Reply To: The Log Book of Lonoh – A Dream Come True

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“Blessed” such an interesting word when it comes to discussing our pain.
I was blessed at an early stage in my “pain journey”. The expression “you want to cry? I’ll give you something to cry about” also applies to pain. When I first broke my foot I spent 18 months in pain that was all but unbearable. Often I would think about smashing my foot with a 2×4 then it would have a reason to hurt. After operations to remove scar tissue, PT, special shoes and braces I opted to have the joints in my foot fused. The logic sounded good. If there were no joints in my foot they couldn’t hurt. Of course the docs did tell me I’d be in a wheelchair by the time I was 40. Fortunately they were wrong. Unfortunately they were wrong on several counts. I later was diagnosed with RSD and all the doc’s best intentions only made things worse. They were good docs and did a good job with what they knew.
When I first came out of the anesthesia after the operation I refused the morphine the doc had ordered. He came in and read me the riot act about not playing the “tough guy”. I told him I would ask for pain meds when I was ready. First I wanted to figure out what had just happened to me. It was a 10 hour operation where they took the graft material from my hip. I don’t know how long I went without pain meds though it seemed like hours. The time did give me a chance to compare what I had been living with to the new pain levels. It also gave me a chance to see what a true level 10 pain was really like and how my body reacted to it. Granted it took me years to truly learn the lessons from that day. The “Blessing” was that I got to know intimately a level 10 pain. Over the years I’ve had lots more opportunities to look at and understand it. It’s at least a monthly and often more frequent visitor. Pain at that level no longer scares me. I know what my body will do and that I can survive it. Writing down what the different pain levels mean to you helps to take the mystery and anxiety out of the feeling. Understanding my pain takes away a lot of it’s power over me.
It’s hard to look at your pain. The body’s natural reaction is to block it as much as possible. It takes a lot of conscious effort to really look at it. A level 8 is hard. By the time it’s a 9 the hallucinations start. They can be pretty interesting and bizarre. My approach is first understanding what’s happening then just going along for the ride. It’s not like I have a choice anyway, and a level 10 is almost easy or at the least easier. After all, passing out takes the pain away so there really is nothing to be concerned about.
It may be a weird way of looking at it, but I’m weird to begin with and 30+ years of dealing with this life hasn’t changed that.
I will try and continue to share the different lessons and blessings I’ve had over the years. It will take time and may come in fits and spurts. So much is lost in the fog and it’s not fun to look at the journey.
Have a gentle day and take care of each other