the zen of pain

I deal with chronic pain; that means parts of my body hurt every minute of every day. Medication, naturopath/homeopathic formulations, meditation, yoga, relaxation and reflection exercises, creative visualization, and a heating pad all work towards dulling, but not removing, the pain.

So, when something hurts differently, or somewhere different hurts, I notice. Today it’s my stomach muscles. Probably the result of doing some new poses in yoga class last night, and a touch of reoccurring chondritis (costochondritis). I always have pains in my abdomen, but pulled muscles feels different and it hurts!

It reminds me of how my stomach muscles feel after coughing due to a persistent upper respiratory infection. I remember the first time it happened. I hadn’t started school yet. My mother said I was “barking like a seal” when I coughed. So, when I sound like Sea World, or the protected beaches of California, I know I’m in for the long haul.

So, spent most of today lying in the fetal position with my precious heating pad hugged against my tummy. I finally gave in a took a muscle relaxant. At least now I can sit at the computer without going into the fetal position on my chair. It’s strange how a new or different pain hurts more than the ones I’m so familiar with.

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6 thoughts on “the zen of pain

  1. Rita McGregor March 22, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    About 4 or 5 times in my life I’ve had an inflammation of the cartilage in my entire rib cage–from the backbone to the breast bone. I can’t remember the name they gave me for it. Lasted around 5 months, pain level peaking in the middle month of that time, and there was nothing they could do for it. Hurt to breathe. Haven’t had it now for over a decade–whew!

    Chronic pain sucks, that’s for sure. What I wonder is that, in defense, I am as disconnected from my body as I can manage, and therefore new chronic pain can just become a part of the whole pain picture and I don’t even notice it. I had an impacted molar that had gone so long it had developed a cyst and I never noticed it until the side of my face swelled up. My back hurt worse–LOL! (I decided I had best go to the dentist regularly again.) I could actually develop something that could kill me and I’d never know it till I fell over dead–LOL! I guess that’s not such a bad thing. ;)

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    • phylor March 28, 2014 / 7:44 pm

      My chronic pain and illness problems are a carbon copy of the side effects of other drugs! So, I know what you mean about developing something — it would just become a part of the pain picture.
      Glad you got rid of that rib cage issue — sounds just awful!

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  2. AModernUkrainian March 21, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    Chronic pain also seriously messes with the body’s reaction to acute pain. Our nervous systems are already at full-go, so when an acute injury or stress happens, there is nowhere left for our minds to go.

    I also find that as I already feel like I complain 24/7 about my body; when I have an acute injury its like now I actually am injured! Look! Look! But I often feel that the response from freidns/family is “You already have pain, so therefore you cannot have more pain, shut up and stop complaining, they gave you drugs, what else do you want” So I end up feeling guilty, or ashamed that there is now one more thing that is wrong with me.

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    • phylor March 22, 2014 / 4:06 am

      It’s hard when pain is chronic and there are no outward signs of the cause. It’s too bad that people like your family/friends don’t understand chronic pain; it makes life that much more difficult.
      Acute pain happens and does “feel” different. Your “look, look” is a perfectly legitimate to response to acute pain. When I broke my wrist and wore a cast — people opened and held doors for me, etc. because there was an outward sign of an injury. The trouble with pain is that it’s an invisible illness; when I hurt, it would be nice to have someone go out of their way to open a door for me.
      I’m sorry that you are placed in a position where you feel guilty or ashamed. If your family/friends understood pain more, you would feel more comfortable sharing your acute (as well as chronic) pain with them.

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  3. Colline March 21, 2014 / 6:23 pm

    Hope the new pain eases a bit soon Phylor.

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    • phylor March 22, 2014 / 4:08 am

      Thanks. The muscle relaxant, a pain pill and hot water bottle helped. Still sore but not as bad as yesterday. Taking it easy probably helped too.

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