the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 322 Adventures in Pain

Posted by themirrenlee on 20/11/2012

I woke up having been trampled by the buffalos overnight, and yet that quickly ebbed and I felt functional. I was stunned because I expected to be laid low with post root canal pain and subsequent Fibro flaring. The dentist even rang to see if I was okay, which I thought was a thoughtfulness in line with everything else I’ve come to expect from him.

Okay? I’m bloody fantastic! No mouth pain at all. It’s interesting what a boost of energy one can get when what we feared doesn’t happen. Instead of getting the fight or flight adrenaline, I got relief flooding me and making me want to celebrate.

Sometimes it’s good to build things up too much fear wise, because then anything less is a bonus! What Franklin Roosevelt said about not having anything to fear but fear itself may be a good sound bite, but really it’s not true. There are lots of things that happen to us that we have every right to fear – it’s the doing it anyway that defines courage.

With a chronic condition like Fibromyalgia, which involves relentless pain, you’d think sufferers would get so used to it that any other pain would be easy to take. In fact, the reverse is true. Speaking for myself, I just get to the point where I don’t think I can take any more pain, no matter where it comes from. The analogy I think of is hitting your head against a brick wall. Does it get any easier the longer you do it? In fact, an even better example is the “Chinese Water Torture”, where a single drop of water was allowed to drip on someone’s head constantly. At first, it didn’t hurt, but eventually it was like having a brick smashing into the skull.

I always thought it would be fantastic to be one of those people with the rare condition of not being able to feel pain at all – called CIPA , or congenital insensitivity to pain – but of course, it wouldn’t be. Pain warns us when things are wrong in our body so that we can attend to fixing them. Without pain, we wouldn’t know, for instance, if our appendix had burst. (It was interesting to read in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy that the author had put a character with CIPA. I’ve read that it’s the rarest condition in the world. Useful if you’re being tortured by Nazis!)

Then, on the other hand, we get chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia, where the pain receptors go crazy and no one knows yet how to make them behave. So we throw literally dozens and dozens of treatments, drugs, practitioners and exercises at it in order to function without going mental with the pain. Which is why when my pain gives me a bit of a break, for whatever reason, or pain I was expecting to happen didn’t (e.g., dental work), I get almost euphoric with joy.

That’s how I felt today. As a result of feeling so much better than I was expecting, I had energy I don’t usually have, and ticked a whole lot off my To Do list, which usually just sits there looking at me. What a great feeling. Especially nice was sorting out my passport applications – all ready to go now to their respective offices. I will feel such a sense of relief when I have two valid passports again!

I’ve been sleeping better for a few months now, too, and I think that’s also having an effect on my pain levels. Well, duh, of course, it would, wouldn’t it? I still need mild medication help for the sleep, but I’ll take anything in place of being totally sleep deprived. Let’s not forget forced sleep deprivation is one form of torture, and they’ve also managed to mimic the symptoms of Fibro. by depriving volunteers of sleep in studies. It seems to take only days for symptoms to start. I had gone for three years!

I also found I had low hormone levels and feel better since I’ve started back on HRT. I mention all this because this is the year I was hoping I might get back a bit of my old self and be able to go overseas for a trip, as well as think about kick starting projects again, instead of being a semi invalid. Until a couple of weeks ago, I had no reason to believe it might actually happen, but I’m getting glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel now. Unless, of course, it’s just a train coming at me!

Who knows what’s going on with my health? All I know is that every day I feel better is a good day. And that’s what today was. Made even more special by my expectation that it would be a “lost”, painful one.

So, what will tomorrow bring – relief or speeding train?!

I’m just wonderin’ …

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