I am aware that I live in a state of being that many people can't relate to. I am in near constant pain. Go ahead, read that again...and let it sink in. Near constant pain. When you deal with the medical field and pain, you become well versed in the pain scale. On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your pain today? For reference, my 10 is having a nurse attempt to turn me onto my side to change my sheets after my car accident...about 20 minutes too soon after upping my morphine. My 10 is being weaned off of morphine and discovering that the "minor" injury that was missed was a fractured-to-the-nerve molar. And for those who cannot relate to those injuries (and I hope that's ALL OF YOU), my 9 is childbirth (Austin) without pain medication. Anyway. I exist in a 3-5 world. Three means moving a bit slower in morning, and sitting in lotus a bit longer in the morning. Three means that I can take the stairs at work with ease, and even hit the gym after work. Three means that I'll probably forget to take my supplements. Five demands my attention. Five means that Austin can read my sighs, my grimaces, and my slower-than-usual movements and comment "It's bad today, huh?" Five means that tears of frustration outweigh tears of pain. Five reminds me that there isn't an easy solution - laying down hurts, sitting hurts, standing hurts. Five demands that I take magnesium, tumeric, and devil's claw.
On Saturday night, I woke up at about 3am at a seven/eight. That level of pain strikes fear and causes confusion. What do I do now? Should I call an ambulance? Should I have Austin come home and take me to the ER? Why is this happening? What did I do wrong???
On Sunday, I refused to let the pain win. I tried to go about my day. I met Colleen (& Charlie) for coffee. I went to Michael's. I squatted down to get something on a low shelf and could not get up. My stubborness (& fear of ambulances) forced me to hold my breath and pull myself to standing.
Here's the thing - if you had run into me on Sunday? You wouldn't have noticed. I am so practiced at living in pain that I don't think that I give off the normal clues.
This morning, I could barely get out of bed. I managed my way to my meditation cushion and sat in lotus (the ONLY position that gives me relief) until my feet went numb. I emailed work to tell them that I wouldn't be in. My strategy? Acupuncture, drugs, and hospital. In that order. I've never had acupuncture before, which is shocking considering my treatment plan has consisted of - cortisone, physical therapy, active muscle release, chakra clearing, EFT, yoga, chiropractic care, dietary changes (no gluten, no dairy), supplements, and kinesiology work. Today, I planned to try to get an appointment at the acupuncture clinic, and if I couldn't...I'd ask my doctor to call in an RX for narcotics (which I don't tolerate well)...and if that failed, I'd bring me & my high deductible to the hospital.
I am so grateful that the first strategy was the winner.
Let me just skip to the end and tell you that acupuncture is miraculous. I arrived at the clinic at a seven. I couldn't bend down to take my shoes off at the door. I left at a 2-3. I'm going in again tomorrow, and then on Friday, for additional treatments. I realize that acupuncture is treating the symptom (pain), not the underlying cause(s) (degenerative disc disease, lingering accident issues, an extra 20lbs)....but today? Treating the symptoms is giving me hope.