One of the hardest things I have to deal with is the anticipation of pain. Even though I am in pain at the time, the fear of more pain or continuous grips me. I can’t help it, I don’t know what makes me panic, but it happens a lot. I am nervous if I think I don’t have enough medication to kill the pain. If I know I have go somewhere, for something, I am anxious that I will be in too much pain to go. I am afraid to travel anywhere, because that might set off a pain spiral.
The worst fear is the fear it will never go away sets in. I try to fight the feeling, this is my life and I will never get better. I get scared that the part of me that was active and involved will never come back.
People tell me to go and rest, but that really isn’t helpful. I know they mean well, but the problem is this; If I am in bed or watching TV or trying to relax, the focus goes to the pain. I start to think about it, and obsess. Then the pain worsens.
For about 4 years, I filled my time up with work, hobbies, books; pretty much anything and everything to take my focus away from my body. This, of course, made things worse, because I wouldn’t take the time to rest and so the cycle goes.
Now that my kids are in school full days and I have stopped working with a certain someone, I thought I would be able to excercise and rest etc. Except now, I just seem to have more time to focus on the pain.
What is kind of interesting about pain is; you forget it. I look at video of me walking with the girls right after I got off my crutches for the first time. I don’t remember the pain, I do remember going to Santa’s Village. I was so scared of labour and having a baby, but I did it again as so many other women do. I guess there is some sort of switch in our brain that erases the sensation of pain. consciously you can recognize; “That hurt”, but the actual true feeling of the pain is not something you can feel again.
There are nights, alot lately, that I am awake in the middle of the night and I obsess about the pain. My mind goes over and over, about how to kill the pain. Where it is, what it is doing, when it will stop. I take deep breaths and try to say in my head “you are going to be ok, everything is alright, you are safe, you have to fight it, you have to win, it will end, it will be over’. I repeat that as many times as I can. Then I try to count back from 100 and focus on the numbers.
Sometimes I will concentrate really hard to put myself in a memory. I will do my damnedest to really remember what it was like when I walked down the aisle and saw my husbands face. I try to remember what it was like the first time I saw my daughters little hand when she arrived. I try to feel my youngest in my arms and naming her. Sometimes, I try to go right back to childhood and remember the smells, sounds and people I was playing with in the park.
It is such an odd cycle. I mean, I know I am not going to die and I can survive like this. However, some days it is more than I can bear. I am exhausted by feeling pain, fighting pain, winning the battle and feeling like I am not living, but existing. I just wish that there was a way that I could find a way to get away from it.
I try to concentrate of what my Granny used to say; “that what doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger”, at this rate, I might be the Incredible Hulk by the time I am 45???