I’m going to write/say this, not for the normal Facebook reasons for wanting to say something like this, which would be for sympathy, but as a hopeful message to my future-self. Prefacing my writing with this kind of paragraph is pretty unnecessary considering no one knows about this journal of mine, nor would they have any reason to read all of this if they did. There was a time when friends and family flocked to my former domain in order to read whatever might be on my mind at that time. These days, I’m either not that interesting, I don’t want them to read it, or a combination of the two.
The thing that I really want to talk about is pain, my pain specifically; I am in pain nearly every minute of every day. It didn’t used to be this way, I used to only feel pain after something happened to cause said pain. Hopefully one of the future versions of me that is reading this no longer has this problem, hopefully you remember what it’s like to feel no pain in a way that only people not in pain can remember what it’s like not to feel pain. My discomfort is best described as an incessantly dull pain, always radiating out from my left up, sometimes shooting down to my toes and/or up to my shoulder. Standing and walking seem to remove much of the ache for a time, sitting is the worst (thank goodness work got me a standing desk setup!), and laying down is hit or miss. There is a bit of irony in that my body does not allow me to properly relax, it’s only ‘happy’ if I’m up and moving.
All of this began over the 4th of July weekend, 2016. Every Independence day that I’ve been with Brianna has found us hanging out at her aunt’s house for the entirety of the holiday weekend. It’s a really good time, all of us bring our tents and camp out in their backyard, swim in the pool, drink sooo much and eat even better than we drink. After a night of non-strenuous drinking and hanging out by the fire, I awoke from the our fancy elevated air mattress with a weird lower back pain that was unlike any other lower back pain that I had experienced before. So unfamiliar was I with this kind of experience, I actually stayed away from drinking for the next few days because I wasn’t sure if it was my kidneys or what the hell might have been going on. Days went by, we returned home from the 4th of July celebrations, yet the pain remained, nay, the pain got worse. Strong as I tried to remain, it wasn’t long before I couldn’t properly walk. I wish you could have seen me the morning that I decided to call in sick to work because I couldn’t walk. I was awake @ 0600 because I was in too much pain to sleep, I couldn’t lay down because I wouldn’t be able to get back up; all I could do is walk circles in the living room until the urgent care office at the local hospital opened @ 0800. I was, by some grace of some God like force, able to get into my car and drive myself to urgent care, but boy would that have been funny for someone to watch.
Without going into every single detail of every single day since that fateful weekend some 7 months ago, I’ll just say that I’m still in pain. Most days have the pain at a 3 or 4 out of 10, which may not seem like much compared to what it could be… but it feels pretty significant to me. What am I doing to fix it? My doctor is awesome and has referred me to the local rehabilitation services. My rehab specialist has me doing targeted stretches and exercises that she thinks will help alleviate the pain as well as build back up strength and flexibility for the left side of my body that has been not-so-silently suffering since all of this started.
To end on the bright side of things, as I usually like to do, I also feel pretty good about all of this. “Wait, how can you be in pain all the time and still feel good about it?” I use the word ‘good’ relatively, relative to the positive energy that I am able to continually send back into the world despite how crummy I might be feeling at any given moment. Everyday life has enough emotional baggage to weigh anyone and all of us down into the gutters if we let it and adding physical discomfort does not help in any way that I’ve been able to observe and measure. The best thing I can say is that this ongoing experience has not changed me for the worse yet, has not stopped the sunshine from shooting out of my ass.