There have been fleeting moments of complete distress, thinking it is all coming back again but I've been able to push those thoughts away for now. I'm thinking it is temporary and it will settle.
I'm not one to wait it out in these cases I have been to Physio, had acupuncture, massage daily, electric stem therapy, heat and rest. It all has helped but the pain returns again. I attended a wake of an elderly person yesterday and I swear I smelled like ligament that was probably attributed to the much older people there.
I'm sure many of us with chronic pain would just like to ask our bodies..." What did I do to piss you off this time?" Then we would never do that again. Well short of exhausting the medical system there is no way to know where flare ups come from. They just do sometimes or as in my case a specific event, like travel is the cause. What we don't know is the magic potion to settle it down again.
Once again I'm left with a hangover of sorts for doing something I really wanted to do. The payment is high, but so is the joy it provided.
This is where I once again see pain and the management of pain much like handling a budget. I want something, I may have to pay for it, physically. I think about it and I make necessary preparations so the payment is not too high then I decide if it is worth it or not. In this case seeing my Mother after a year was definitely worth it.
Here are some tips I found on a blog called Dancing with Pain. She has some ideas that fit very well with my philosophy.
1. Call a loved one. Share the experience and frustration.
Some people need direct guidance on how to respond to what we’re going through. So it might be helpful for us to explicitly state what we need. In my case, it’s usually a loving ear on the other side, listening without judgment; someone genuinely caring, clucking in empathy at the appropriate intervals; a person expressing unconditional love for me; a cheerleader stating faith in my ability to transcend the latest ordeal.
2. Exorcise the negative feelings, through creative expression.
For me, blogging is a way not only to get out my feelings, but also to connect with others going through the same thing — thus reminding me that I’m not alone. Doing something positive with the negative experience also makes me feel powerful, at a time that I otherwise may feel out of control in my life. Whether your personal mode of self-expression is music, art, writing, or acting, do what you can to release the setback into the universe and create something beautiful from it.
Of course, our setback may itself limit our ability to self-express through our usual mediums, so we may need to get creative in adapting our typical mode to our current circumstance. Approach that creative process in and of itself with an attitude of creativity, joy, and self-expression.
3. Lay low and rest as much as possible.
There’s no way around it: When our bodies get injured, we have to retreat and lick our wounds. The more we put off the process, the longer it will take for us to heal, and the more chance our healing will be compromised. So wherever possible, cancel meetings, decline invitations, and crawl into bed with that post-apocalyptic-size ice pack and/or heating pad.
4. Pull out all the tools from your chronic pain toolbox.
I dislike taking supplements and vitamins multiple times a day, every day. So when I’m in cruise mode and staying out of pain through dance alone, I avoid them. But when my pain levels get jacked up, I pull them out again, knowing they help take the edge off and get my pain levels
under control. I also make a point of dancing, however gently, taking hot baths or showers, using anti-inflammatory ointments, giving myself and receiving from others energy healing sessions, and (wherever possible, through payment or barter) getting bodywork from practitioners I trust.
Be sure to keep a list of the tools in your chronic pain toolbox. I know that when my pain levels get jacked up, I have a tendency to forget everything but the pain; so I need an easily-accessible reminder. Keeping the list on the refrigerator, I have found, is not a bad idea!
5. Approach the setback as a mini-vacation or catch-up period.
True, I’d rather be windsurfing in Hawaii. But if I am going to do this setback thing, I might as well do it in style. Approaching my setback as a mini-vacation changes the vibe from “I’m stuck in bed” to “I get to luxuriate in bed.” Wherever possible (pain in the head region may make this tough), watch movies, read books, talk on the phone, surf the internet, or relax to music while resting in bed.
Another possibility is approaching the setback as an opportunity to get organized in some low-key ways – taking on those tasks that are perpetually at the bottom of the to-do list. A setback can be an ideal time to go through the closet and organize or purge items, to organize files on our computer, or to look through our wardrobe and put together some new outfits.
The bottom line is that as much as we click our heels together and recite, “There’s no place like home,” we may not be able to power our way out of a setback. By surrendering to the reality of that setback, however, and by approaching it with positivity and creativity, we just might be able to sail through it.