Hello, reader. How are you doing? My housemate friend asked me about my pain.
Yes, it’s a big topic. I love myself unconditionally, and I understand deep in my bones that all bodies are valid bodies.
My pain might be like yours, or it might be different. But I wrote a list poem, and I thought I’d share it with you. Thank you for caring about my well-being and about the well-being of all disabled people.
Sometimes my shoulders dislocate,
but only partway.
My hip joints hurt so much.
I get confusing pains in my shins.
My lymph nodes hurt
and are swelled up
all the time, especially by
my iliac crest, my armpits,
and on my ribs.
Sometimes my thyroid aches.
My ribs have hurt for more than 20 years.
Rarely I’m afraid I’ll fall down the stairs
because my hips, knees, and ankles
hurt so much and aren’t working right.
I pause and stare at the wall,
holding the handrail.
My pain mixes with fear.
My ovaries take turns hurting
like a motherfucker
one week out of each month
becoming more like two weeks.
I get a weird horrifying
monthly pain like I can barely breathe
that I used to think was my os
opening, and now I have no idea.
The pinched nerve in my neck
hurts extra sometimes, and a line
down my arm to my right pinky can itch.
I have limited use of that hand.
My toes tingle in a bad way
when I lie down in bed.
My neck, shoulders, and upper back
hurt so much that I cry.
People assume it’s because I’m fat,
but actually I have a strange body.
Sometimes I sleep on my tummy,
and a nipple gets pinched against the bed.
I wake up crying and wait
about ten minutes then can usually sleep again.
So it’s mostly lymph, joint, and nerve pain.
Besides the pinched nerve
and “hypermobile joints,” I have no physical diagnosis.