I've got endometriosis, which is a chronic condition. For the past seven years or so, I've been taking hormonal medication which stops the menstruation cycle completely, in effect putting my body into menopause. This stops the endometriosis from spreading, and at least relieves me from suffering through the monthly torture known as "having a period". (See this post for a description of what it means to me...) I still have some pain, though - this is apparently because scar tissue has grown around my left ovary and there are some nerves adhering to it. Any sort of stress of that area - such as walking, standing, riding, having sex - causes pain. How severe the pain is depends on a lot of factors. Am I rested or tired? Have I been exercising regularly? Am I stressed and unhappy or am I relaxed and content?
When I changed jobs almost two years ago, the pain was greatly reduced - probably because I went from a high-stress environment to a low-stress one. It wasn't just a question of less frustration at work; the physical environment was also much less stressful. During the past year and a half, I've had the occasional week without having to use pain killers, as opposed to taking them every single day as I'd been doing for five years.
The pain is back now, though. It's not as bad as it has been, but for the past months it's been increasing to the point where I rarely get through the work day without Tramadol, and I haven't been able to sleep without it. There's been at least one night of pain so bad that I've not been able to sleep despite taking the max dosage. It would appear the honeymoon is over. I'm not really surprised, though; I never expected it to be permanent, though of course I couldn't help hoping it would be.
During these past few months I've been thinking a lot about how the pain affects me and how I react to the pain, the effects and the pain medication. One thing I've noticed is how easy it is to use the pain meds for comfort. You get used to it so easily - it makes you feel better when you're in physical pain, so after a while your first reaction to any kind of discomfort is to reach for the pills. Also the actual pain is exacerbated by stress and tension, so if you're stressed out you'll notice the pain more and voilá! there's a reason to take a pill!
Note that I get this effect even though I'm not physically addicted to the Tramadol. I can go a day without them; even when I'm in constant daily pain I do stay off them for a week or so once a year just to verify that I'm not addicted - which is a real risk with Tramadol, even though they (like all opiates) have a significantly lower risk of addiction when taken only for pain.
One way of coping with the whole situation is through escapism. If I read a book or see a film or show that's sufficiently captivating, if I can immerse myself in the character I'm reading about or watching, I can disregard my own discomfort. I can spend my mental energy on figuring out what it is that makes Faith do what she does (love for Buffy - duh!) or how exactly Spike is fucked up. I can spend my time thinking of their lives instead of my own. I've always had a vivid imagination; it's easy for me to spend some time under the skin of a fictional character. Of course it's easier if the character has some traits I can identify with, but I want them to also let me vicariously experience things I don't get to do in this life.
Given this, it's not really surprising that I fell so hard for the House show. Here's a protagonist who's crippled, in chronic pain, very intelligent, snarky and sarcastic, doesn't have many friends, is hated or feared by most of his coworkers... does that ring a bell? I'm fairly sure my previous boss would pick me out of that line up, even if I've mellowed out in the new job and people there seem to like me.
House, though, is fucked up in more ways than I am. Also he's addicted to his pain meds - I'm not, and I still have a tendency to reach for them whenever somethings bothering me. I can so completely relate to his taking a pill when he has an irritating patient, or when Cuddy's bothering him, or when he can't figure out something. They're his crutch, mental as well as physical. His misfortune is that the one medication he's found that actually helps (and he's tried several, that's canon) is one that's addictive to him. I'm damned lucky I found one that wasn't - and I also went through several varieties until we found one that worked without knocking out my mental functions. When I write House fanfic, I know that there are things I understand about his character that a lot of other fanfic writers don't (though it does appear to be quite a few chronic pain sufferers in that fandom). I can use that character to explore my own reactions, and I can draw on my own experience to relate to the character. This has given me some new insights into what I'm going through - for an introspective like me, that's always going to be attractive.
I'll write more another day - right now Calle and I are going out for dinner.
Yes, apparently having a cold isn't bad enough - I've also been bitten by the slashwriting bug. I actually couldn't sleep because there was this part of a drabble that wouldn't shut up inside my head. Hopefully once I post it I'll be able to sleep.
Also my abdominal hedgehog is being nasty at me. I've been a bit better pain-wise recently, probably because I get along very well with the new horse and so I get the regular exercise I need. But work is currently quite stressful, and that always upsets the hedgehog.
Anyhow, here's the drabble. The trigger was that episode where Wilson and Cameron talk about adultery, and Wilson says "I always told them".
Fandom: House, M.D.
Rating: PG (at the most)
He always told them
Written by Jenny Dybedahl
Answer: One writes silly fic drabbles...
Fic: Stargate SG-1, Dr Who
Big and honking
Written by Jenny Dybedahl
Written by Jenny Dybedahl