pain

I grew up with something always wrong with me.

If it wasn’t an ear infection, then I had an allergic reaction to a lotion, or it was a sinus infection that made my eyes swollen. I had stomach ulcers that kept both myself and my mother awake for nights on end. I had random stomach pain, hip pain, migraines, headaches, and joins hurting.

I grew up to learn that my body will always have an infection somewhere and will constantly hurt all over.

I went to the doctor a lot.

But, was I ever diagnosed with anything other than a virus or an infection?

Nope. 

And so began my anxiety with doctors.

As I got older, I tried to decipher more whether my body was actually in pain or if, once again, nothing was wrong with it and my mind was playing tricks on me.

Now, I still don’t know how to tell.

This year alone I have gone to the doctor for intensive migraines (I thought maybe they could be caused by a car accident), multiple (like 8) UTI’s, loss of vision, dizziness, weight loss, and a few other symptoms that normal people would be alarmed with as well.

But me? 

It always turns out that it is all in my head.

Depression takes a toll on your body. But I am still figuring out just how much. Does a normal, healthy, 24-year-old who eats mildly healthy supposed to feel like this?

At what point will I know if something is seriously wrong? 

My mom is usually the ultimate decider.

“Mom I couldn’t see out of my right eye again. Do I need to go back to the eye doctor even though I just went a few months ago and nothing was wrong?”

“Mom I lost another 5 pounds and every time I eat I immediately feel like vomiting and then my stomach hurts.”

“Mom my poop is that weird color and has blood in it again. No I didn't eat anything different and no I didn’t drink anymore than an average 24-year-old does.”

“Mom my joints hurt so bad today that I had to take a hydro from when I got my wisdom teeth out just to get comfortable.”

This is my life. The pain and confusion of whether I actually hurt or if once again, it's just depression taking the unrelenting toll on my life.

So, do I like doctors?

 Not so much.

I am sitting on well over $1,500 in bills I can’t pay that turned out to be nothing.

But better safe than sorry, right? 

I don’t think I have ever talked to a healthcare professional and laid out all the things I feel in a day's time. It all makes me sound crazy and then nothing turns out to be wrong with me.

I’ve been through this two or eighty-seven times.

Depression doesn’t just make you sad. It takes away your energy.  It gives you migraines that take you to the floor. It makes you lose 20 pounds that you don’t have to spare. It makes your back and hips and knees hurt when all you want to do is go run.

Depression cripples your life more than just in your mind, it continues to take a toll on your physical body.

It gets to the point that you don’t trust your own body.

What is real and what is just in my head?

That’s a question I am forever asking myself.

Jaimie Schmitz