication, I had excruciating lower back pain.

Last summer, I sustained two falls. Thankfully, I didn’t break any bones. However, I was in a strong degree of pain after these falls. I was having profuse hot flashes, which exacerbated my MS symptoms. Since my MS symptoms are notoriously heat-sensitive, hot flashes resulted in total numbness throughout my legs.

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