Most people would assume this would be about my rugrats, and while they all have whining down to perfection, especially my Four year old (Right down to pitch, length, and endless repetition), nope this one is about grown ups.
I'm in pain. Lots of pain. I'm not going to compare it or give it a number, because well pain is such a relative thing. But trust me, this f*cking hurts.
I learned about 6 months ago that I have arthritis, after about 5 months of progressively worse pain in my left hip and an increasingly bad limp (or "cripple swagger" as my friends and husband have dubbed it). At first they didn't really know what was going on, and they threw around phrases like "lupus" "lyme disease" and most often "rheumatoid arthritis". Not THAT one scared the hell out of me - though I tried to keep a stiff upper lip and a positive attitude, inside I was kind of shitting my pants. And I later learned, so was my husband, for all his supportive comments and upbeat attitude. Good to know that we will always lie to each other in times of crisis, whether that's to keep each other's spirits up or because we really can't stand each other's respective whiny sides, not sure.
Turns out it was just good ole generic arthritis, unusual to start at 30, but it happens. So sometimes I'm limping around and other days you'd never know. Some days the pain is excruciating, and others just a dull ache. I had a compression fracture in my low back when I was 14 so that is acting up due to the weird limp. But my days of sexy shoes are gone, which is really fine, because its impossible to feel sexy with a limp, trust me. I won't even get into the awkward sexual moments involving trying to find a position that does risk my hip giving out mid-fun. The doctor told me I will never be able to jog. I laughed, and explained that since JOGGING hasn't been in my vocab since I was forced in high school gym class, I didn't think that would be too much of a lifestyle change. Also, recently I've been having shooting pain from my neck to left elbow and numbness in my lower arm. Going to the doc tomorrow to figure out what the hell that is about. Most likely a nerve thingy to do with being a secretary for 11 years.
So yes, I'm in pain, and I hate it, and its taken over a healthy chunk of both my life, my thought processes, and that of my family's. So this brings me to the whining. There is that fine line between filling someone close to you in on what's up when they ask and turning into what others see as a whiny drama queen completely wrapped up in her own weird medical issues and who answers a simple "How was your weekend" with a detailed description of how much it sucked, complete with a list of everything she wasn't able to do because of said weird medical issues. But when every waking minute is taken up with dealing with varying levels of pain, you do eventually realize that you don't have much else to talk about.
If I become that person (whiny drama queen mentioned above), please, please smack me upside my head. Or knock my bad leg out from under me. Then hold me down and tattoo "Drama Queen" on my forehead.
There is the time and place to fill in concerned family friends and co-workers, but you start to get paranoid that people are thinking you're exaggerating for attention, or that you're just plain making it all up so you can be lazy. Because I'm not bleeding or in a cast, and it comes and goes, I worry constantly that people think I'm some silly hypochondriac. People say "Wow you're still limping?" or "Oh no, what's wrong with you now?" and I feel the need to explain that it REALLY does hurt and I have MRIs to prove its not in my heard, and then immediately apologize for…..I don't know. It probably doesn't help that I work for a defense law firm – the ones whose job is to prove that the lady with thousand of dollars in chiropractic bills is really just a drama queen who is exaggerating some soft-tissue injury.
I am really overthinking this. I talked to my brother though, who has had years of neck issues and when I brought this up, it all spilled out and he said "Oh my god, I know exactly what you mean. I feel like such a WHINER sometimes, but when you're in constant pain, its really all you can think about". So either I am overthinking, or being a whiner runs in my family. I am starting to cringe when anyone asks me how I'm doing with my "hip thing". Because do they REALLY want to know? Or are they secretly thinking "Geez, here she goes again".
So just putting it out there, bring on the hip jokes, the old jokes, the gimp jokes. Laugh at me, joke with me, ridicule my limp – just please, please, PLEASE don't ask me how I'm doing. J