Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chronic Pain is What I Have, Not Who I Am

There is a saying around here (and I know it is other places as well), 'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.'  It can be like that for our bodies, as well.  I posted last week about Cobroxin, a pain medication I have been using made from cobra venom.  At the end of the post, I said that I still had some pain at times, but no constant pain.

Five minutes later (actually, two days later), the tendonitis in my elbow flared up again.  I did not do anything extreme to trigger it, I was just pulling weeds, but with my body, that was enough.  As I have mentioned before, I tend to get tendonitis very easily, but then have a very hard time getting rid of it.   It is not as severe as last time, and I am doing my best to keep it so.  I was at my doctor's office yesterday, and he asked if I wanted another injection.  I decided to hold off for now, and try treating it more conservatively first.

I am babying that arm, trying not to carry anything with that hand, or do any activities/movements with it that I know will put a strain on it.  That meant that when I did grocery shopping yesterday, I did extra trips carrying bags in from the car only with the other hand.  I am icing the arm at least once each day, I would do more often, but I am working this week, so I am not home until after 5 pm.  I am doing some stretches that my massage therapist showed me last time.  I started taking a new anti-inflammatory medication.

Most important, I am keeping a positive attitude.   I also have plantar fasciitis in my left foot and something going on with my right knee.  None of these pains are constant, and even though they aren't severe, they are persistent.  Every step I take, every movement in bed, pain is there.   Even simple things like picking up my mug of tea, or turning the page of a book remind me it is there.  It is too easy to get consumed by pain, to let it discourage me.  It is too easy to let the pain define me, to become me.

I remind myself that chronic pain is what I have, not who I am.  It may be one of the most obnoxious things I have, but it is just one of many things I have.  It is affecting parts of me, but it is not me. This makes it easier to ignore it, to give it only as much attention as it deserves.  I know it is going to be there no matter what I do, so why should I focus on it?  When I get my mind involved with other things, the pain lessens in magnitude.  I HAVE pain.  I AM a person, a woman, an occupational therapist, an artist...

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for your discomfort. Praying for a quick healing xoxo