I'm learning something. There are lots of different kinds of pain.
I know that sounds silly. Of course, everybody knows that. There's the pain of scraping your knee, the pain of a paper cut, the pain of a broken bone. Those are all pretty specific, and most of us can relate to those kinds of pain. What is interesting is that we all have some kind of pain memory, too. I'm not talking about phantom pain, or anything like that. I'm talking about when you break a finger in the 5th grade, and then break your thumb in the 9th grade, and you recognize the pain. It feels the same. You KNOW your thumb is broken, even when your mother and your brother-in-law think you just being hysterical, and refuse to take you to the hospital until 2 days later when your thumb is the size of a baseball and the color of a plum and you can't sleep because it hurts so much.
And of course, you never remind your mother of this, because that's just not the kind of daughter you are.
But with PKD, I am getting acquainted with all kinds of different pain. Also, I have the advantage of knowing where EVERY SINGLE ORGAN in my abdomen is, compliments of 3 very thorough abdominal ultrasounds in less than a year. It's kind of weird to know, hey, that's my kidneys that are hurting because a cyst is swelling, or I've had too much caffeine and they are aggravated, etc, etc. I read a site one time where the author said eating certain foods "quieted her cysts". At the time, I had no idea what the lady was talking about. Now I do.
And I can tell my doctor, "Yes, the kidneys are impinging on my vertebral column, which causes pain in my ilium and my sacrum, but it's not muscle pain. It's bone pain."
And she nods, believing me. Maybe not all her patients are so obsessed with their anatomy books?
I am also learning about pain tolerance. Daily, I now have pain that 1 month ago left me flat in bed. Now, it's just my companion. I don't take anything for it, really, only because it's not debilitating or excrutiating, and Tylenol, the only real pain medicine PKD patients are allowed to take on their own, probably won't do much.
So this is what PKD has taught me--a lot about pain. I can only wonder what is coming next.