Pain – Accepting and Moving Beyond It

Written October 20, 2016

Today I thought I’d write something about pain. Probably because I’m in more pain than I normally am and I hope if I write about it, maybe it’ll at least be more bearable. Besides, I wanted to let anyone else who’s dealing with pain know that you’re not alone.

To start with, I was born a klutz. I always thought my body was invincible and I couldn’t hurt myself no matter how hard I worked or played. As a teenager I played a couple sports – volleyball, track, and a little gymnastics. I was forever hurting myself when I played. So much so that not only did my family tell me that my middle name was Grace(it really wasn’t), I was asked in front of my poor mother if she was abusing me by an emergency room nurse. We looked at each other then back at the nurse saying absolutely not. Thru the years I always had a bandaid or brace/ace bandage on my body somewhere. As I got older I found myself having stock in ace bandages, braces and splints because the abuse I put my body thru caught up to me and the old injuries turned into aches and pains. Then came a day where I didn’t bounce back from an injury I had on the job.

Everyone’s body is different. Not just in shape and size but also when it comes to health, and especially pain. More like our perception of pain. Two different people can have the exact same type of break in their arm and one person will say it doesn’t hurt much while the other will say it hurts like hell. I’ve come across that a lot in talking with other people. I know people who have what’s considered a minor back injury and they’re flat on their back in pain while others with really bad back injuries are moving furniture that they’re not supposed to move. Then there are those of us who feel like we have 80 or 90 year old bodies when we’re actually 30, 40 or 50 years old. So what can we do when we’re in pain? We do have a wide variety of choices at our disposal.

Unfortunately, those of us who are constant and daily pain sufferers also tend to feel mental, emotional and spiritual pain as well. For myself, I’ve learned that if I can keep my body moving I can at least keep some of the pain at bay, including the mental, emotional and spiritual pain. Being sedentary to long for me is not an option. To deal with the physical pain there’s all kinds of physical therapy. There’s also the option of getting different types of shots that help keep the pain in check. And of course there’s pain pills that doctors sometimes push on us. Pills that can turn some of us into monsters and leave us an empty shell of our former selves. That(addiction) is a whole other beast that I’ve written about on a couple of occasions.

There are times when our pain is so bad or it lasts so long that we get depressed. Unfortunately, when this happens, we end up taking it out on the ones we love. That depression doesn’t always come in the form of sadness. It can also come in the form of anger. We say and do things we don’t mean to do. When we realize what we’ve done, we are filled with guilt, remorse and shame. Then begins that vicious cycle of sadness and/or anger, taking it out on others, then the feelings of guilt, remorse and shame which comes out as sadness or anger so we…you get the point. We may even feel like we’re all alone and stuck in a hole that we can’t get out of. But there is hope.

The first step for hope is reaching out for help. This is something I’m guilty of NOT doing. Why? “Because I’m Super Woman and I don’t need help. I can take care of this and that plus leap a building in a single bound!!” Um, yea, no that’s not the truth at all. I know for myself that I don’t like to bother anyone. The truth is that I do have a bunch of people who want to help but don’t know what to do to help. I’ve been told that closed mouths don’t get fed

I am a firm believer that “stuff” usually happens, or doesn’t happen, for a reason. Pain teaches us different things no matter what kind it is. Pain does not have to define us tho. We can get thru anything we want to as long as we focus on going forward one day at a time.

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2 thoughts on “Pain – Accepting and Moving Beyond It

  1. As a nurse and chronic pain sufferer (from a rare compression syndrome) I always try to educate other nurse’s about how pain can affect people differently. I always heard nurse’s talking about patient’s who were asking for pain pills yet when they came back were sleeping and they would say…how are they in pain…there’s no way they’re in pain if they’re falling asleep. Before being diagnosed I didn’t talk like that, but I used to be somewhat skeptical, but I knew it wasn’t my job to decide if the person was in pain or not. There was no way to prove it. After being diagnosed I know how much chronic pain is exhausting. All day today I had constant pain. Any kind of activity makes my pain worse and normally it’s relieved by sitting or lying down…well not today. So today I was exhausted, however not so exhausted that I could sleep because I was in pain. So I would get right to the point of sleeping and wake back up. I also find that as a nurse I’ve had people tell me they’re pains an 11 with a straight face…well I’ve never had pain even at a 10 before, but I had had pain at a 9 before and I have a high pain tolerance and I said it with a straight face to a doctor. He looked at me asking me accusing me of lying and trying to score drugs. I didn’t even ask for any pain medication, in fact I specifically stated I didn’t want anything for pain, I had only come to the hospital for them to check my kidneys. I just think it’s interesting how pain can be percieved in different people. Someday’s my pain is at a 7, but due to my emotional health that day I wanna curl up in a ball and cry. It just depends. Everyone is different and everyone’s pain is different. Keep on writing!

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    1. As a resident care aide trained in med passing and all my years spent in health care I know what you’re saying. Sometimes I had to step back and look at the big picture before making a judgement call like that. Oh sure, I knew the folks that pulled one over on me and sometimes I could twist their arm to wait a bit longer. But the ones that I saw pushing themselves, I knew they had at least a little more than “a little pain”. I never had a very high tolerance for pain myself until I had to. Until I couldn’t have those kinds of pills anymore. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully others can draw some strength from it.

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