I have learned a lot about pain over the last 5 years. I always have had trouble with my back and neck; and then, two tongue surgeries and a radical neck dissection 5 and 4 years ago have given me a crash course in pain management and recovery.
I have always been able to handle pain as well or better than most. I had my first baby with an epidural, didn’t like the results, and then had two more with natural childbirth. When my youngest child was on the way, the doctor and I were having an argument. Doctor, “We need to give you a local because this baby is big and you are likely to tear.” Me, “No. I’m not having any drugs!” Doctor, ” This baby is coming, he has a large head, you are likely to tear, it’ll take you a while to sew you up, and the drugs won’t have time to get into his system – we need to do this now and so I’m giving you a local!” Me, “Ok. Fine!”
I have never been one to complain about my maladies. My experience and view of the world has always been that nobody wants to hear it. While this is generally true, if one is in pain and does not share that with people who need to understand what one is really capable of doing or not doing, what sends one into waves of pain, and what helps one to prevent it, then some of this pain is brought on by oneself. I have pushed though the pain – and it has sometimes brought me to my knees.
I always wanted to help others – and I have had to learn to ask for help. A dear friend said this to me a couple of years ago and it made such a profound impression, “If you don’t ask for help, you are defying spiritual principles. What if someone needed your help and wouldn’t ask? How would you feel?” So, I now regularly ask for help. There are distinct differences in 1) being lazy, 2) being a martyr and going through unnecessary pain, and 3) asking for help appropriately when it is really needed. One does not need to be a martyr and go through unnecessary pain if it can be avoided!
My mother lived with pain. I saw it start in her 40s and by her 60s, she had a terrible time getting around. I started seeing a chiropractor regularly in my 30s and she didn’t see one until probably her 60s when I started going. She had severe deterioration in her hips and some in her spine due to osteoporosis and misalignments. Now that I better understand pain, I hope that I was kind enough, understanding enough.
Pain makes one want to just sit down and cry. It’s impossible to think. That list of things to do today…. some days the list just has to wait. I have, also, been adamant about a natural approach, only taking significant painkillers when I had surgery. I saw what happened to my mother taking Loritab – it just took away her will to do anything. So, getting my neck aligned regularly, getting work on the muscles and scar tissue, and taking vitamin and herbal remedies are my preference. I also use Holographic Health CamphoRub topically to help sooth the area, and ibuprofen when I must.
I have also had to learn to be creative in finding different ways to accomplish tasks: carrying things in smaller bags, getting a vegetable chopper and immersion blender, letting my husband do the dishes…. and some days, just eating out. To me, life is not about “woe is me because I can’t do that”. Instead, Life is all about being grateful for what I can do – and doing that with a smile!