Yesterday I went to see Dr. S again for a follow up and referrals. We talked about a few things, like how she wants me to restrict my diet even more to just lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, and if I have any grain (like brown rice, etc.) it needs to be whole and not processed in any way. So there goes even gluten-free bread, pasta, and all that. The purpose is because she wants me to lose weight (which I need to do regardless of any diagnoses) because it will be easier on my joints, and this diet will help. I’m actually pleased about what she told me I could eat because several years ago, when I lost about 40 pounds, this is the diet I was on. And now I have a doctor confirming it…lol. It’s the little things.

During our conversation weight, however, I did mention that I had always thought that was why my joints were always hurting — because I was carrying around all this weight.

She looked at me and asked, “So you’ve been in pain all this time and no one did anything about it?”

“No. I thought it was just because of my weight, so I didn’t think to say anything. It was just kind of in the background.”

“How long have you been in pain?”

“I first noticed my knees hurting about…” I had to think about it, “…11 or 12 years ago, maybe?”

She just shook her head. I don’t know if it was because she was amazed that I’ve lived with it for so long, or because I’ve been too stupid to say anything about it. Maybe a combination of both. But I did walk away with something from that conversation, and it may seem weird that this is what I got out of it:

It’s okay for me to allow myself to feel the pain. It’s okay for me to complain about it. In fact, I need to complain about it, because if I don’t then I’ll be miserable suffering it in silence. And it won’t get taken care of.

That was kind of freeing. Now granted, I have to be balanced about my complaints. I do have a husband who will probably get tired of hearing me, but I know he loves me enough to understand that this is our lives now. And I will be meeting with a rheumatologist to talk about pain management. But to be honest, it still doesn’t make this any less difficult.