Sharing the lessons along the way…

Surgery #4 Anniversary

A year ago today, I had my fourth surgery in a little under a year.  I have been thinking a lot about the past year and my efforts at managing the continued pain this past week, so I thought I would share some of it with you.

I am definitely in better shape than I was before this new baclofen pump was moved off the very agitated nerves it was sitting on.  I certainly hoped I would be in a different place by now in terms of the continued pain, but there was never a guarantee of no pain.

I learned some new life lessons because of the ongoing pain and was able to let go of some patterns of relating that I didn’t know I hadn’t let go of as well.  I cannot help but be grateful for the lessons. 

I am grateful that I still have a baclofen pump in spite of the surgeries and pain that have been a part of keeping one.  I enjoy driving myself to the grocery store, working with Duke at HEP, walking my dogs, and being able to use a clear brain without a baclofen fog.

Much has changed in the landscape of my immediate world as a result of all these surgeries.  My activity level is lower and my lifestyle is slower.  I don’t mind most of the changes because they’ve allowed for my world to open up to new or different opportunities. 

As a result of cooperating with my continued pain, I have written a book from start to finish.  I certainly wouldn’t have believed anyone last September if they had tried to tell me such a thing.  Writing has been so much a part of all of my world this past year, as has researching. 

I would not have believed I would have the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful research group either.  I get so excited about this opportunity that I talk 1,000 miles per hour to a willing audience.  There are other great projects I am honored to be a part of that have come about in the past year as well.

By slowing down, I have found some passions I had lost touch with or didn’t know I had.  These passions have helped me to continue moving forward even when the pain became/becomes a challenge to cooperate with. 

What is interesting to me is my ability to stay focused on each project even with the huge distraction that pain can be.  I have enjoyed each project and was juggling four or five at a time some months.

I do miss the more active social part of my world, however.  While I know my friends understand that pain limits this, I do miss seeing so many of them more regularly.  The various projects, and of course the book writing, have limited this as well.  The projects, and my book in particular have also been great distractions from my pain.

It is ironic that I would not have likely completed the manuscript nor would I have been as open to the various projects so much had I felt better.  I like the slower and simpler landscape, but am actively working to get a better handle on the pain part of the equation.

I share all of this because I am still working on the best re-write/edit of the pain part of the story.  I have rewritten much of the last two years in such a way that I could move forward pretty well with a better perspective of it all. 

The pain part apparently still needs some work.  It seems to me that doing this re-writing and editing is somehow important to my continued efforts in cooperating with this pain.


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