I had a sort of friend in college who I used to run with sometimes. She was a sort of friend because we knew each other and worked with each other, but we didn’t hang out that often. For some reason, though, we ran a 10K together at some point. We were talking about running in general one day and I casually mentioned the practice of taking pain relievers before a race so that you wouldn’t get slowed down by those nagging stings of pain that inevitably showed up at some point (or points). She had a very reasonable (but rather smarmy, I thought) response: you shouldn’t take pain relievers so that you can know if you have a serious problem.
Now, I can’t even think about taking a pain reliever even though my back is in an almost constant state of discomfort. I want every damn twinge so I know that there is still something going on. I mash my boobs every 15 minutes on schedule just to make sure they’re still tender. If I’m really feeling masochistic (or the mashing isn’t having the desired effect), I even do a fair share of nipple twisting to make sure there are still little knives in there. And, thank goodness I work from home. I don’t think I would ever be able to explain this in an office.
Why do this? At this point, my symptoms are pretty much the only instant feedback I have that this is real. So, the boobs are still going to be prodded and I’m going to continue to sit in positions that aggravate my back pain because I need to feel it. If I stop feeling it, I will assume the worst.
I do have some more good external feedback, though: today is 13dp5dt, beta #2 = 400. A doubling time of 36 hours. I have a third blood draw on Wednesday. Still content, still on parole. Still not using the p word.