Monday, August 2
August 1, 2010 - Pain
Several years ago I spent about 7 hours on the floor of my garage with a dislocated patella. It was 15 degrees outside and I was about 30 feet from my cell phone. Needless to say, I sat on the concrete floor in agony. When I got to the hospital I proclaimed; "I am a 10!" I was of course referring to the pain scale. The nurse mentioned that I was not crying. I told her that it hurt too much to cry. The staff immediately gave me Demerol (good stuff).
Before I left, the ER the physician asked me if I thought that I might have fainted at some point. I informed him that I was relatively certain that I was awake the entire time. I knew that if I fell asleep that I might not wake up due to the temperature. He asked how I dealt with the pain while waiting for someone to find me.
For as long as I can remember, I have always used visualization to alleviate pain. You see, I HATE to take pills. I especially hate to take aspirin or ibuprofen. When I first started having knee trouble I learned how to concentrate the pain away to a dull ache. Many times, this was the only way I ever got any sleep at night.
If my knee hurts, I slowly visualize the pain moving down my leg until finally I convince myself that my big toe is throbbing. Once my big toe is throbbing I focus on a point past my toe. This probably works because I basically put myself in a trance to get rid of the pain.
My self-taught visualization technique works on most types of physical pain except headaches and migraines. I believe that it does not work on headaches because I cannot concentrate enough with my head hurting.
There is one type of pain that I have yet mastered the ability to alleviate - emotional pain. I find emotional pain gut wrenching to the point that I want to sleep all the time. As I strive to live healthier, emotional pain is happening on a frequent basis. I believe a lot of the reason that I am experiencing it now more than ever is that I am trying very hard not to mask it with food or other unhealthy activities (including sleeping too much).
Granted, there may be some truth to the fact that I am wired a bit differently, but the situational emotional pain that everyone experiences is being confronted in a different manner. Now, I try to exercise or do something self nurturing. For the most part, I am getting better at these type of techniques, but I still have some education ahead of me for mastery.
For the chemistry-based pain I will finally admit that the Rx I was given makes it bearable. I no longer think that the trash can has dead bodies in it (yes, I still find this funny) or feel the need to write down EVERY thought that crosses my mind. I also have thrown out a lot of papers and stuff that I felt I needed to keep. I still reiterate that I had no idea that other people did not have these same thoughts (sorry Sister, I was convinced most people would have thought you and Sam were being held at knife point in the woods! LOL)
I do know that if I do not work on how to alleviate the emotional pain I will gain weight. I also believe this is some of what has slowed my weight loss down considerably. As a lot of these "issues" have come to the surface.
As I do not want to take the Rx for the rest of my life, nor gain the weight back, I am working toward alternatives to the medicinal treatment of emotional pain. So far, I have tried acupuncture (works), exercise (works if the pain is not too great), keeping up with my Omega 3s (not sure if it works or not), and talk therapy (works). Of course, the passage of time helps as well.
I am currently enrolled in two new things to try. Even though I DEPLORE support groups I am being pushed to try one by Miss Tappity Tap now that Dr. Pita is gone (another reason he is dead to me now. LOL). I also, am going to try a formal class of yoga.
I share this story on pain, as I believe there is a lesson here for us all. I am not sure what I/we will learn, but I am sure there is something to it other than personal growth.
Maybe the point I am trying to make is that to move forward we have to learn to deal (CORRECTLY) with the pain that can detour us from living the lives we were meant to live.
Til Next Week,
Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com