Pain runs like blood through my veins. It is a part of me. It’s not happening to me. IT IS ME! Every pain, noise, light, touch is amplified. Times 1000! The glare coming through the window. The landscapers outside with their tools. The jackhammers in my skull that never let go. The clothes I’m wearing hurt my skin. Everything is blown so far out of proportion. My nerve endings are on fire. Nothing eases or soothes. The pain meds dull my senses a bit, but not enough. I sit in my bed, in my room, in my house, in my bubble. Scared to go out where I have absolutely no control. At home, I can close the blinds, wear noise cancellation headphones (to dull outside noise, but not my internal pain), try to find comfortable clothes to wear. The sheets on my bed hurt me. I can no longer distinguish the migraine “fog”, from the Fibro “fog”, from the medication side effects “fog.” I don’t know which reactions are from my illnesses and which are from side effects. My life is lived on a continuous loop of blurred vision, balance problems, falling, not sleeping, not eating right, nausea, vomiting, trying to be understood while not being able to articulate words, the crushing blackness of depression, the panic attacks, the insomnia that leaves me even less able to fight every day. I try to remain hopeful. A treatment that helps, a procedure that gives me relief, a cure. And yet, I cry all the time. I grieve for the me I was not so long ago. I cry for the days passing me by with my participation. I’m not living, I’m surviving.