Take a spin in my head

I wrote this after being rudely awoken, far earlier than I would have liked, by my near constant companion Jimmy.)

How about this. You wake up in the morning feeling like someone has been pounding on your left triceps.  If you’ve ever climbed a big mountain or done a long run or trail hike, you might know what this feels like. Except, this morning, you have the pain without having enjoyed the climb that caused it. It’s just there. No reason, it just aches. There’s medication, a whole bottle of it, right there beside your bed, that might, in an hour, dull the pain. Or it might not, no way to tell. Either way, as a side effect you will spend the morning in a fog – dizzy, weak, uncoordinated, disoriented. And desperately tired.  You get woken up too early every single morning with a variation of the same pain. It might be the other leg, or your lower back, or one shoulder or the other. Pain is pain, am I right? Thinking clearly is over-rated ayway.

Tell me – would you reach for the pill bottle, or decide to ride out the pain, which will probably go away on its own eventually. Or it might not. Give it some thought, if you can with that ache in your leg.

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2 thoughts on “Take a spin in my head

  1. I know pain. I know pain so intimately that I have forgotten what is feels like to live without pain. A few years ago, years after I was diagnosed with MS, I went off a cliff in the middle of a Mexican jungle and burst all the vertebrae making up my thoracic spine, compressed my spinal cord, broke my clavicle into many pieces and had some internal injuries. Almost a year later, after many surgeries, with pieces of my hips now in both my spine and clavicle, lots of titanium everywhere, and a ton of therapy to relearn things like how to lift my legs and arms, I went home from the hospitals loaded up with pain meds. I know the lure of the relief of those little pills. I also know that they are mind-draining, soul-sapping medications that left me dependent. I reached for them for years. I have not taken one for over a year now and, yes, I live with pain but I have gotten something back that means more than I can adequately express. I have ME back. Getting away from the pain medication was really, really hard but I choose the clear head everyday even if the pain does not eventually subside. I feel stronger for doing so. I appreciate the little things. I choose laughter and corny things like how beautiful the morning sun is, and how soft the air is and lovely the shadows shift in my garden in the late afternoon. I am more awake, more appreciative, more alive than I have been for years. I choose me, I choose life – this life I have, this body I have – drug free. I don’t usually talk about my pain anymore, but since you asked . . .
    There are so many more wonderful things for me to pay attention to and I am finally awake.

  2. Husband often encourages me to take meds for pain because it’s difficult for him to see me hurting. I prefer to have sharp pains with a sharp mind than dulling both pain and mind. Does it have found my own balances with meds. I take just enough of one in particular to take the edge off the pain but not enough to send me over the edge of full consciousness. Does it have to be all or nothing? Is changing dosage an option? I have found my own balances.

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