Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Fog

Hello. Today is Thursday in June. It's been hot, around 91 degrees and I have spent most of the past 4 days inside and in my bed or on one of my couches.

I have a bizarre condition that one doctor I met called "Trigeminal Neuralogia." Other doctors called them migraines, others have called them sinus problems, and some have said "it's all in your head." Without much warning I am stricken with a severe pain in the left side of my head, piercing through my left eye, and throbbing through my left upper cheekbone, through my ear, radiating down my neck stiffening up my left shoulder. I become blind with pain and exhaustion consumes my brain. All I can do is put my head down and sleep. That is if I'm not crying or writhing in pain.

This pain attacks me regularly about once a month, and lasts between 3 days and 7 days. I push through the pain as much as possible to work and try and accomplish something with my life. This has been going on since I was 18 years old. However, there were a few years where I had a break and believed I was free from it. I haven't had a break this round since 2004.

Cleaning house is hard. Doing laundry is hard. Washing dishes is hard.

I'm helping a man sell his house on a "short sale." He called me today and said he could hear all the "stress" I was feeling from dealing with his house sale. I had to apologize. I thought I hid my physical pain well. What he heard through the phone was my strained voice from the headache pain. I thought I was pretending very well at being a competent business gal. The bank and the Department of Veterans Affairs have thrown a monkey wrench into our short sale (no surprise there, and nothing I haven't seen before). In my trying to explain the nasty process of short sales over the phone, the Seller thought I was stressing out about the VA's nonsense.

I explained I was sick. I never know what to tell people though when I tell them I'm sick. It's easier to say that I had the flu or a bug. "Uh, I'm actually disabled a whole week out of the month," is hard for me to tell someone I'm working for. Usually, being self-employed I can hide out in my bed and conduct business from email, my virtual office, or the cell phone. When I have to I pile on the makeup, throw on a skirt and show up to whatever I need to be at.

I have tried many doctors, and I have had terrible experiences with doctors. Recently, I got a referral to see a "new" neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic. I was so excited that I got this referral, that I called a good Realtor friend who happens to have the exact same chronic condition as me. I told D-- that I was going to see a new neurologist from the Cleveland Clinic! D-- then says to me, " is his office there in Chatham Village?" "yes," I answer. "I hate to tell you this, Seriously Though," he says. "I saw that guy and he did absolutely nothing for me. He waved his finger in front of my face, made me walk funny, and then said he could do nothing for me." Well, hopefully, I would have a better outcome. I didn't. Not only did the neurologist just wave his finger in front of my eyes and make me walk funny, he was rude, uncaring, interrupted me, wouldn't let me talk. I started crying in frustration and he just looked at me like "yep, you're just a crazy lady."

I've tried Lyrica, anti-depressants, narcotics, ibuprofen, you name it. Nothing even touches the pain. The only thing that relieves some pain at the moment I'm doing it is hot, hot baths and showers, massages, chiropractic adjustments, and a few yoga stretches help momentarily.

My friend, the Realtor, says he can hold his head a certain way and all the pressure and pain goes away for a few minutes. Finding this friend has been the most therapeutic thing for me in this life of pain. I know when he says he feels sorry for me, he really means it, and vice versa. In fact, we both have been talking about getting normal jobs because the market is so hard to work right now and I'm operating at a business loss. He cut his expenses back and took on a part time job at a friend's retail shop. But we both agree if we worked for someone else where you punch a clock, we'd get fired after awhile because of the illness. Self-employment seems our only option.

Meanwhile, I had two contracts fall out of contract within an hour of each other. I picked up a few "leads" who might want to either buy or sell. I need to get my act together and put some marketing stuff together for these kind people I just met. I have this idea that I want to make videos of my listings with a flip camera and show special places like parks and cafes. I just feel too horrible to write the scripts and put it all together.


  1. Man, I hope you can find something that will take the pain away! :(

  2. I am familiar with this condition only because of my line of work; I can't imagine you were treated that way by the neurologist the Cleveland Clinic. I can't imagine dealing with the pain you experience and try to function. It is good though that you know someone you can at least commiserate with who is emphatic to what you are going through, as you are emphathic to him. Sorry though! I am sure it is very frustrating to deal with it all!