This is a very personal post, because well, pain is kind of personal.
I used to think that my low tolerance to pain was an imagined thing. When I was very little and plagued with severe and raging ear infections, I believed my pain to be very real. I have few memories of those, other than literally fighting my mom as she plunged my body into a bath of water with ice cubes in it, the pain in my head, much greater than the raging fever of my body. As I got older, I found myself buying into the notion that talking about pain was a bad thing (maybe it had something to do with growing up with a military dad…). and that I should just suck it up and not complain (which is mostly what I do).
I think I can honestly say that I have been plagued with pain a good deal of my whole life, in one form or another. Sure, it’s not as bad as some folks, nor is it every day, in fact, mine has been mostly manageable as long as I could take aspirin, ibuprofen, alleve, etc. However, I have had a few glimpses of what real pain is. That sliver of time when you can only focus on the pain. Nothing else. The world shrinks to such a small spot and even communicating can be an effort. Sweating even when it is cold, shivering, nauseous, shrieking, wave after wave of blinding pain.
I remember passing out in 7th grade because I was in such pain from cramps. Of course, I now there is a name for that condition (Dysmenorrhea) and it continues to plague me, to a lesser extent. I suffered from migraines before recent advances in migraine medicine; my typical treatment, a dark room, no sound, as much ibuprofen (or whatever better pain reliever I might have on hand) as I could take and keep down, and just wish/hope once the sleep of exhaustion finally came, the migraine would be gone. Doing a migraine journal and changing some parts of my lifestyle, have lessened those thankfully. My car accident has left me with some residual back pain; as long as I take care of it(yoga!), it is mostly ok, but then there are days, when I try to figure out if I can even find a way to peel or catapult myself out of bed and then there’s allergy season twice a year; and the 6 months it took to recover from a broken tailbone.
The last time I had to have a cavity filled (actually just replacing a lost filling), the dentist had to turn me upside down in the chair AND give me a nerve block before I was numb.
So, you see, pain and me, we have a bit of a relationship and an agreement. When the pain comes to visit (in whichever form), I take something and it lessens or maybe goes away for a holiday.
Now I have hit the realm of the unknown. I can’t take any of my usual medicines (NSAIDs). I am waiting for my doctors and insurance to agree upon what treatment I can have. There’s been some discussion and arguing over celebrex. My GI doctor (whom I’ve becoming less fond of all of the time), originally said celebrex. Now, it’s tynenol. heating pads. exercise. and lose some weight. well, that’s all very well and good and part of the plan, but it’s not going to cover the migraines or sinus headaches or backaches when it is cold and rainy or those kind of cramps. It was hard for me to say, that’s not going to work, but I did. Her followup suggestion: darvocet for the backpain and an aleeve or ibuprofen w/ prilosec regime in times of desperation. What?!?! Aren’t those banned substances? I am really beginning to wonder about this doctor.
So, I wonder, what do I do? I am so confused. So, I sit here with a backache and the accompanying grouchiness because I don’t feel like being nice … and wait, hoping that the tynenol will work, and worry about how to win the pain game.