I’m probably being naïve to think this topic isn’t too controversial to post. But, I don’t shy from ideas and discussions and information so… I’ve been learning about our “failed drug war” and also about how some people use medical marijuana and the benefits they say they experience. I’m not someone looking for any type of drug at the moment but I’ll be honest, I sometimes think about what the future with diabetes has to bring and I wonder if I will desperately want that option at some point.
This worry may not make sense to some but personally, I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 20 years. I’m 31 and know I likely have many more years of diabetes ahead of me. I know that every year brings the possibility of diabetes complications closer to reality and so I ask myself, “how will I cope?” One of the most common complications of diabetes is nerve damage, which may bring nerve pain among a plethora of other possibilities. I’ve dealt with random pains most of my life (not going to list them for you) and am already acutely aware of the way chronic pain works it’s way into every facet of life, from the obvious to the mundane and least expected.
To suffer more pain and not have many options for managing it sounds daunting. I’m on this topic of thought tonight because two weeks ago I had a cavity filled. The dentist said, “You have a huge cavity! So this is going to hurt and if it hurts after a few days you will probably need a root canal.” Well, I’ve been in some decent pain since that day and today I broke down in tears because the constant, between a level 1-10 I’d say 4 pain I’m having is wearing me out. Life doesn’t stop when someone is in pain. I mean if most of us have an accident or a temporary illness we get to rest and then move on as strong as ever. But when pain lasts and lasts, when people can no longer carry you or cook for you or take care of the kids for you, how do you do all that yourself? I’m only at a pain level of about 4 and I’m wishing someone would give me a sleeping pill so I can have a break. To be honest, some magnets for pain are taking the edge off for me. And I’m super grateful and obviously open to solutions like that.
I call this pain a 4 because I think I know a 10. I once spent a few hours screaming non stop from kidney stone pain (after a laser blasting of a large stone which caused many small stones to parade down my urethra) which was so bad I would have nearly taken a gun to my head had that option been available. I know, I know, “Sysy, how can you say such things?!” Pain can take over.
You must be asking yourself, “Ugh, why haven’t you gone in for that root canal?” Well, because I can’t afford it. But since I have health insurance I can’t go to the local free clinics, either. I have private dental insurance and it costs an arm and a leg. My son is going to the dentist tomorrow and it will cost $500. He comes before me so I will bargain and strategize until I can manage to go in and hand over the dough. Don’t worry about me, Friday is nigh!
Back to diabetes. You can see what has taken me down this trail of thought. Previous life experience, current pain that is making my jaw, ear, and neck hurt and my vision blurry in one eye. (Gosh, I hope that’s normal) If diabetes causes me some kind of chronic pain in the future…will I be able to handle it? I’m very sensitive to pain. I once went to a salon to get a Brazilian wax and passed out like a fool. I may not want prescription medications with dangerous side effects and astronomical costs. In fact, I know I don’t want that option. My organs need to be protected. They’ve been stressed out since I was 11. Is there anything else? I hear there is. I think I hope it may be available if I need support one day. And this doesn’t even begin to address all the people who could use some help RIGHT NOW. Do they, do you, want this option? I’m all about healthy lifestyle choices to manage conditions but what if I need more?
Growing up, the boy I was in love with, joked with me often saying, “Marriage-you-wanna?” (Get it? “Marij-uana?”) And like a good girl I always said “no”. I’d like to revise my answer to: “maybe one day?”