Mar292010

When Pain Limits What You Can Do

There are many sucky things about chronic pain.

One of the biggest is the sheer unpredictability of it. For example, 2 days ago I was able to hop in the car and drive to and from the Town of Canmore, to have lunch with my daughter. Being able to drive 2 1/2 hours round-trip doesn’t sound like much. But, for me it’s a major accomplishment. Normally, when I travel to the mountains I have to space my driving out over 2 days: driving to my destination 1 day and returning a day or 2 later.

What was even more astonishing was that fact that it was incredibly windy. Normally wind gusts provoke pain but not that day.

Yesterday was a whole different story.

The winds started blowing around noon and my ‘friend’ pain paid a visit. Pain is a ‘friend’ in the same way that a woman’s monthlies are a friend. 😉

Over the course of the afternoon the pain ramped up until I could barely walk. The problem was that I was on the other side of the city, about 40 kilometers and a 1/2 hour drive from home base. Gritting my teeth, literally and figuratively, I drove home and collapsed into bed.

Why  bed? Well, quite simply when the pain becomes off the scale the only ‘treatment’ is sleep. Luckily I can sleep even when in excruciating pain. Many Fibromites can’t.

I slept for some 11 hours and crawled out of bed at 6:30 today. Emphasis on crawled.

Because I am in the high phase of my SAD I can operate in spite of the pain. It’s called COPING.

When severe pain strikes I am forced to go to Plan B … or even Plan Z.

I had planned to do some copywriting today. But, that requires too much creativity, too much inspiration. And, my inspiration gets blocked by the pain.

So, I have to find other things with which to distract myself.

Why distract?

Because 1 of the ways to deal with pain is to distract oneself. 1 way I do that is by writing … but not creative writing. Somehow, I am able to blog but I can’t seem to do creative writing. But, then when I am depressed I can teach workshops but I can’t market them. I guess creation just requires too damn much energy.

Other ways I distract myself include Facebooking, Twittering, reading blogs, watching videos, IMing, and  talking on the phone.

Another strategy I’m going to implement is 1 I used 28 years ago when I was clinically depressed. You can probably imagine how little get up and go 1 has when depressed. So, what I came up with was a check list of things I could do when depressed. Naturally, I created the list when I wasn’t depressed. I kept it in the top drawer of my desk at work. And, whenever I was really, really depressed I haul it out. I’d look at the list and see what ‘task’ on the list I thought I could manage to do.

So, I’m adopting the same idea now. I’m going to create a List of things I can do when I’m in pain.

Then on days like today I don’t have to THINK about what I can do, I just look at the list and pick something.

FIRST thing on my list will be, of course, TAKE A NAP!

Copyright 2010 Lyle T. Lachmuth  All Rights Reserved

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