Friday, May 11, 2012

A Pat on the Back



Andre Dubus III’s book title “House of Sand and Fog” came to mind as to where I’ve been this past while – although the “book” I’ve been inhabiting would be more aptly titled, “House of Pain and Fog” by Beth Stewart’s Back.

I do not like having to take prescription pain medication.

And I don’t to do it very often.  But when none of my usual exercises/techniques work I do resort to DRUGS.  They make me feel foggy, groggy and frustrated (as well as grumpy due to the previous three) - none of which are conducive to any creative thinking or writing – which includes blogging.  Fortunately, these extended bouts are rare and this particular one is done, over, gone… 

I am not whining or doing a “poor me” routine.  This is my reality - has been since I was nineteen.  Like others who live with chronic pain, I have adapted to it - and if I may say so, very well.  If you saw me, I doubt you would ever know.  Unless, of course, you have a very keen eye and then you might notice me getting a little antsy after sitting for a long period of time.  Other than occasionally referring to my “wonky” back on my blog, it’s not something I dwell on because it just is….  It’s part of who and what I am – it’s my “normal.”  I have blue eyes; I have a bad back. 

This post is an exception because:
a) I wanted to explain my brief absence and
b) I also wanted to say this:

If you have a chronic pain condition, you have my sympathy and understanding.  If you suffer from occasional episodes of pain due to whatever, ditto.

But if neither of the above applies to you, I’m asking you to take ten seconds (yes, just ten seconds, right now) to pause and be aware of your body.  Take note of the absence of pain.  Appreciate it.  Be grateful for it.  Do not take it for granted.  And, damn it - enjoy it!  (An excessive use of the word “it” but, hey, so be it…)

If there’s a positive aspect to my condition, it’s this – that on my no-pain days, I am very, very much aware of its absence and so appreciate such a wonderful state of being.  And, yeah, I also feel a bit of envy (and am somewhat in awe) of those who experience this state every day.

End of mini-lecture, admonition, sermon-on-the-mount, etc., etc.

Just so you know – that image above?  This latest bout was not caused by carrying a heavy book…  ;)


photo credit: google images

18 comments:

Sherry said...

Rumpus room, wild sex will do it to you every time Beth!!! Haven't I warned you about this??? ;)

Sorry that you have been battling the back...I know how you cope with it...brilliantly I might add. And your reminder to the rest of us to be appreciative of the absence of pain is one I am taking to heart.

Glad to hear that you are back on your game...♥

oreneta said...

It is true that you wouldn't notice, though I do know this is a constant issue for you. There is nothing like the sense of health is there, and you are so right that most people completely take it for granted. I know I couldn't imagine as a younger person feeling the few aches and pains I get now, let alone anything chronic or deep.

words well worth passing on.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I say this with the greatest of respect: I'd like to massage your back. Maybe it would reduce your need for painkillers.

Beth said...

Sherry:
“Back” on my game??? ;)
As for you, I’m preaching to the converted. I know your appreciate every blessed day.

oreneta:
And while speaking of pain, take care of that ankle! Don’t make it any worse while on your great adventure…

GB:
Thank you – I appreciate your words. And I respond in kind – a proper massage can (and sometimes does) reduce the need for painkillers.

laughingwolf said...

you know of the cause of mine, but if anyone so much as lays a finger on me when i'm going through a bout, i will rise up through my pain and smite him/her...

there are times NOthing will help, and i never know when those times will happen... so yes, those who are pain free, consider yourselves blessed!

Zhu said...

Pain sucks. I feel for you, even though I can't put myself in your shoes.

Any chance you can allow yourself to be a devilish and Machiavelli genius like House on bad pain days?

Beth said...

LW:
We all cope as best we can and in our own unique ways.
Hang in there…

Zhu:
I am “a devilish and Machiavelli genius.” ;)
Doesn’t help!

Jaya J said...

two weeks ago i had the pleasure of meeting this american doctor and we spoke about general health and aging systems in relation to foot health, proper walking and running, which involves the barefoot approach. it made a lot of sense to me and i've been doing myself a favour by following some easy to do self massages.
http://teamdoctorsblog.com/
have a look if you can, Beth.

Beth said...

Jaya J:
Thanks – I subscribed to the blog. Looks interesting & helpful – although I’m still searching for the “easy to do self-massages” on the site.

laughingwolf said...

indeedy, beth...

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for the message, Beth. It's an invaluable one. I'm sorry for your pain, while I know that you aren't one to ask for sympathy.

Regardless, I hope you're enjoying Mother's Day weekend.
xoRobyn

Attila the Mom said...

Oh, I feel your pain!! Hope things get better and better. Happy Mother's Day!

Beth said...

Robyn:
Thanks.
I try to keep the “whining” to a minimum… ;)


Attila:
I know you do. :)
Or should I use this? :(

And a Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Cipriano said...

I think this is really really good advice [consciously appreciating the ABSENCE of pain] and I actually do it quite frequently. I will lay in bed and just try to really connect with my breathing, for instance, and just appreciate the incredible absence of pain.
I've only had very momentary bouts with pain and even sickness, never ever spending even one day [or one hour] in a hospital, so I am very thankful.
Obviously it [my life] will not always be this way, but it is so good, so important even to appreciate health while it is there. Thank you for this reminder.

Juliette said...

Beth. You're so right. We only appreciate how good we have it when we don't have it good. I am presently being grateful at my current lack of pain though fear this may be down to the fabulous Rioja I am drinking!

nursemyra said...

Having just weaned myself off a 25 year dependence on a heavy duty migraine medication I am glorying in the number of headache free days I am suddenly experiencing. It was worth the ten days of agonising cold turkey

Beth said...

Cip:
Sounds like you practice the art of mindful breathing/meditation – that’s a technique that sometimes works for me re: pain.
I know I sounded preachy in my blog post but it is good to appreciate the absence of pain.

Juliette:
“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…” Joni Mitchell
My doctor actually recommends occasional moderate drinking to ease pain – but NOT in combination with the Rx!

nursemyra:
You are one of “us.” ;)
Congratulations – ten days of going cold turkey would be a very, very long time.

nursemyra said...

Only the first four days were dreadful. After that I had several hours each day when I felt almost normal, so when the headaches would come I was in a better place to deal with them.

I'm still getting a few but they never develop into migraines and I don't suffer the nausea any more so I feel effectively "cured". And happy!