Pain & management

I have two parts of my body that suffer from chronic pain. My head and my hips. Seldom do both bother me at the same time. The last four days they have. Achey hips with a migraine SUCKS!

For the first time in almost two years, I want a Percocet. Not a craving emotional or physically, per se, it is more of a thought. The pain has settled in and my brain says, “Jay, you know what will fix you right up?”

Just one it whispers. But it will never be just one for me. Some people need to treat their chronic pain with opiates, which they use as directed. I can’t do that.

I am left to deal with my pain in a non-narcotic fashion. Tylenol, Naratriptan, and if the pain is bad enough, a Toradol shot. These are a lifeline for me, even if they don’t always work. 

I just read the previous back. Pretty whiney, huh? I don’t mean to whine. Since I try to keep my mind off of my pain, sometimes when I open up, it sounds like I am complaining. Be grateful that you don’t have to listen to me moan, like Diane.

Music is a soothing sound as is my fingers on my keyboard. Writing helps me think of other things. It has been a bit surprising to me that writing often proves to be as good a pain killer as, well, pain killers.

There is nothing I enjoy as much as writing (and reading). Being transported to a world that is new and different makes me focus on the words. Whether the words are mine or not, words can move me. I meet new (imaginary) people and see the world from a new perspective.

After at least fifteen years of caring about my pain as long as it got me more pain pills. Today, I do not care about my pain. It is just a part of my life.

As much as my brain tells me what it thinks the problem, I have to manage my pains and aches. I can’t just pop another pain pill (or several ‘others’) and ignore the pain. I actively have to manage my day, down to how I sit, so I can live a semi-sane life.

Writing is a big part of that daily planning for chronic pain. If I am thinking about this, I am not thinking about that. I am luckier than most, I have time to write. I also have the means to focus on writing, thanks to Diane. She who puts with my whining. 

Pain and I have an understanding. He may win a few battles, like right now, but I won’t let him win the war. I will live my life as much as I can and enjoy every minute of it. Sometimes the best pain management is defiance. Don’t surrender like CP3O, who believes it is his lot in life to suffer.

I don’t mean some happiness triumphs over pain mumbo jumbo, physical or otherwise. To put plainly, sometimes you are just going to feel shitty and want to wallow in self-pity. That’s perfectly appropriate for pain or just a bad day.

Admission of the fact is not giving in. Staying there is. Sometimes it’s not even a conscious choice. That’s why writing has become my lifeline. I can always write if all else fails. If I take just one Perc, it won’t be enough. I will lose that lifeline. 

I think it’s important to have an outlet. Whether it be music, art, knitting, crocheting, woodworking, or any craft, you must have an avocation. Someplace you can focus on one thing, tuning out the world.

Before I broke down like a five-dollar horse, I rock climbed. I was pretty good at it. I loved it so much and do miss it. What I miss most, is that when you are climbing, it’s just you and rock. Every ounce of focus is a conversation with stone. There is nothing else in the moment but the next handhold.

Today, pain is my rock. Sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night, it is just each moment, grabbing for the next emotional handhold. There are no drug induced shortcuts. One step, one moment, one toe hold. Eventually, you get to the top.

Published by Just j

Author, photographer, music nerd and just this guy, you know.

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