Beans to spill?

posted on: Monday, 16 May 2011

I am always a bit torn, when writing here, between being brutally honest or scrimping on the details for the sake of privacy. That fine line between drama and truth. You see, I am not entirely sure I know what to say about what has been going on with me lately. It's been a sort of slow movement, gradual and almost imperceptible over a some months; but now that I look at it, I can perceive the build up.

via brown dress with white dots from emerson made
From a blog perspective, I have this slightly uneasy relationship. Some people who read the blog are those who know me in the real world. Mainly they've known me for years and are my trusted friends, to whom I have divulged my blog secret (yes, I write a blog, yep I know it's unusual, yes I do share my thoughts with the world and no, I am not quite sure why, but yes I do love it). For this category of reader, I figure whatever I write here will just be a facet of what they already know. Then there are readers who know me, either because they have stumbled on my secret blog or because my husband, who is inordinately proud of what I 'create' here, tends to furtively show colleagues and acquaintances. This is quite touching but also leaves me with the impression that maybe his boss reads. 'Hi there', if you do, but forgive me if that makes me ever so slightly guarded about what I write. Then there are my blog friends; those who I may never have met but who shower me with empathy and kindness in comments and emails and without whom, frankly, this would be a lot less meaningful. And then there is the great unknown Internet out there, of readers who drop by, revel in all things Lou, and then carry on with their day, unknown to me.

This blog is a personal blueprint of me, which at times is so personal, but forever positioned as this open experiment where I write as if I am chatting over the telephone to one person, but actually the sound vibrations on that phone line can be picked up by thousands of others. This is why so many bloggers expend so much time discussing this point, and yes, when you think about it, it does feel really strange. I try not to think about it too much...

And so to the beans to spill...what's going on with me? An incremental set of circumstances, some medical and some psychological, and some where those two arenas collide. I have an unexplained, undiagnosed pain in my face; a year ago they thought it was tooth ache, but there is nothing wrong with my teeth. I have seen specialists (who were confounded by what it is), I have taken medication (with disastrous side effects and no results), I have googled every pain website there is. The fact remains: I have this pain, it's affecting my life and there appears to be no diagnosis and no treatment. My reaction to this fact veers from acceptance to abject panic at the prospect that I will have this forever. I do however acknowledge that compared to what some people go through medically, this is small fry.

So last week I tried to devise a plan; with some help from various sources to get this sorted. I rely on a discreet little group of friends who get random emails at odd hours saying things like 'you've known me for donkeys years, do I seem different to you?' I am trying to get to the bottom of whether the worry I feel about this pain is actually real.  Is the worry causing the pain? Is the pain causing the worry? So I am going to look at it close up and in the eyes and see if that helps. I have enlisted homeopaths and osteopaths and other people with 'path' in their title. So bear with me...

Meanwhile not blogging for a week was in some ways liberating, in some ways odd, in some ways strangely lonely (what? no comments!). I feel like I have an old friend whom I have not seen for a while and there is much to catch up on. The news and thoughts will filter through in coming days...

via brown dress with white dots


  1. Oh Lou, selfishly good to see you back. I am one of those people who love your blog, check in every day and then disappear again (work, my three little girls, the book I am writing (legal textbook I'm afraid not exciting novel) my home etc...). Curiously I have found myself worrying about you though and am glad to see all is, if not well, then hopefully manageable. I too have some unresolved health issues I have been avoiding and I applaud your courage in getting to the bottom of it, it is, I feel very important. So inspired by you (not just the beautiful words and images this time but the action) I shall phone the doctor. Here's to some peaceful resolution and I raise my cup of tea to you for deciding to share and make the world a better place.

    Amanda x

  2. Lou, precious, I am so sorry to hear of this distress you're suffering. Sometimes in life there are unexplained pains which come & go, but for the sake of your family you must persevere and actually find the correct diagnosis. Maybe it's a sinus problem, maybe neurological. I know how dreadful it is to spend days/hours/weeks seeking doctors with answers, but you must. No one your age has continuing pain for no reason.
    Take good care of yourself, darling one...the world needs you. xx's

  3. Aw Geez! I hope that you get really well soon! So sorry that you're going through everything, but it's amazing that you're wanting to go through and figure out the root causes! I hope it get's all figured out soon!

  4. Oh Lou, I don't know you much because I am receantly following you but somehow I feel attached and I feel your distress as mine.
    Unfortunatelly I don't have a remedy for this pain but I can try to understand your distress. My advice don't let yourself down and keep looking for advice, all types: doctors, advisers and natural remedies...Someone is going to find the way to help you and relief this pain.
    I WISH you all the BEST, and believe me you will find a solution but you just need to keep looking!!!

  5. Hi there Lou,
    First of all, I have always admired you for speaking out on your blog although, I have always told our children and often my friends not to tell everyone EVERYTHING. I have one friend who will tell everyone all of her problems and worries and, unfortunately, some start to gossip and question how she deals with everything. They are obviously not real friends but, I think that you would only tell those closest to you your inner most secrets.
    Re your pain in your face, it's always good to seek profesional advice ( could it be neuralgia ? That's really painful. Does it feel strange when you touch your face ? ) but, I remember having a pain in my head and, thinking it went down to my arm and then somewhere else and when I told the doctor he said that people often have an unknown pain somewhere and, because the start to worry, they then have a pain somewhere else that is psychosomatic.I know that is slightly different to the pain that you are having but, what I'm trying to say in a very roundabout way is that, if you are worrying or have a lot on your plate, and, you do do a lot, it could be stress...... BUT, it is always good to try everything. I am a great believer in alternative medicine, as long as you have seen your own GP...... sorry, I think that I've waffled on and not really said anything to help !!!!
    Wishing you well Lou and try not to worry to much about things in general.
    Much love. XXXX

  6. Sorry Lou, This is a difficult one. A good friend of mine is treating someone with exactly the same problem - It's a tricky one. Stay focused on figuring it out and I am sure you will get there.
    Best Wishes!

  7. So sorry to hear you are suffering. I hope you get to the bottom of this unexplained pain soon xxx

  8. Louuuuuu, this is beautifully written as per usual! i hope you feel better! i cant believe you have had that pain for so long! its been great conversing via email :) xx

  9. Hope you manage to get to the bottom of the problem my dear, thinking of you and sending you the warmest wishes <3

  10. Hi honey, again as I've said before I'm proud of you for writing as you do. It is brave and you express yourself so well in your writings(I just know we all relate to you).

    Secondly I'm so very sorry to hear about what you have been going through. I have everything crossed that you will find answers and this will go away for you.
    love DJ

  11. I love your words ~ how they seem to pour out ~ honest and true. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through ~ living with constant pain is not fun I know. Thinking of you. xo

  12. hi Lou - how horrible. And very worrying.

    Sometimes people say to me: 'I have this [insert health issue]' and then quickly add 'but of course its nothing compared to what you are going through'.. and I think that is silly because EVERYTHING is relative. You feel your pain just as badly as I may feel mine. And your pain is no less important just because other people have other more 'serious' conditions.

    And you must keep pushing to get it sorted and treated.

    You are hinting here that you think it may be caused by stress? Perhaps. But that is no reason to stop looking for a medical cause. I am big believer in conventional plus alternative medicine so you should go for that too.

    I wonder is it high up enough in your face to be temporal arteritis? I got that once (caused by stress!)

    Stay well xoxoxo

  13. You do a wonderful job balancing that line between public and private, and you write so eloquently that you've drawn a lot of us in as well. I consider you to be a friend, even though we've never met. Is that strange? It upsets me to hear that you're struggling with such pain. I am sure that the frustration of not knowing can be as upsetting to deal with as the actual pain. I certainly hope they are able to figure something out - in the meantime, stay diligent and keep pushing until they do. I like that you're even trying the "paths" as well...have you tried acupuncture yet? Good luck, and I'll be sending lots of positive energy your way from across the ocean.

  14. My mom was having severe neck pain. She ended up having neck surgery. The pain remains. Ultimately, they told her it was her jaw. It's amazing how many things go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed altogether. I hope you find some answers soon.

  15. I hope you feel better soon Lou. I've had a pain in my right side for so long. I had an aunt pass away with bowel cancer, aged only 40... so the other week I had a colonoscopy and had two polyps removed... had I have left this, I wouldn't have had the routine colonoscopy until I reached 50 (I'm only 36)... so I thank god I did that... I still have the pain in my right hand side... it wasn't related... I guess I'm just getting old!!! Good luck with everything and listen to your body! Lx

  16. Hi Lou,
    So sorry to hear that you have this worrying and distressing pain. And you are right to listen to what your body is telling you, and to explore all avenues. Hard though it may be, try not to worry too much, as the stress, though not necessarily the cause, is probably exacerbating everything.
    And I hear what you say about baring ones soul to the blog world. I too wonder about crossing that line sometimes. For what it's worth, I admire the way you write, and really feel as though you're talking to a friend when you share your posts. xx

  17. Oh Lou - pain it is a nasty thing and I wish there was something I could do to give you an answer - you know I think your writing is amazing - you share just enough to make it personal but leave a little mystery! You know I think this post will bring some answers - someone will read this who knows just what the problem is and they will be able to help - please keep sharing and keep us posted on how things go. Much love Leanne x

  18. A lot of times I find things get better when I talk about them -- you're doing all the right things!
    I hope they find out the source of your is hard enough to get through our busy days without having to deal with any type of bodily pain.

    Something to ask your docs: could it be in your sinus'? My mom had what she thought was a toothache and it turned out to be an infection in her sinus'.

    All the best. I'll be thinking about you!

  19. Hi Lou,
    Just wanted to say I am thinking of you.

    Acupuncture has worked for me in a few aspects of well being. YOu never know it might help your pain.
    I wish you health and happiness x

  20. Dear Lou. I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling well and that the pain seems to have been present for a while now. How worrying.. x I bet the uncertainty of it all is just as painful as the actual physical pain. It is so hard not to know.
    I hope you are getting answers and more importantly a path forward where you can feel healthy, happy and pain free again.

    The mother of a close friend of my son's suffers from something called 'trigeminal neuralgia', and has had pains in one side of her head and face for years. Just wanted to drop it in here so that you can research this a little to see if it fits your symptoms. I sincerely hope not..

    Am sending you tons of love, warm hugs and healing energy. You are always such a sharing and beautiful person Lou and regardless of us just being your 'virtual friends', we care for you very much.

    xx Charlotta

  21. honey...i am so sorry that you are going through this unknown issue...for thinkers {like yourself!!!} it makes it worse to have no path to follow to treat it...

    yes, other people may have other medical issues, but it is all relative...& if this affects your daily life then on your personal scale- it is at the top of things to be sorted...

    you are right to deal with this with both alternate & traditional will happen upon something this way, that will put you on the correct path...

    on another note...i think blogging is the personal with a huge dose of distance...not emotional distance- that is sky high in blogging...but the times you feel like you are talking to friends & at others you are just sharing your thoughts aloud...

    anyway- we my sweet friend, are listening and thinking of you...

    melissa xx

  22. Hi Lou,

    Glad to see you back, but sorry to hear of your pain. Has anyone suggested Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction as this can refer pain to other area's?(am just being treated for this myself at the moment).

    Also, after years of dealing with a severe whiplash injury and a hundred and one specialists with no results, I discovered an amazing physical medicine specialist who has worked magic..I couldn't find one easily in the UK on the net. Here is the link for the Australian college to explain what they do:(

    I would highly recommend this treatment and could ask my own DR for a referral to someone in the UK if you weren't getting anywhere.

    Anyway enough of my medical advice..I hope you get some results soon.x

  23. So sorry to hear about your pain. I totally agree with Jane above - Yes, some people may have bigger problems, but that doesn't mean that this is not huge to you! You must not give up trying to figure out what is wrong - you should not be in pain! Hope you find some solution soon.

  24. I do hope you find some help and answers to your pain. Thinking of you and wishing a good and healthy outcome.

  25. Let me start by saying I am so sorry for your pain. And I know the feeling of how the psychological plays into it. It is maddening frankly. I use to have the same sort of thing happening to me in my chest. I find that acupuncture and different vitamins have helped heal some of it.

    Stay strong and I hope writing this post helped. I always enjoy the raw emotion you bring to writing, Lou. It is absolutely charming and there is no other blogger like you!


  26. Hi Lou. I love your blog and I am always touched by your honesty and creativity. Have you considered that your facial pain could be TMJ or Bell's palsy? Both can be checked by your local chiropractor and corrected with adjustments. Worth a try. I know daily pain can wear a person down. Get well soon and thank you for sharing your story.

  27. Hey Lovely Lady....firstly glad to see you back to your bloggy self - was getting a little worried back there! So sorry you're still suffering with this - you must be going crazy by now. Apart from sending a big hug, I'm at a loss as to advise what to do. it sounds like you're doing the right things to get to the bottom of it and I really hope you find some answers soon. Hate to think of you suffering... :( xxxxx

  28. So sorry you're going through this.
    My brother's friend had a pain in his face and it was diagnosed. I will find out the name in case it helps any.
    All the best.


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