I used to love going out at lunch with a few coworkers at work. There’s a small group of us that usually go on pay day and catch up. It felt good to leave the office space and talk about other things than work.
My office friendship haven’t change, but I have. I have been diagnosed with Graves Disease, Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Cancer. I am taking medication and some symptoms have improved, while others have worsen. I find that pain is now a daily issue, which goes from muscle pain to my legs won’t support me, I can’t lift anything and I can’t move my fingers. It seems I now have chronic pain.
Walking outside in winter is now equivalent to torture. By the time we get to our destination, I am in so much pain that I can’t follow the conversation. I’m distant and struggling against tears. My pain is invisible, people have a hard time to understand. Unfortunately, having an invisible condition can be a constant battle to be believed and understood by the world around us.
I cancel on the group often now. I can’t go out if it’s slippery or if there was a recent snow storm and snow removal hasn’t happened yet, due to weakness in my legs caused by Graves Disease and injury. I was warned by the medical specialist not to walk in snow or sand as I would damage my legs further.
When I do say yes, I know that I will be in some serious pain for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Sometime I will go, because going out will do my spirit some good, even if it won’t help me physically. Sometimes I say no, because I had a recent flare up and need a break from serious pain for a bit.
Small regular things I used to take for granted now takes planning and careful decision making. I have to think about my every action and the calculate the consequence then make a decision about doing them. It’s very disheartening at time.