Today the limping is not so bad. I don’t feel it is noticeable to others. But the pain is there just the same. Today the pain is in the front of the left thigh radiating down past my knee and the side of my calf; pain level #4, tolerable, and able to ignore. I’ve been functioning in a daze. The migraine meds I took in the middle of the night still have hold of my brain. The headache was the worst I’ve had in a long time; Up to a pain level #8. But, now the temporal artery is only swollen and throbs when I walk in the heat. Doctors say that migraines run in families and that they start at an early age. They’re right about the first part. I was a bit disdainful of my relatives when they complained of migraines until I had my first at age thirty five.
But they never told me that one half of my pelvis would flap in the breeze like a hinge on a gate without a lock. They didn't tell me of the years of excruciating pain while the bones rubbed against each other until they wore down the cartilage and began to fuse together. They didn't tell me that the muscles on the side, without the support, would shrink and spasm and need constant stretching. They didn't tell me about a lot of things. I’ve had to find out for myself. Its not too obvious to most people, this gaping hole in my anatomy. Even doctors who don’t know my history, don’t really understand the long term effects. Occasionally, I’ll run into a really good Physical Therapist who documents all the bio-mechanical reasons for my difficulties. Then I produce those records to any new doctor I might have and get some understanding. I’ve made it a point over the years to survive without being drugged. The first couple years I lived in a not entirely pain free stupor. It wasn't worth it. I’d rather feel the pain, cope with it the best I can, and feel alive. What annoys me most are the judges of my life, well meaning friends, family and strangers, alike, not living inside my body, who, when I have made monumental effort to climb a flight of stairs without wincing, say something like: “You look like you do just fine to me. Maybe you’re over-reacting!” I never know whether to cry or strike out in rage. I usually do nothing. I’ve often thought if we were all born with a simple purple dot on the forehead that would intensify in color indicating increasing pain levels everyone would know exactly how everyone else was feeling.