Archives for posts with tag: healing

I spent yesterday pretty gently, relaxing at home, seeking small distractions to take my mind off this wound in my jaw (from a recent tooth extraction). I alternated between considerable pain, discomfort, and bitching about those – and the inconvenience of all that – and being mostly pretty okay, generally, aside from the occasionally more intense pain, and near-continuous discomfort. In any moment that I noticed I was not in considerable pain, I made a point to really notice that, and explicitly enjoy it. I found small distractions to take my mind off of the pain, whenever it seemed to worsen. My Traveling Partner helped with that, rather a lot.

Brunch with a friend helped; uncomfortably, but yeah, it was a nice distraction, in spite of my self-consciousness about trying to drink any sort of beverage in a public place without either causing myself more pain (and potentially prolonging the healing process) or dripping it all down the front of myself, awkwardly.

Time in the garden, observing the young praying mantises that have just hatched, renewed my joie de vivre more than once, over the course of the day.

…and, I just find them terrifically fun to watch.

We watched a favorite movie together, in the evening, and a variety of interesting video content from favored content creators. I read, played video games, and went out into the world once or twice – mostly just to take my mind off the pain of this healing process.

Healing processes can be painful. Read that again. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Take that in for a moment, it’s very real; healing processes can be painful. All kinds of healing processes, for all manner of wounds. Absorb that observation, and let it be a stepping stone to letting something go, and stepping off on a new beginning, if you can. 🙂

I’d honestly prefer that any given healing process be truly a matter of feeling reliably progressively better, moment-to-moment, but giving the matter some thought, and considering other wounds, other hurts, injuries incurred over a lifetime, I find myself inclined to be fairly certain that no particular healing process has been pain-free – or even reliably less painful in a clearly improving way, over time. It’s often been a matter of surges of increased pain, interspersed with considerable improvement, or even lingering significant chronic pain over a prolonged period that rather abruptly resolved at some later point. Some healing processes have even seemed to hurt worse than the original injury/condition, to get to an outcome that felt wholly better than I’d ever previously experienced. Weird, right? I mean, that healing hurts. That doesn’t seem intuitive to me, and I suspect my lack of preparedness and acceptance that healing processes can be painful, themselves, has held me back from healing most efficiently (and quickly), in some circumstances.

Yesterday had some seemingly excessively painful moments. I fussed about it. I fretted over it. I self-threatened to go back to the dentist this week so he can look in my mouth and tell me “yep, it’s coming along just fine” – because when I hurt, I doubt that it is. I forget, over and over again, that healing processes can be painful. lol

I think it complicates things that it is also needful to distinguish between the routine painfulness one might expect while healing from some kind of wound, and the painfulness of not healing – of getting worse – as from an infection of a wound that would ideally be healing. Damn it. Well, that results in a few more verbs, more awareness, more commitment to self-care, more presence, more attention to details, more non-attachment… Shit. Adulting is hard. I don’t like pain. So… having to sort out the pain of healing from the pain of “oh hey, this is getting worse, I should see to that”, and the pain of “this new thing” from “that chronic thing”, and the pain of “this’ll take a while to heal” from “holy crap that hurt just now, but it’ll pass quickly” is, sort of, um… a pain in the ass. LOL

I have a few contented swallows of cold coffee with my mouth half open (to avoid creating any suction in my mouth as I drink and swallow). I’m getting good at this, as small a thing as it is. (I was having trouble staying hydrated the first two days.) I’ve gotten the timing on the Ibuprofen down, such that I generally avoid any significant increase in pain between doses. I’ll be glad to stop taking it altogether; it’s not really a good choice for me, in the context of my general health.

Today feels some better, though… maybe it even actually is some better? I don’t actually know that, one way or the other. I know I am, in this moment right here, in somewhat less pain. 🙂 Good enough. Small steps. Small victories. Slow progress. I’m okay with that.

More of the same, today: small distractions, garden flowers, and slow progress.

Tooth extraction. I guess I’m more than a little grateful how far dentistry has come. It was, as suggested, not all that painful. Even getting the shots to numb the area was insignificant, pain-wise. The extraction, itself, was peculiarly… forceful. I mean, seriously? My dentist basically pulled a living tooth with no interest in being removed right on out of my jaw, where it was pretty permanently lodged, right? The amount of force required was… impressive. I couldn’t really feel anything but the pulling, and even now, I am ever-so-grateful for the advances modern dentistry has made. It got a tad grim when I could literally hear bone snapping, breaking free, and the taste of blood isn’t particularly pleasant. Still… no pain.

“…Oh, just one thing to cover before you leave… after we get an x-ray…” Yeah, well… okay. A “complication”. A small perforation of my lower sinus, which is, I guess, not an especially uncommon complication of an extraction of one of those back molars. I walked away, face beginning to ache, equipped with care instructions, and feeling very grown-up; I got through it, and it’s done, and I’m fine.

I arrived home. Relaxed for a few minutes with my Traveling Partner. Reviewed those care instructions… carefully. Wondered about what I’d be able to eat for the next few days. Frowned at the likelihood that it may be 2-3 weeks before I could vape again, or drink through a straw, or do literally anything that results in any notable amount of suction (trust me, this affects my quality of life! lol). I was pretty quickly overcome with a serious case of “I don’t actually care about any of this, actually”, and crashed out for a “nap”, that turned into about 18 hours of solid sleep, interrupted only long enough for interludes to sip water, sit up for a handful of minutes, go to the bathroom, and have a few very finely minced calories with great care. lol I still feel like I’ve been hit hard in the face, several times. I still taste blood, faintly. I’m still incredibly careful about every swallow of liquid, every bite of food.

…2-3 weeks??

Fourth of July. Well… no BBQ for me. I’m still “injured” enough that I don’t actually much care about that. I’m grateful for Ibuprofen; it’s getting me by nicely for pain management. My mouth “feels weird”. Talking, too, seems affected by the change in the shape of my mouth, the swollenness of my gum, and the pain in my jaw. I know it will pass.

…I think I’ll have another nap. LOL

As in a morning sunrise

It is a quiet morning, beyond my common understanding of quiet. I am still and serene. I am… ok. It’s been a couple of days to take care of my fragile heart, to heal and to rest. My eyes still tear up when I think about Tuesday morning, and I hurt down deep that ancient pain can still touch me at all. That it can reach through progress and every day delight to grab hold of my experience and continue to torment me saddens me a great deal, and so much of that vague simmering undercurrent of anger in ‘who I am’ is about this…that the pain of what-has-been can still touch me.

I see the reflection of my face in the dark mirror of the unused side monitor…I don’t look broken. I don’t look like I’ve lost my mind. I see the hint of a smile, and a subtle knowing look that suggests ‘you can’t fuck with my head so easily’…although I don’t think that’s accurate, as much as how I see that reflection; a hint of a woman I am becoming, more than the woman I have been in the past. There are also big colorful earrings…which is for the moment more relevant to my pleasure in that reflection. They match my shirt. I feel a moment of familiar affection for this complicated being that I am. Becoming more…’aware’…has also resulted in some fun moments of friendly exasperation over being so very human. I’m endlessly amused by my vanity…do earrings really matter? That the purple of these bold cheap purple and green daisies is quite the same purple as the hand-me-down purple thermal delights me in a sweet and simple way. It isn’t that the purple is a match that matters, as much as the delight. The delight is more about where the earrings and shirt came from. Every material thing I cherish has a story, or holds a memory.

Today isn’t trivial. Today isn’t tragic, either. It’s just a day. It is, however, a day that has started well and for now that is more than enough to put a smile on my face. It was a tough week…strangely, and wonderfully, it’s an enormous improvement over other, older, more difficult weeks.  It’s been about resting, recovering, healing…instead of ‘more of the same’ and the pain and anger and the tears.  The mindfulness practices I am learning have helped more than I can describe; imperfect perfection. I need a lot more practice. lol. Progress, though, is enough to show me I am choosing a path that is taking me to some desirable destination. Again, that’s enough. It wasn’t so long ago that I’d have spent days bouncing in and out of horrible states of rage and despair, frustration and tears, unable to get ‘unstuck’ from ancient pain, unable to be aided or consoled, begging for mercy, unheard. Then there’d have been days and days of fatigue and exhaustion, wandering around in a blue funk, teetering on the edge of ‘more of the same’, until it all finally ran its course. This is so much better.

It is Friday, though…and that means therapy. Progress is awesome. Doing the work that supports further progress…not always so awesome. It’s ok, though. I have the support of my partners, and 50 years of life experience to remind me that my demons only have the power I give them, and that the journey is not about the goal, or measuring the distance walked, as much as enjoying the experience over time.

No pictures today, and far fewer than a thousand words.