In March last year you may remember that I had a neuropsychological assessment due to some cognitive problems I was experiencing. Yesterday – almost a year later, I had my follow up appointment.

Getting answers has been a difficult process of elimination. From the pain side of it a diagnosis of central pain syndrome in 2019 gave a label I could learn to understand. I finally began to get to grips with a permanent condition. One only I can manage.

Since the pain began permanently after a car accident in 2018 I have also suffered mentally. Memory loss, problems finding words and fainting/dizziness spells became a regular occurrence. I have also experienced hallucinations which have been a bit unnerving at times.

The neurologist I spoke without yesterday helped clear up some concerns and shone a light on what may be going on with me. The main point was that she was happy to rule out MS. It has not been easy to mentally deal with the possibility of such a debilitating illness. So to be cleared of it was a big relief.

It would seem that a life of trauma and previous alcoholism may have damaged my central nervous system. I had minor random attacks of nerve pain that I first noticed after I quit drinking 7 years ago. The pain only becoming permanent after the accident.

Central pain syndrome has changed my life. It has drained me into deppresion at times and turned my world upside down. The neurologist has put my cognitive problems down to dealing with chronic pain. Like a side effect. She explained that pain changes the way a brain functions. Hence her diagnosis of a functional cognitive disorder.

She is requesting that I get a nerve study done. This may show exactly what is happening to my nervous system, it’s a step closer to getting clarity on my rare condition.

One thing I have learned from all I have been through is that life goes on no matter what Is happening. That I am still a husband and father. That my relationships under my roof come first and that I cannot let my illness dictate my life. There are times I have struggled with this principle but I keep moving forward. Trudging the road ahead of me.

It takes grit, determination and faith to deal with chronic pain and the challenges it brings. Living with the monster isn’t easy but with the right attitude and clearer understanding I have a chance at a better life.

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