Monday, September 20, 2010

Pain as a Jellyfish in my Ocean...

I have never had chronic pain.  My mother and others in my family have suffered with chronic pain for years and years.  About a month ago, (after having troubles since early Spring) my doc told me that I have a disc that has broken down in my lower back.  Feeling powerless, I reacted the way all control freaks do and "decided" to wait until it was a more convenient time to go under the knife.  My reasons were logical and practical.  In the last week, it has occurred to me that your body doesn't really respond to reasonableness.  What is funny is that it took six months for the frailty of this assumption to be revealed.  

Here are my valid arguments: 
  • Halloween--this year I got a Robin, a Batman and a Starfire whose candy search shall not be impeded
  • Annual trip to Pumpkin farm
  • 40th Birthday Celebration with long lost friends and new ones.
  • Easier to be out later at work
  • Fall Festivals galore
  • OCTOBER--my favorite month of the year

Pain works on you--infantilizes you--makes you hollow and fuzzy.  I was woefully unprepared for what the pain would do to me emotionally.  Like all the women in my family, I'm a tough broad and can grit my teeth through all kinds of chaos...however, the overwhelming feeling of uselessness tripped me up. 

This feeling of impotence has coincided with turning forty in a few short weeks.  Nothing like "old" to make "injured" seem temporary.    There is a churning under my skin, a restlessness in my heart that is not yet defined. 

When I was about twelve, I was sitting in the shallow edge of the Atlantic Ocean, playing with a toddler when I saw jellyfish all around me.  I knew it was dangerous for small children,  so I threw her forward and felt their tentacles wrap around my arms and legs.  It was searing pain and landed me in the ER.  For 25 years, my fear of them has been more damaging to my quality of life than the incident ever was...

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