I supposed I should give a rundown of my history of pain so some might understand why I am not depressed when I say that I am tired. While depression can cause pain, my pain has been ever-present from early in my life.
1975/76(?): I recently had my mother confess that I’d had a horse step on me while I was still a baby. More precisely, on my chest. My first dance with that beautiful lady known as death, though I knew her not. This is probably the origin of some of the pain I now suffer, though I cannot be sure.
1977/78(?): I nearly drown. My second dance with that wonderful lady called death. Had my mother’s friend not found me when he did, I would have been dead. If he had found me just minutes later, I would not be talking to you
I can also note that between 1975 and 1978, I also suffered from nearly every childhood illness that children are now vaccinated for.
1980: Though I suffered from the chicken pox this point, I also had to have ear surgery to drain fluid. was pushed off the top of a playground slide. had to be carried off the playground. (was later told that I was lucky to be alive.)
1980-present: I suffer from tinnitus and occasional bouts of vertigo brought on by the tinnitus. In some ways, my migraines have also been closely tied to these problems. If you have never suffered from tinnitus, imagine id someone were to install a gadget in your ear that could create inner ear noise that could range from a mildly annoying “distant” buzz to a noise that can only be described as multiple jet engines all running at the same time. At its worst, it can be debilitating and paralyzing. Blinding. The vertigo attached to this happens somewhere near the midpoint of the tinnitus scale. recently, my tinnitus made a resounding comeback, leading to an increase in my migraines.
1983: my sister molested me. destroys my innocence and causes me more problems than she should. She spends her life denying my existence and accusing mom of abuse…despite the fact that she also spends her teen years and young adult life being a “run around Sue” and gaining a rep as an easy lay.
1984/85: I survived a case of massive heat stroke coupled with possible heat exhaustion. I still think that I should have died, and they did almost lose me. From that point on, I have been unable to handle extreme heat. I slap suffer my first bout of frostbite waiting on a school bus.
1985/86-1993: I suffer several subsequent bouts, each worse than the last, of frostbite from having to walk to school in sub-zero temps. I also suffer numerous bouts of “Respiratory Infection” that are also more serious and less fixable with each round. By the end, I am immune to nearly all antibiotics used to treat the “infection”.
1988: A cousin, a distant cousin, almost runs me over.
1992: I went to summer camp. Had a canoe come down across my neck and shoulders after slipping during a portage trip. Should have died, but ended up paralyzed for what seemed to be an eternity (about 15 minutes).
1992/93: had “falling dream” where I hit bottom. Was told that I shouldn’t have survived.
1993: had my own father point a gun at me. had it been working and loaded, I know I would have been dead. His expression said it all.
1994: I am involved in a collision (I rear ended a van) after trying to avoid being hit. note to self: never wear slick bottom shoes while driving.
1995-2001: My first marriage. my first wife attempted, several different times, in several different ways (last being trying to drive me crazy), to kill me. My health begins its decline when I turn 27. I balloon out to well over 220, nearly die hitchhiking back from Tulsa, and become an outcast for trying to start life over.
1998: I have an accident while working as a landscaper in Alabama, accidentally driving a work truck 40 ft off an 80 ft drop. This is the final straw where my back is concerned. I am unable to stand, sit, or lay down for nearly a week. Note to self: It’s not smart to smoke and drive.
2001: I mess up my feet by wearing worn out shoes on the job, working as a gutter-tech. Nearly fall from a 50 ft scaffolding. nearly fall off a tar-shingle roof where the temps are well over 110 (99 in the shade), and suffer yet another bout of heat exhaustion. All while my soon-to-be-ex is in the mental hospital. In June, I am advised by the psychiatrist (who had noticed my flagging health) that I should get a divorce before my wife takes me down with her. I follow Dr’s orders.
2004: My father tries to beat the shit out of me. He fails. Messes up my thumbs. We both scare the shit out of my niece. Later, I go to Omaha as a tutor for a friend’s son only to be sent packing after the hubby gets jealous. (it had a lot to do with lies being told by a cousin who was also staying with that friend.) I returned and worked briefly for a shipping dock. the pain I had to bear was excruciating, though it never went away all the time I was there.
2006-2011: My second marriage. Another round of having someone trying to kill me. this time, it is through keeping me smoking even though I am trying my damnedest to stop. I almost die from complications with my gallbladder. Again, I have another dance with death. I would have my teeth pulled (probably more a symptom of a bad gallbladder than what the dentist attributed my rotten teeth to) and find out that I was extremely close to having a heart attack. (would take statins, at first, to combat this until they damaged my muscles; then would be put on fish oil tabs). In the latter part of the marriage, I would end up on migraine meds that ended up altering my behavior (and I would wean myself off of them as quick as possible).
2011: Gallbladder attacks! I had been suffering from some “intestinal” symptoms for a few years, but had thought nothing of it. I had started college in 2009, after I had initially split from my second wife. Being the forgiving kind, I took her back under one condition. she would move with me to Council Bluffs so I could be closer to classes. In late 2010, my symptoms became much worse and I began to undergo testing to see what was wrong. In December/January, I had gallbladder surgery. After I woke, I was shown just how “bad” it had been. The doctor explained that he could not tell how long it had been dead. He also told me that he could not see how I was still alive, that people who wait that long usually die. My only reply was that I had been in pain all my life, so I could not always tell what was hurting or how bad. AS stated above, I had another tango with death. That lady must love me.
2012-present: still suffer from many of the side effects that I was told would go away after gallbladder surgery. My health has been in a steady decline, the pain I live in has worsened, and I rarely get enough sleep. I have had occasional chest pains since 2001, but these have gotten more frequent. I can’t always breathe, finding myself gasping at times, and I am concerned. I have also had a nervous shake, more noticeable in my right hand than the left, in my hands that has worsened each time it has appeared. Each time my back has slipped out, the effects have been more devastating (the last time, I was paralyzed and had to be helped to the bed by Kelly…just a couple of weeks before she died), leaving me concerned about what’s going to happen if it goes out and I am alone. (Will I be able to drag myself out of the bathroom? Or will I die in there, unable to call for help?)
I no longer have the strength left to fight. I no longer have the energy. The pain, the physical pain, I have had to go through for the entirety of my life has sapped it all out of me. It isn’t out of depression that I desire an end, it is out of a desperate need for rest. A desperate need for peace from the war I have had to fight my whole life. While Kelly was alive, I had a bit of that peace, a bit of that rest. But not enough.
My tinnitus has come back with a vengeance. Now, it is almost as if I have a whole fucking jet in my head, the high pitched whine often growing to a roar without warning. Vertigo hits with irregularity still, but the migraines-often after a bout of tinnitus-are getting worse. As they do so, I only wish for one thing: an end to it all.