October 25, 2010 - The Chronicles of Biff - Chapter 1

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have stories, and I love to tell them. Some say I even have a knack for it, I just enjoy sharing my experiences, emotions and feelings in words. I find it therapeutic and cathartic and if thereís anything I need right now, its something to make me feel better.  All that being said, I have decided to jump start my writing again as I embark on this new phase in my life.  I will chronicle things as the words come to me and my health allows me.  I cannot promise that these will be happy, inspiring or entertaining writings but they will always be honest and a true representation of what I am feeling and thinking at the moment. So without further adieu, away we go

Days like this are the hardest. 

I have come to accept the fact that I will never be completely well ever again.  I really didnít have much of a choice. Acceptance of a brutal truth is one of the hardest things that one can do and I have been forced to either accept the cards that I have been dealt or fold my hand and pack it in.  And I donít give up that easily. For once, my stubbornness comes in handy.  But I am only human and there is only so much that any human being can handle before beginning to show cracks and my cracks become evident with each passing day. I breakdown on a weekly basis, I have frustrating crying fits, I swear, I punch the air and I scream. But I never say why me. I think it, but I also know that the events that lead to this were most likely caused by my own actions and indiscretions. Some may think my words here are overdramatic or whiny but I am going to be blunt here; if you felt what I feel and had to live with what I live with on a daily basis, I would defy you not to be. 

I live with chronic pain on a daily basis due to chronic pancreatitis. Basically my pancreas, which aids in the digestion process, doesnít work like it should thereby causing a traffic jam in my abdomen resulting in almost constant, sometimes debilitating pain. And the hardest part? There is no fix for it. This will be with me for the rest of my life. The rest of my life; a phrase that most commonly causes above stated breakdowns and is the hardest part of this whole thing to live with. The only treatment per se is to take pills. Pills to aid in digestion and pills to try and help to make the pain manageable. Manageable, thatís a laugh. Pain is never manageable, it is omnipresent and intense. The only difference is that it waxes and wanes depending on..hell, depending on its mood. There is no rhyme or reason to it. So just to ďmanageĒ through any given day, I take up to 23 pills, not optionally. I have to or else it only makes him (Biff, Iíve named it in an effort to find humor and make it somehow easier to deal with) angrier. 

Back to today, it is one of the bad ones. I do have good ones, meaning that the pain is lessened but still there. This could be due to Biffís mood or the meds or hell, the tides and cycles of the moon. I donít know, itís unpredictable.  What I feel varies as well, Biff has his different incarnations, all of which are equally annoying.  Sometimes it feels like a pins and needles consistent pressing just below my ribs, sometimes it feels like a muscle tensing throughout my abdomen and most times it feels like that bloated ache that you feel after you eaten a big meal; except that this one doesnít go away.  Then add on top of any combination of those, the side effects of the 8 different types of medicines that I take, such as dizziness, queasiness, exhaustion or headaches and such you have about 75% of my current and future existence. Just in case any of you ever wanted to relate to or imagine what Iím going through, there ya go.  

In the past 7 months, I have learned more about the pancreas and the digestive process than I ever really cared to know.  It always seemed like a very enigmatic organ in that I didnít really know its purpose was. From my mom being diabetic, all I really knew was that it was responsible for producing insulin and that diabeticís pancreases didnít work very well. I once remember asking my mom ďCanít they just take it out and put in a good one?Ē Seems rather prophetic now in retrospect.  

In actuality, the pancreas has two functions. In addition to the production of insulin to regulate blood sugar, it also produces enzymes that aid in breaking down food.  Apparently mine has decided that it doesnít want to break things down as much anymore. Why?  It seems like the experts donít know how exactly it gets damaged, why the pain exists exactly and why it doesnít heal itself.  Apparently mine has scars, I have pictures, but these scars will not heal. What kind of body part doesnít, in some way, heal itself?? Scars on your skin do, burns do, bones heal, muscles and tendons do but no, the pancreas has to be the odd man out and give up once injured. Like the kid who gets knocked down in the dirt during baseball and just gets up and goes home, vowing to never play the game again. What kind of sense does that make?  

If I start searching for things that make sense in this whole thing, I will just exhaust myself. All I can do is make it from one day to the next, knowing that I could feel okay one day and crummy the next. Tis the nature of the beast, and the beast is cranky today.


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