Living with pain

Fair warning, some unladylike language will happen here. Sometimes that’s what it takes. 

Living with pain is hard. I’ve been there and have loved a couple of people who lived there. 

I had a debate with someone once whether chronic pain or intermittent pain was worse. Looking back on it , I think he won. He had chronic pain. 

I loved a man who had hemophilia. It is a condition where the blood doesn’t clot and stop blood loss where it would normally would. Not a big deal where scratches or cuts on the skin would stop bleeding on the surface due to evaporation but a big deal where bleeding happens in joints due to accidents or strains. He gave me a book to read about hemophilia, the most painful condition known to medicine is bleeding in the joints. 

I saw him suffer through an episode of this. It was so hard to not be able to do anything about what he was going through. All I could do was be there, but he would go into a place in his mind where “here” wasn’t somewhere I could be. 
I think one of the reasons we connected was because I had experienced some real pain of my own. I was involved in a motorcycle wreck which broke my body. I had a compound fracture of my leg, a broken wrist, a broken collarbone, a concussion, and assorted road rash. I spent a week in the hospital, 8 weeks in my parent’s care with pins in my leg, 8 weeks with a cast on my leg, then another 2 months or so with a brace on my leg. During that last 4 months, I was relearning how to drive my car which had a manual shift, and generally how to get around. 

I developed a tolerance/hate relationship with pain. If it was going to be there, background to everything I did, I could live with it and it would be like ignoring a persistent drumbeat. 

I was a fan of the original Star Trek series. Spock was a Vulcan who eschewed emotion. He could redirect his mind to unemotional thoughts when necessary. If he experienced pain, he could redirect the pain into some other feeling , and thus not feel it as pain. I practiced that redirection as well as I could. But I also learned a few other things about pain. 

First off…pain is a bitch. 

She cannot be reasoned with, or bargained with for a better deal. 

The only way to get through pain is jump right on the middle of it and make it your acquaintance. I won’t say friend. Think of it as something to be gotten through. 

“If I need to get there from here, and go through this, do it. ” 

Pain is not everlasting. When you get through to the destination, it will subside. Getting there is the reward. And the more often you get there, the less pain will impede you. 

If you don’t move because of the pain, the bitch wins. The less you move, the more she wins. It’s a vicious cycle. You gotta prove you’re stronger than she is. Because you have to win. It’s your life, not hers. It may hurt like hell getting there, but once you’re there, there’s a sense of accomplishment that you won. And the more wins you have, well, enough said. But if you let the bitch win, life gets very tiny indeed. You give up every freedom you ever had, you make yourself dependent on other people for everything and that’s no kind of life at all. 
Pain is also the kind of thing that can cruise beneath the surface for a little while. You think you’re ok and life is getting better when BAM, it smacks you again. It is a deceitful bitch. This is the intermittent pain part. You’ll have several days of feeling good, you can do things then *boom* you’re brought down again. Expect that bitch to make many more appearances than you feel necessary. But you got to get up and smack her right back every time. 

End game is, you have to be more determined to win than anything that comes your way and you have to be able to say “I got this, wherever I got to do to take it.” 

Mind over matter. 

It can be done. If you set your mind to it. 

You don’t have a choice.