Friday, May 02, 2008

The Bitch Is Back

Physical pain is indeed a confusing and diabolical monster. Ordinarily, pain is a good thing. It lets us know that something is wrong with our body; something needs our immediate attention, and pain sets our survival mode into high gear. Few thoughts can penetrate our minds when we're in pain, as its demands are all consuming: "Fix this problem, and fix it NOW." The worse the pain is, the shallower we breathe, the faster our heart rate goes, the higher our blood pressure goes, and the louder we scream.

This is all good stuff, as the body wants to get back to its normal state of homostasis, where everything is functioning on an even keel. But what happens when that pain trigger goes awry, or the condition setting it off won't heal or resolve? What happens when that pain continues day after day after day, despite all efforts to relieve it? That panic to control it, to fix whatever is wrong, is still there. And the pain's never-ceasing demands for our attention still screech and scream, often drowning out any hope that this will ever end.

When I awoke this morning, I had about a minute before my blood began circulating at full-throttle, at which point the pain returned in all its glory. I felt my heart sink like a cement shoe, and I've been white-knuckling repeated cravings for pain medication all day. At some point, the will falters and faith fails. Taking the pills will only set me back on this journey, I know, because when I take them, I take too much. They don't actually work for the pain; they just alter my reality so that I don't care about it so much.

Make no mistake...when it comes to this pain, I'm its bitch.

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