Physical Pain and Mental Health

As I’ve said previously, I have bipolar disorder. It’s something that I’ve relatively come to terms with as something that I will have for the rest of my life. I’m, I wouldn’t say used to it, but it’s there every day, and it’s just something I live with.

When it comes to physical pain; however, I’m not as well versed in how to get through. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done things in my life that have hurt, I’ve struggled through toothache more times than I can count, but I’ve never broken a bone, – apart from when I split my head open (twice) when I was a young child – and never really been in that much pain.

Over the past few months, however, I’ve been in increasing amounts of pain with my hip.

In May/June, I started to experience a lot of pain in my hip. After several doctors appointment and a few months of low dose painkillers, it had gotten worse, so I went to A&E. Another few months of appointments and painkillers followed before I finally managed to go for an MRI.

Waiting for results for scans or blood tests is never fun for anyone, but with my already anxious and overthinking brain, I had started to fear there was some malignancy lurking in my joint. This took its toll on my mental health, the longer I waited, the worse it got. The relief I felt at finally getting my results was unbelievable, although then I started to find other things to worry about with it.

I’ve said it before, but for those that haven’t read previous posts, the results were that I have a torn labrum. Now, I had no idea what this meant and had to look it up. But basically, the labrum is a ring of cartilage that follows the outside rim of your joint socket, this cartilage had ripped somehow, and it’s the irritation of its movement that is causing me pain.

When they told what was wrong, they asked if I wanted to have a steroid injection into the joint to reduce pain and make it easier for me to mobilise to get strength back in. Me, being the dumbass that I am, opted not to have it and stick with the physio. As you may have guessed, this was a bad idea.

Over the months since getting the diagnosis, the pain has gotten worse and worse, so now I’m on even more potent painkillers.

The whole thing, of not being able to move around as much as I like and what little I do move, having to remember to use my crutch, being unable to do things around the house, even not being to drive, along with having to take painkillers regularly, has, at times, done my tree in. I’m not an overly active person, but not even being able to get upstairs or take my pants off without assistance gets to me. I’m 35; I shouldn’t need this kind of help.

This year has been challenging anyway, but it’s been even harder with not being able to do my job anymore and being in constant, and sometimes, unbearable pain. My brain has had enough of it and wants everything to get back to normal.

I don’t know how I would have dealt with the pain, had I a “normal” brain. But throwing bipolar into the mix too is sometimes too much. Sometimes I feel like crying, A; because of the pain, and B; because my brain has been stretched to the limit and I can’t take anymore.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the pain will be coming to an end soon as I’ve got my steroid injection this afternoon. But this too has left my anxious. I overthink about what might happen, and all the things that could go wrong. Like the other week with my orthopaedic appointment, I’ll probably be fine when I get there, but the wait is God awful. I also worry about what might happen after. Will it get rid of the pain? Will it make it worse? What will happen if it does, will I need a surgical procedure? What if something goes wrong with that?

It’s a rabbit hole that I can’t help but go down because of the way my brain is wired. It’s so tiring having a brain that moves at a million times a minute at times, filled with worries about what might happen.

In a way, this blog helps. I get to throw my worries out into text form. It doesn’t get rid of them, but it does make me look at them from a different perspective and see how truly unfounded they are. Perhaps the way I do it on this blog will also mean that other people who think the same way might look at their thought process a little differently too.

That’s it for today. Hopefully, I’ll have some good news after this afternoon, and maybe I can do some more writing, which I’ve failed to do for a few days.

Have a good week!

2 thoughts on “Physical Pain and Mental Health

  1. Chronic pain is a different beast entirely, and it absolutely takes a toll on your mental health. If you have any experience with CBD techniques for your BDP then you may have some success applying that to your pain. It’s ok to grieve for your independence and mobility, and it’s ok to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to have bad days. I hope that the steroid injection helps, it should reduce the inflammation quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

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