Archives for posts with tag: pain and pain management

A morning with some challenges. I sip my coffee, finding my center through music. Love Rollercoaster feels appropriate. I take another sip of coffee, clean up my subscriptions in YouTube… astonished that I ever subscribed to that. What was I thinking? For real? Life and love, as journeys go, aren’t a smooth, well-lit, comfortably paved, straight broad path from this moment to the next. Like a lot of journeys, sometimes it’s gravel, sometimes it’s grassy, sometimes it’s a steep climb, other times it is so effortless is passes nearly unnoticed, caught up in my own unrelated thinking about it in the abstract. Like a rollercoaster? Sure, near enough, I suppose.

I’m not cross or unhappy this morning, and eventually I settled into a comfortable groove, feeling good. This Love Rollercoaster has many twists and curves, and I’ve learned much about love. The morning just got off to a bumpy start. It happens, and it’s not always about love. πŸ™‚ There are other things going on. Let’s start with aging – and pain. Aging sucks in one or two regards – pain being one of those. I’ve got mine, my Traveling Partner has his. I woke this morning, with him, we each had our reasons for wakefulness to do with physical pain. Feelings were briefly hurt over unintentionally harsh words, because… pain. We both let it go, quickly, because neither of us wants to add to the other’s hurting, and we both mean to treat each other well. Affectionate reassurances, and loving heartfelt apologies, and the moment is behind us.

I had made coffee for us both, but we weren’t really up for coffee together; the morning started too early, and with too much discomfort. I sat down in my studio to chill with some music videos. I’d have gone back to bed, but had awakened feeling “triggered” and on edge by my own pain, and sleep wasn’t going to come easily (or, possibly, at all) – and I was near enough to “well-rested” to let that go, I just needed to restore that sense of balance, and begin again. πŸ™‚ Eventually, my partner pops in to admit that he’s not really ready for coffee, after all, and shares his intention of attempting to go back to bed. Makes sense to me. I would, if I could. πŸ™‚ He offers me his coffee, apologetically, appreciatively, and lovingly. I’m warmed by the gesture every bit as much as I would be by the coffee… sometime later, after I finished mine, I go get his – still warm. I smile, pleased to have a second cup of coffee without running the grinder and potentially disturbing my partner’s rest; I know he needs the rest.

I sit in the warmth of what an amazing weekend this has been for love and loving, without trying to analyze it – just enjoying it.

I think about our lovely evening the night before – dinner out with friends, hanging out at our place, afterward. It was nice. My smile deepens. Brunch with a friend at noontime – also quite delightful. Good weekend. I sip my coffee feeling content and satisfied. Fulfilled? Definitely. Happy? I think maybe, yeah. Feels good.

The difficult moments this morning weren’t personal, weren’t any sort of attack, really weren’t a big deal – just difficult, and actually, very very momentary. I can deal with that. I can also remember a time when a moment like that one this morning would not only have blown my day – it would have blotted out my recollections of this delightful weekend of love, affection, romance, and shared experiences with friends. I’d have drowned my heart in emotional “weather” – unable to enjoy the lovely “climate” in this period of my life, generally. I’m glad I have undertaken so many small practices that prevent me from becoming mired in a painful moment and unable to connect with a joyful life.

Quite a lot has gone into getting from “there” to “here”. πŸ™‚

I sit quietly sipping my coffee, appreciative of how far my journey has taken me, how wonderful love is, and how pleasant it is to be so easily able to let go of the small stuff, and bounce back quickly. Basic mindfulness practices. Real actual practice. Verbs. Incremental change over time. Lots of books (have you seen my Reading List??). Lots of practice. My results have varied, and I’ve avoided taking that as a personal failure, beginning again thousands of times. What works, works; we become what we practice. πŸ˜€

…Well… It’s a lovely Sunday. Time to finish this coffee, and start the day. πŸ˜€

Yesterday sorted of slipped past me. Spring. πŸ™‚ I woke from a deeply restful night’s sleep, yesterday, slowly, gently, a day fully planned for hanging out with a friend and going out later. When I stood the headache just flattened me. I intended to take things easy, what with the headache, followed by a bit of dizziness and nausea, but shortly found myself… wandering around the house… kind of randomly and without purpose.

I honestly wasn’t sure what was up with me beyond the headache. I cancelled hang out plans first thing in favor of self-care.

…I didn’t make coffee. I have no idea why, but I just… didn’t. I got in the car, barely awake, and drove down the street to an excellent cafe (the storefront of a local coffee roaster I enjoy) and got coffee. I committed firmly to heading home…and spent 90 minutes driving around the countryside drinking coffee. It was a weird morning, lacking in stress – or purpose.

I found my way home, and sat awhile on my meditation cushion in the open patio doorway, listening the rain fall, and feeling the spring breezes. Definitely spring; there are signs of greenery, like a fine mist, all over the deciduous trees, and the roses are leafing out in shades of bright green and russet (the reddest of my roses always seem to have the deepest red new leaves and shoots, where the yellow, pink, or peach ones are often very bright light green shades). I watched squirrels play. I watched birds hop about. I definitely wanted to be in the garden.

As soon as I stood to head into the garden, my headache reminded me why I was taking it so easy. Then my eye reminded me that I would not be easily able to do the things I wanted to do in the container garden on the deck without a visit to the nursery or garden supply place nearby… and I hadn’t actually visited those last autumn after moving in. I happily got back in the car and drove around checking out the nearest garden suppliers, finding one that feels most “like my sort”, and spending quite a long while exploring there. I stopped for Turkish coffee along the way. I came home with soil and a handful of seeds. Yep. I could have gone just about anywhere for the things I actually returned home with. LOL

One lovely moment from a lovely day.

It was a weird day with the woman in the mirror.

Spring is here.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, and finished up out there aware that I was still headaching on this whole other “maybe you really need to take it easy” level when I careened into the door jamb clumsily. Okay, okay, so… maybe a night out on St Patrick’s Day to see a great band play in a local bar returning home further fatigued and faced with night driving would not be an ideal choice? I canceled those plans, too. I felt content with the decision-making, and unconcerned with the weirdness.

Later, I roasted a chicken on the smoker-grill on the patio; it sits under the eaves, just out of the rain, and the smell of it was wonderful. Cold chicken salad tonight – which also sounds quite nice.

It was a lovely Saturday, headache and all. I’m content to have enjoyed it, making the most of the day without regard to that headache, which, honestly, completely sucked all day long. I just really don’t want to waste more days on pain than I have to… I’m not sure how many I get, you know? πŸ˜‰

Today, brunch with a friend, and a visit to a favorite market. The headache, for now, has eased somewhat. It’s a lovely morning to begin again.

I woke with difficulty this morning, and didn’t sleep well. I don’t hurt as much now as I did when I went to bed. The twinges of arthritis pain that begin the day are likely to be a sign of more pain, later on. It’s hard to be anything other than uncomfortable – just the physical discomfort itself, is uncomfortable, I mean. Kind of obvious, I know. It’s just that my mind, foggy with the struggle to fully wake up for the day, is focused on other things (if it can be said to be focused at all, just yet).

House hunting moves forward a step at a time. The work week continues. Lunch with a friend sometime this week. An evening with my Traveling Partner, maybe even tonight. Days. Days filled with moments. I remind myself to make a doctor’s appointment. Then I just go ahead and make it, online, rather than stalling still/again.

A fairly ordinary Tuesday begins here. A quiet morning like so many quiet mornings, a cup of coffee, a few minutes writing, some time for meditation, a few minutes tidying up before heading to the office… the days are days. What changes is my perspective, and my choices.

Today is a good day to begin again. I know there will be verbs involved. I know that I am having my own experience. With some practice, today is enough. πŸ™‚

I had taken notes yesterday for a very different blog post. It’s something I experience rather regularly; my thinking changed, my mood changed, my experience changed, and the my awareness of context and my perspective changed along with them. I woke this morning in “a very different place” though I am in my usual surroundings. My notes no longer “make sense” – oh, I get where I was going with those observations, but… no. Not today.

Another perspective on the day

Another perspective on the day

My perspective changed. Perspective shifts are a pretty wonderful “natural resource”, when I allow them. Last night’s concert, for example, was actually pretty dreadful – unexpectedly so, although after-the-fact, looking back, I knew when I purchased the tickets that the artist was working the trailing end of a lifelong career, and “tired” probably doesn’t describe the end result in appropriate terms. The artist attracted a bizarre mix of elders, middle-aged rockers, and rather peculiarly – some real creepers, actually frightening “do not talk to me, sir, I don’t know you” sorts of creepers. The smell of booze, body odor, and heavy perfume was thick in the air. Ick.

My traveling partner caught up with me in line, and we went to our seats. It was clear in minutes that the seats behind us were occupied by stereotypically entitled rude douchebags, demonstrated primarily by such loud talking that it was difficult to hear my partner seated immediately next to me, and it was highly distracting. I expected they would stop when the show started, but that wasn’t going to happen – when did everyday people become so incredibly rude and inconsiderate? It irked me most especially that they’d probably go about quite proudly on Veteran’s Day thanking Veterans for their service without even once thinking about the contradiction implied by being so heinously rude in a concert venue that they were potentially ruining the quality of the experience for the Veterans who may be attending. Dicks.

After the show started, I turned around and asked them politely if they could lower their voices. I’m a woman. They ignored me with smirks that told me it wasn’t an oversight that they were blowing me off. My partner turned next and straight up, quite firmly, told them to stop talking. Heads turned. There were approving murmurs to my right, and heads nodding in the seats on the other side of the aisle. The two loud-talking dick bags did stop talking loudly – instead, they kicked the backs of our seats regularly, like vengeful children on an airplane. It would be funny if it weren’t so demonstrative of “the state of things” that seems so common and scary in people’s behavior these days. Certainly, it is inappropriate behavior for an adult.

Intermission came. With it, our shared admission that the jack asses seated behind us weren’t really all that… just people being annoying. For a really stellar show, we agreed we’d both endure that, and shrug it off having made our point politely… only… The show was actually quite dreadful. That’s enough to say about that, I’m not a reviewer or a critic, and there is so much in the world I do not know. We mutually agreed, with some relief, that our perspective was shared and neither of us was feeling hurt over the other’s disappointment in the event. We left during intermission, talking and laughing and enjoying the night out. The drive home was pleasant and unhurried. We hung out late into the evening, sharing each other’s company – really that’s what the evening was all about, anyway. Being authentically who we each are saved our evening from an evening enduring a mediocre concert event in the company of children masquerading as adults.

Damn. I sound all sorts of judgmental this morning… and that’s what I was actually going to write about, from my notes yesterday! We do have and use our judgment. It’s so easy to turn that critical voice on ourselves – and then on each other. On the other hand, I don’t see being non-judgmental as requiring me to accept mistreatment, or tolerate indefinitely an unpleasant experience. It can be a matter of judgment to choose to speak up, or to walk on; I see that differently from “being judgmental”. I realized this morning, I’m not sure I have the words to explain why… so… maybe I am incorrect in an assumption somewhere, and this requires further thought? I’m okay with that. There’s time. This is a journey – and the destination is not the point of it.

I slept quite late this morning after the late night. I woke up in pain. I remind myself again to call the doctor’s office this morning. My traveling partner checks in with me about doing something today. Doing things is good – I have today off. I just hurt today, and don’t really care about doing anything. I haven’t finished my first cup of coffee, and suddenly I feel cross. Oh! I’m hungry. I chuckle at myself; I’m not yet awake enough to really understand that my self-care is thrown off by sleeping in. I’m prone to misunderstanding myself, my surroundings, the context of my experience, and more than usually reactive. Another coffee, then, some yoga, a hot shower… maybe later doing things. lol

Today is a good day to begin again. Today is a good day to enjoy the moment that is… and another cup of coffee. πŸ˜‰

 

 

Thinking about the future. “Here it comes…“. It is a morning with a theme song. πŸ™‚ It’s also 4:30 am. So… a theme song, and headphones. Again this morning I am thinking about the reality and the fantasy, considering options, considering needs, considering what it takes to take care of me, over time. What do I really need, versus what do I yearn for but can so easily do without? I continue to plan this next move, and in the planning I find my anxiety and stress about it greatly reduced.

I ended the evening last night in great pain. Yoga, physical therapy, acetaminophen, medical cannabis, a hot soak in Epsom salts, meditation… I did the things, it was still a struggle. I managed to avoid reaching for Rx pain relief, though, which is a win. I woke without much pain, in spite of the very rainy morning and the chill in the air.Β My calves ache from muscle cramps during the night, a weird new development along life’s journey.Β The thought distracts me with the idea of pain, and I find myself mentally listing all the things that hurt, or are uncomfortable, and before I know it – I’m completely immersed in the experience of pain, and actually hurt more than I did minutes ago. We really do create a lot of our experience with the power of our thoughts and our words.

I take a moment to breathe, relax, and let go of (at least the thought of) the pain. I set a reminder to call my doctor for an appointment to discuss changes in my health, and pain management in the coming winter months. What’s to be done about the neck fracture recently identified in X-rays and a CT scan? That’d be good to know…

Pain again? Damn it. I change the music to something more defiant. Sometimes it helps to tell pain to fuck right off. No bullshit. I have an entire playlist of music with big beats and great grooves that all basically tell someone, or something, to fuck right off with great enthusiasm. Some days defiance is what it takes to move past the pain. I remind myself to be very mindfully aware of the things that don’t hurt, and the moments I am not in pain – however brief. Soaking in those experiences, savoring them, appreciating them fully helps preserve the memory of not hurting, and improves my implicit experience – otherwise, over time, I’d slowly lose touch with having any experience other than pain. This morning, I teeter on the edge of pain; when I am not thinking about it, this morning, I don’t hurt nearly as much.

This morning is a good one for music and dancing, for yoga and another cup of coffee, for meditation (on a timer – it’s a work day!), and for taking care of me. On the other side of the work day… a quiet evening. In between: rain, meetings, spreadsheets, questions, an important task hand-off, deep-diving some puzzles, lunch, thoughts of love, a couple miles of walking, and a new look at a view of the city I love. Each day a new beginning, a step on a much longer journey to becoming the woman I most want to be.

Every day has its own qualities, its own joy, its own suffering. Begin again.

Every day has its own qualities, its own joy, its own suffering. Begin again.

Up at 4 am works for me; I don’t fight it. There’s time for coffee, time for words, time to change the tone of the morning, and regain the leisurely feel of the morning that I enjoy so well. Today is a good day to take care of this fragile vessel that serves me so well. Today is a good day to slow things down a little bit and enjoy the morning without rushing. Today is a good day to embrace what matters most: perspective, mindfulness, sufficiency – and love. πŸ™‚