a journal of my journey

Pain Management


note: this post is not for your sympathy or for a craving for your attention but simply a post about a condition in my life.

A couple of days ago Jenn and I had a conversation. It was based upon the pain management chart often found in hospital rooms. When one stays in the hospital the nurse will often ask at what pain level are you? Well it came up in our conversation what level of pain was I in. Quite honestly I told her that I live in a pretty constant state of six or seven. If it is lower it is an awesome day and if its high then you just bear down and endure it. Then something happened… she ripped my head off (not literally of course or I would not be writing this post). While she knows I am uncomfortable many times such as the getting out of bed or the end of the day, she is not me and cannot feel what I feel. I guess it would also help if I told her how uncomfortable or in pain I am.

Part of this whole problem is that I hate taking the many medicines that I have been prescribed over the years. From Embrol, methotexate, chochicine, prednisone, allopurinol, and naproxen. Of course this does not include the cortisone injections, fluid drains, physical therapy, arches, ankle supports, and myriad of other attempts at resolving the problem. This does not include the amount of tylenol, advil, alleve, or excedrin that I take on a mostly daily basis. There is nothing quite like taking as many pills as my inlaws at night, every night to make someone feel old. A couple of years ago I had so much trouble walking that I even got a handicapped placard to help me complete my final year in seminary. OK… that all sound really bad, but the truth is that I have up and down days; the majority of them being better days due to the medication. The doctors even think that I can get back to my active lifestyle.

Back to the whole pain management thing. From where I sit, I am tired of taking pills and as my wonderful wife tells me the point of some of these pills that I am suppose to take “As Needed” are for pain. When you are popping pills like it feels that I am the last thing you want to do is take more. It is with that relative lame attitude that I live my life… its a bear down and endure, rather than take a pill and you’ll be fine. I can see where many can fall into a depression over their condition. While mine is not going to end my life, it does not make it not all sunny and rosy. To be honest, sometimes I lay in bed and not want to get out with the simple thought that the first ten minutes are going to hurt something awful. But I am blessed with a wonderful family that makes me want to get up and be a part of their life (pain or no pain). It is the gift of them that pushes me each day.

I guess all that I am going through makes me highly sensitive to those that are struggling with their health. While my family is around me and supportive of me they do not live within this body. As I visit or talk to people that have health concerns, I can relate to much of what they are going through. Its not simply empathy for their situation. I am in their situation in many ways. I know what goes through their minds as they are overcome with medical issues and even the depressing thoughts that slip through our heads. My prayers tonight are for those of us that struggle with their health, whether they are in recession and worry about what the next day might be, or an ongoing illness. May the peace of Christ be with you and me in the middle of our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical battles.  

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