Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's all a matter of perspective

Roberta X has a good post on dealing with chronic pain.

I've been creaky in one form or another since I was 19. When I was young, it was normally muscle soreness from physical exercise, leavened well with the occasional minor injury. I was never one of those "good hurt" types, and I've never had a runner's high. Unless you count the feeling after a run that I might puke and then pass out. If that's a runner's high, you can keep it. I'd pop a few ibuprofen, stretch a bit, and get on with it.

When I got to be 26 or so, the pain started moving into my joints. Mostly my knees, but also my ankles, feet, and hands. Like an idiot, I just ignored it, changed over to naproxen, and got on with my life. Should have gone to the doctor, especially considering my families history with arthritis, but had to be a big man and show that I could take care of myself.

By the time I was 32, I was walking with a distinct limp sometimes. I was using Aleve every morning and every night. The Irish Woman and I had been together for a couple of years, and her mantra had become "Go to the doctor, go to the doctor....". I finally went, with her in tow to make sure I actually kept the appointment.

And guess what? I had arthritis, and it was treatable. Doc put me on some anti-inflamatories, and I started doing better. I've been on about 6 different medications over the years, some pretty basic, and some kind of exotic. When the Irish Woman and I were trying to make Baby Bear, I came off all of it for about 2 years, and thankfully we were able to conceive before I had to go back on my meds.

Luckily, I've stayed away from the hardcore pain killers. Aleve isn't cutting it anymore, but the Doc has me on something a bit more potent, but still not a narcotic.

My mother died from complications of Lupus after 20 years of high doses of prednisone and narcotics. It got to the point that she could pretty much get Demerol and Fenigren on demand at the local hospital. By the time I was an adult and had my first child, she was pretty much an addict and spend 3 days out of 5 in a fog.

I'm not going down like that. I may limp, I may need a cane when I'm older, but I'll get old with a glint in my eye and all of my mental faculties.

Nowadays, I'm sore in a few areas all the time, but the treatments and medicine keep the edge off and keep me from growing fangs and claws during the course of my day.

Roberta X is spot on when she says that the pain becomes part of the background. If I concentrate on how cruddy I feel on bad days, nothing gets done. So I take my medicine, ignore it as much as I can, and know what my limitations are. If I spend a day lifting 200 pound servers with one of my guys, I know I'm not going to be in good shape the next day. So I make sure I have 2 or more guys to help move servers.

So, I get on with it, and remember that there are a lot of people who are worse off.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at