Sharing the lessons along the way…

In the presence of pain…

Pennine cloud bar

(Photo credit: camera bag)

It was a cloudless, brilliantly blue sky that only a fall day can deliver.

Before I know it there is darkness.  I can see the heavy clouds cover the blue of the sky just as a window shade slowly closes out the sun light from the outside.

It is a darkness with a chill that I can only equate to an impending snowstorm up north.  It is all-consuming and I feel it’s heaviness through my entire body.

For hours, I was effortlessly cracking jokes, laughing heartily at them, and using very little energy to maintain perspective.  And then I wasn’t.  My entire affect shifted.  I was using more energy to smile, make jokes and to be pleasant.

My torso was burning again.

Having the breaks from the nerve pain that encompasses my entire torso is making me more aware of just how much of a difference it makes in my demeanor with and without it.

I love to smile.  I love to joke around.  I love to laugh.  I am a pleasant person and I like that.

The presence of pain doesn’t change any of that at the core, but it certainly makes me have to work harder to do all of it.  I could almost feel the energy drain out of me when it started and I realized it wasn’t just fleeting burning.  I feel uninspired, unmotivated and agitated.

Duke and I had a great time at the Homeless Emergency Project prior to the dark blanket of clouds closing in.  My torso started burning about 45 minutes before we planned to leave, so we made the best of that time just the same.

These breaks from the pain also make me wonder how in the world I did everything I did when it was constant and unrelenting.

If you have ever had any kind of pain that didn’t go away, I am sure you understand what the presence of pain takes away.

Not only did it zap my energy, but it also zapped my ability to focus and concentrate.  It made joking about something like the government being closed on Columbus Day turn into a tirade about having voted for any of our elected officials.  It takes positives and turns them into negatives with no real ability to realize it happened.

It is as if dark clouds are hovering above with the threat of bad weather when the nerve pain starts again.  I need stillness and isolation to find my perspective.  I know there is no blizzard to come, but I need solitude to remember that the new pattern is off and on nerve pain.  When the pain is on, I don’t need to panic.  I need to convince myself all over again, through the thickness of the dark clouds, that healing is on the horizon.


Comments on: "In the presence of pain…" (4)

  1. After every dark cloud/storm a rainbow awaits to be seen:-)


  2. Maybe this is spin, but the new patterns is OFF and on nerve pain while the old pattern was just ON. You know how to handle hurting because, you’ve done it. The non-hurting times are the bright spots that, hopefully, become the only spots. You get periods of unfamiliar relief that break up the old well-managed discomfort.

    I love the weather metaphor! Does the pain come and go in the same kinds of patterns as the weather (i.e. somewhat, not completely, predictable).


    • Absolutely David! I am appreciating the OFF-ness of it so much. What I need to do better at is managing it better when it returns. The ON is lasting less time it seems and may be related to an issue I am having with the internal sutures I am posting about tomorrow.


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