At the age of 22 I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. The process of its discovery was a rollercoaster and the emotional instability and uncertainty that comes with it’s existence is a lot to handle. For more on the history of the thing inside my head, how I told my friends and family, and how I am doing now, feel free to click here to read my previous posts.
The time since my last appointment with Neuro has been significantly more bittersweet then I could have imagined. I left my appointment assuming nothing would change. I assumed either I wouldn’t notice a difference from the increase in my medication or I would find out I was allergic to it like the last time I had been on a medication from that drug family. Except the medicine worked. I’m not in pain and I’m not allergic to it. The other symptoms are still there, the occasional extreme nausea, the dizziness, the occasional random episodes of blindness, the hallucinations, but I’m not in pain. My alcohol tolerance is back, I’m less tempted to spend 16+ hours a day in bed, and for the most part my parents have gone on with their lives almost as if they never found out about the thing in my head. However one big change is still looming over me and I don’t know how to handle it.
I miss the pain. A few months ago I cut out all pain killers, not because I had any sort of dependency on them but because I was told that if I did that I could likely eliminate bounce back headaches and overtime decrease the amount of pain I had been feeling in my head for as long as I can remember. Except it didn’t decrease the pain, it just taught me to live with it. If I told myself I wasn’t going to give in that day, I wouldn’t. I learned to do incredible things while experiencing an immense amount of pain and on the day’s I didn’t feel like I could push through I had a friend who constantly reminded me when I needed to suck it up and stood by me when it was time to finally break down. I gained strength not just physically but mentally, allowing me to start improving myself in ways I had never thought I would be capable of. I had begun defining myself by my ability to fight through the pain I was feeling 24 hours a day. Then one morning I woke up and it was gone.
Maybe I’m still in shock, but its been 2 weeks and instead of coming around to enjoying the lack of pain I’m finding myself grasping at ways to bring it back. Because now instead of feeling a deep physical pain day in and day out, it has been replaces with an intensifying emotional pain that never goes away. I’m angry, I’m temperamental, and dear lord do I cry at everything. I repeat bad decisions hours after telling myself it will never happen again and I’m finding myself longing for the 5 year period of time between 2010 and 2015 when I lived with practically no emotions at all. I’m happy the medicine is working because it means I have a shot of one day waking up with a smaller brain tumor as opposed to waking up one day and discovering it has decided to start killing me; but if I wake up one day and discover a way to trade in my emotions in exchange for bringing back the pain, I can’t promise I wouldn’t do it.