Thursday, February 01, 2007

pain and my brain

I feel 90 years old today. I'm so sick of living every day with physical pain. I feel desperate.
I hate this part of my life, this pain. Most of every day i try my best to keep my mind off of the way it feels. It lays this dark undercurrent that flows beneath my joy, my happy thoughts. It does funny things to my thoughts. The insistent nature of pain demands a lot from your brain. All you can think is: ouch,ouch,ouch, ouch, ow, oh, that's not good, ouch, ouch, ouch. . okay, that makes it worse, ow. . it never shuts off. In fact, i try to fight every day to shut that voice up. . and i can't do it. I make my mind tired with this. My body gets tired along with my mind. My emotions get dragged in the dirt, if i let myself think"why must i endure this?" i'm quickly overwhelmed with the psychology of the pain and the balance tips into despair. Stoic, i can be stoic most of the time but i'm not feeling so strong at the moment. Sometimes when people ask me how i'm feeling, i'd like to be able to touch their hand, transmit my pain to them for just a minute. No words would be needed. Some people wish for cool cars, a new house, financial independence. I wish for a day without pain. *not that i wouldn't like a cool car or a heap of money!!* I know that some people have it way worse. I try to keep some perspective. Sometimes though i turn inward, like tonight, and i have trouble thinking clearly or seeing beyond myself.

I have begun another course of physiotherapy. I like the place and i really like my therapist. She's cool and really personable AND the office is almost next door to my favourite chocolate shop!!!! mmmmm. . .

I have my neck taped again. . my therapist taped it on Tuesday, took the tape off today -- manipulated my spine and head. . put some nice heat on things for 15 minutes, and taped me up again. I've had my shoulders taped before, which if you've ever had misalignment issues with any of your bones/joints and you've have them taped up into their proper place. . . ahhhhhhhh!! almost feels as lovely as lying on a beach in the Caribbean! This taping. . .well it doesn't feel as good as Tuesday's. . which initially felt good but soon gave me a shift in my pain focus, as the 'new' position was established and everything went into 'shock'. . . didn't like the change. I'm there now, again. . . the muscles aren't liking this. . the bones, well i don't think they do either and my brain doesn't know what's going on. I feel extremely fatigued. Why??! What is it about mental distress, physical pain that causes physical fatigue? If I can detach my mind from my body, i find this weirdly intriguing.

I keep coming back to the human trinity. When 1 part of the 3 hurts, all 3 feel it. Do you find this to be true in your life experience? Say you're in emotional pain -- this causes you to feel physical fatigue, you have clouded thoughts. The pain in 1 part demands help or at least sympathy from the other 2 parts (your mind and your body). Sometimes we try to live only in one or two parts of ourselves and we get out of line and any change towards alignment hurts and we resist the change -- putting up with the pain, or finding ways to drown it rather than submitting to the discomfort of treatment.

If you've had pain, I'm sure you've wished for it to be removed. The interesting thing about it, besides its amazing 'warning' properties to insure that you will do something about it, is the fact that until you've suffered, you have no appreciation of what it is to feel relief. Isn't that true? I'm getting philosophical here, i know. . but philosophical is way better than having a pity party! I wanted to throw one of those for myself before i started writing this, but now I don't feel like it. . so i'm gonna go relax, put my feet up, put a hot pack around my neck and across my shoulder blades, breathe in deeply, think about letting joy stay on top, keeping that dark undercurrent in check and allowing myself to feel integrated and whole in spite of everything.


ally said...

Kat my friend i dont think i can comprehend how you must feel with the constant pain
I hope and pray that you will get some relief

grace and peace


Lindsay said...

Pain certainly affects your whole self, not just your body. I find when I'm in pain, I get grumpy, sullen and stressed - but I couldn't imagine being in pain constantly, it's amazing you're not a pill popper!

Kathryn said...

thanx, Ally. I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers. Thank you. . your prayers worked cuz i feel very much improved this morning, in comparison to last night's episode (see below)

Yeah, Linds. . pain is a funny thing. You suffer pain with your wisdom teeth - you've been putting up with that for a few years now. I hope this new dentist will be able to help you. They've been causing you quite a bit of grief!

Rob took the taping off my neck last night. It was causing worse pain that it was relieving. As soon as the tape came off, my neck felt too light and i had this immediate headache. My entire left shoulder 'apparatus' was swallowed in this pain that would come on with gravity -- any time i would stand or even sit and gravity would, of course, pull down on the shoulder and arm and this additional gnawing, throbbing pain would begin and superimpose itself on my 'every day pain'. It was way more than i could handle. . Rob got me some advil, a couple of heat packs, put me to bed and stayed with me until i stopped bawling like a baby. It was pathetic. . he told me it was okay to not be strong sometimes, which made me feel better. I almost immediately got mad at this thing bullying me around. . and all i could think about this stupid new pain was "Gravity, stop working against me, gravity wants to bring me down...i even kinda laughed at the 'stay the hell away from me' part of the song!! Good song, eh? Thanx John Mayer!! Sure helped me to get some perspective. . that and asking God to help me get some sleep, which he did!

Sherri Lavender said...

I know what you mean about appreciating painlessness via experiencing pain. It's reminding me of the first 20 minutes after a full-body massage when I'm driving home and say to myself, "Weird, my neck doesn't hurt at all right now." But within an hour I can feel it coming back. Nothing compared to the pain you experience daily though.

Earthly suffering... Man, you're gonna feel GREAT in heaven! :o)

Kathryn said...

Hi Sherri! Oh yeah,Heaven's gonna be fantastic, you won't need fully body massages there for relief from your neck pain - you won't have any!!! and mine will be gone too! Just imagine?! I love the hours in which i'm asleep. . cuz those are the only hours in every day that I feel no pain. Getting to sleep is tricky - trying to find the position that hurts the least. A big BOO-URNS to pain!

emma said...

I can't even imagine that kind of pain, how much it must hurt. My dad suffers a lot with back pain and I've seen it lay him on the floor for weeks at a time. Praying you find some relief in the craziness!

Kathryn said...

oh, your poor Dad, Emma! Thank you so much for your prayers. I feel desperate for all the prayer that I can get!

Krista said...

Yeah Kat, I'm such a wimp with pain. I can't even handle a stuffed-up nose, let alone constant, piercing pain in the neck! I hope and pray that you're able to find relief in some way. Maybe talk Robbie into getting a hot-tub? You could put it in front of the TV and be weightless for a couple of hours every evening?! ;-)

Kathryn said...

Hey, Krista. .thanx for your kind hopes and prayers! I'd LOVE a hot tub!!! Curiously, i am having physio for my neck and shoulders. . but the neck is not the focus of this intense pain, though the doctor thinks that treatment for the neck may have caused this. . i.e. traction.

Saw the doctor today - he says no to physio until i settle down. He's got me on some heavy duty pain killers and he's also given me a script for muscle relaxant, but wants me to wait to see what the pain killers do first. He thinks it sounds either like rotator cuff, an inflammatory process perhaps with nerve irritation/compression.

Tee said...

Kathryn, you're usually so positive and happy that it makes me realize how much pain you must be in to see you write like this. :(

I've said a prayer for you but in the meantime I could offer a little advice?

I had a surgery to remove a tumor a few years ago. Waking up from that operation was the most painful thing to ever happen to me - WAY above giving birth to either of my kids.

I called it "exquisite" pain because exquisite can mean so many things. It means intense, acute, delicately sensitive - but at the same time it can mean special, extroidanary, rare.

The word can be used to talk about something awful or something fantastic. I tried to shift my focus to the positive side of the word. To really focus on the pain - not try to ignore it. To appreciate the strength and intensity of the pain. When you focus on it and are objective it seems to work better than trying not to think about it.

Like, Kathryn, don't think about a pink elephant!! ... What did you think of? The pink elephant. Same thing with the pain. Try focusing and meditating on it instead. I felt that the pain could put me in an almost meditative state at times.

And this may be the weirdest advice you'll ever get, but give it a try. :)

Kathryn said...

i haven't tried that!!! Tee. . when i've been at my worst i've prayed about other things, not the pain. I found that helped me to take the focus off it. Of course it was still there, but for the time i was praying, journaling, i felt less like i was defined by pain and more like i was me and there was pain in the background. This pain has too much of my focus. . i won't give it any more. The pain med the doctor gave me is good -- it takes the edge off, but it doesn't go away. Thanx for the prayer and the advice, Tee. I really appreciate it! :) Sounds like you had some serious pain after your surgery! OUCH!

J9 said...

Hi, Kath! I'm so glad I came across your site!

I'm so sorry to hear you're in so much pain, I wish there was something I could do to help. I keep thinking about the time the table fell on you at Camp Selkirk, I felt so bad!

Hope you're feeling better soon,

Janine (Rayment) Elvin