Ah, you’re back are you old friend. To say I’ve missed you would be a lie though you have been conspicuous by your absence. You’ve made yourself known; no concerns that I may have forgotten about you. I’ve cut my walks short, unable just yet to make the full route I’ve set as a goal, as you’ve begun to torment me these past number of days.
For the most part, I’ve been successful at ignoring you throughout the day, pushing through as I’ve done for years. Evenings have been harder; your voice seems louder in the evening, your torment stronger.
Then, late yesterday afternoon, there was no denying it. You had settled in for another visit and I settled in with my heating pad to read on the sofa when Gerry headed out for a meeting after dinner.
Bedtime. My husband’s concern prompted him to ask if I was taking something before bed. Drugs? I don’t need no steenkin’ drugs. I was, as always, stoic and stubborn and perhaps just a tad in the grasp of denial.
Shortly after 2am the ache in my back woke me up. I moved this way and that trying unsuccessfully to find a comfortable position while my husband slept soundly next to me. Finally, admitting to myself that I needed to take something, I stumbled to the bathroom and tried to keep quiet as I rummaged through the cupboards looking for the muscle relaxants I was certain I had packed and brought with me in the move.
Unsuccessful in my quest, I grabbed a couple of over-the-counter pain relievers and climbed back into bed. The OTC meds did nothing to take the edge off of the pain and I resolved myself to heading to the walk-in clinic in the morning to get a prescription bemoaning the fact that, like many British Columbians, we have not been able to secure a family doctor which meant I’d likely have to spend a couple of hours at the clinic.
Finally, I gave up on getting comfortable and decided to head to the couch with the heating pad I had left there a few hours earlier. Gerry, awake by now, asked if I needed a blanket and, stubborn as ever, I told him I’d grab one from the closet on my way. Good thing. Because there in a basket next to the towels, just where I now remembered putting them, were the muscle relaxers and pain pills I had been looking for. Relief.
Meds taken, heating pad on, blankie covering me, I settled in with my iPad on the sofa surfing around my new favourite blog, The Art of Doing Stuff, finding all manner of ideas for new projects. (Like I need any new projects.)
I was thankful that I didn’t have to worry about getting ready for work in a few hours. There have been many, many, mornings I’ve stumbled through my morning ablutions after having spent a restless night coping with chronic pain to get ready for work. There have been many, many days I’ve endured a full day at work only to come home and fall down spent and in physical agony.
This time it’s different. This time I can take the time I need to heal my body; I can make a plan (and follow it) for the self-care I need. This is, I realized very early this morning, another blessing of being at this stage of life where my time is my own. So, as day was just beginning to break, I headed back to bed to catch a few hours of sleep before beginning the rest of my day.
Oh, and by the way, the project I’m most excited about from my early morning meanderings around The Art of Doing Stuff is this one on using your pressure canner to can homemade chicken broth. I’m doing this as soon as I save enough chicken bones and parts. In fact, I’m going to start keeping a bag of them in my freezer right next to the fish parts I’ve been saving. Don’t ask.
Pain with gratitude – a great way to get through the trials of life.
For me, sometime aspirin helps, but mostly I cope with exercises like Pilates at the gym. Or just a short walk.
Gratitude makes everything bearable…and better, doesn’t it? I’ve been enjoying and appreciating the value of quiet walks in recent weeks too. It’s a good time to ponder my current writing project.