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"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm sad from S.A.D.

Seasonal affective disorder:"Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is tied to seasons of the year. Most people with SAD are depressed only during the late fall and winter (sometimes called the "winter blues") and not during the spring or summer. A small number, however, are depressed only during the late spring and summer." *

I do not really have it, at least not to the level required for a psychiatric diagnosis. It is usually associated with the reduced number of sunlight hours. I do not see an explanation for the folks who have it in summer and spring.

I know my reason.

The spring and summer have longer days. I wake and the sunlight streams through the windows. It is so bright the curtains are no foil for it.

My first thought: what a gorgeous day. My second thought: the bright light hurts my eye already and I have yet to do anything. The third thought: what am I going to do with all the hours in this day?

I have choir rehearsal tonight. Yay! And yet, it is a pain causing activity. I will be with people and a part of something. I will also need to take codeine and fight the effects of the pill and the pain. Enjoyment and anticipation become pain and worry.

Sometimes I think I need to join some kind of a group. I do not have folks here that I can call beforehand or on a whim and say "Let's go out to the store or for coffee." Most people work. Those who do not seem to have full schedules. I want a full schedule. I also want to have Donald Trump's money and a house made of gold.

Maybe it is age or fatigue. I find the fear of the pain getting worse, keeping me tethered to my house.

It is an amazing thing. When the pain was at its worse, when the idea of a breeze or a touch setting off the pain, I feel like I did more. Memory is funny. Maybe I did. No, I know I did but doing so involved being on high levels of narcotics: feeling tired, fuzzy, dry mouthed all day long.

The pain, now only in and around my eye, has me fighting against taking the meds - struggling with the thought of taking even one - much more than I think I ever did. I do not know why. All along I have felt brain surgery is for something horrendous, like cancer, not 'just' for pain. Despite the 12 surgeries a part of me still feels that way. I am the queen of denial.

Narcotics, even the lowest level is for something gigundous, not 'just' because I used my eye. And yet, there it is. It is the only thing to be done if I want to do something, something I am not really sure helps, other than to give me a false sense of control.

So, I sit here in my house. I keep the computer on, sometimes stay sitting in front of it but fighting to keep from actively using it continuously.

I look at the clock. Let's see, it is 2:00. Only 6 hours until dusk: and I cannot be out then because I cannot drive at night.

Today Rachel is picking me up to go to choir. 5 hours until I need to get ready. Maybe I could go out. Go to the store for something. No. That will make the pain worse. It is too sunny and if I look at a lot of items or go up and down the aisles I will need to take a pill. I am already annoyed at myself and the pain because I had to take a codeine this morning. Choir will mean having to take much more than I want to for one day.

So I am sad: sad that pain has robbed me of so much, just because the day requires me to use my eyes, even when I am doing nothing. S.A.D. because the beautiful day, the wonderful season, increases my sense of loss.

(I like to try and end even depressing posts or stories in 'real life' with a smile or joke. It was hard to find one for this post but then it came to me. Not a big one. For some reason the idea of Beauty and the beast occurred to me. Spring the beauty, pain the beast. It worked out in the story. Maybe there is a way for spring and I to also become friends and partners.



  1. This pain, I know of what you speak. Seven long lonely years now I have been jailed by my pain thereby necessitating that I become totall housebound. Seven years ago, at my job as Nurse, as patient decided that day was the day he was going to lash out at all that was wrong in his life and I happenedn to be the lucky one in his room when this rage came upon him.
    I live on 14 narcotic pills per day just to be able to rise from my bed and stay in my special chair all day. I cannot sit or stand for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time, and can't walk more than 25 steps at a time with a walker without sitting down.
    My days are filled with 20 minutes of sitting up, 20 minutes of laying down, 20 minutes of sitting up, 20 minutes of laying down. Well, you get the picture, don't you Carol?
    My children have left home now and are deservedly making lives of their own. My husband leaves for work each morning at 7:00 and not returning until 6:30 each night leaving me alone to fill 11 1/2 hours. My computer, book blog, books and my two dogs are my saving grace. But the pain is always there, ever present. People say "you look good" because they can't "see" the pain, it isn't real them but it is very real to me.
    Keep your head up, Carol, I am by your side.


  2. ):
    Thank you Louise. I am so sorry you are in such horrendous pain. I am glad that at least you do have those things to sustain you. gentle hugs, Carol

  3. Thank you, Carol. Sorry I didn't proofread the post before I clicked "enter".


  4. Wow. I follow the process of your thinking. Although we do not think the same things, or dwell on the same subjects. But I find it amazing you have the talent to explain precisely how you weight out the echoes of your choices. Well done!

  5. Theresa, Thank you for reading and your nice words. Always good to to know others people who understand how your mind works. Carol