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Today is one of those “overwhelming stress” days

May 30, 2012
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I am about to start screaming from a combination of pain, irritation due to the pain, frustration, and overwhelming demands from my household. Things that used to be so easy for me…. finishing a book in a day, answering all the questions on Jeopardy, developing plans and fixing problems of all sorts, physically working on remodeling the house, even gardening and crafts such as sewing and knitting, now seem completely beyond my capabilities. Is it the effect of the drugs? I take so many: gabapentin, baclofen, tizanidine, citalopram, amitryptiline, clonazepam, metoprolol, lisinopril. Each and every one of the bottles comes with a fluorescent yellow sticker attached which reads: “May Cause DIZZINESS“. Are they the reason that I can’t think straight for last six hours of the day? Or is this sense of panic and anxiety a function of the stroke itself? Is it caused by my elevated diastolic pressure?

Is there any way to fix it?

Not right now. It seems as if every medical response to CPS is a treatment that turns you into a mentally debilitated semi-zombie. Hell, WebMD, recommends that doctors turn their CPS patients into real zombies:

How Is Central Pain Syndrome Treated?

Pain medications often provide little or no relief for those affected by central pain syndrome; however, some antidepressants and anticonvulsants can be useful in treating central pain syndrome. Doctors recommend people with the condition be sedated and the nervous system kept quiet and as free from stress as possible.

The italicized emphasis is mine. Being kept  sedated is no life at all. But the other part of their recommendation regarding freedom from stress is one I would really like to try. Since developing this in 2007, I’ve had not a single day without stress. It’s been building again now, and is perhaps the worst I’ve ever experienced since my parents’ house was in foreclosure back in 1977. I was young and strong and felt that I could do anything; that was why I could reach a work-out plan to save it. I had to, since they seemed to be unable to deal with the problem themselves. But now I am not young. I am not strong. I feel that there are certain things that I can do, but I can no longer successfully do as many as I used to, and as my family was *used to* me doing. That’s a stressor of its own.

So today I am going to take a break and just walk away for one day. I will stop battling to get Skype to work, and simply buy a new webcam with a microphone in it. I will meditate, play quiet music (after “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies stops playing), I will avoid Facebook and all those political websites that scare me senseless. I will attempt to remember to relax, stop hunching my shoulders, smile. “Peaceful-easy feeling” (as my friend Jim calls it) is the goal of the day – at least for a few hours.

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