Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

Two Months Off For Good Behaviour

on July 22, 2013

Pain is always amazing to me. When it departs, I forget almost immediately that I had it, how bad it was, and how it seems to change my life at the most fundamental level. When it returns, I find myself wondering how I could forget the depth of something so encompassing.

It has been two months since my last bad flare up. I had grown complacent and relaxed, foolishly believing that my pregnancy had begun to protect me from the terrible muscle contractions that feel as if my body is tearing itself apart.

This episode has begun in my coccyx. I recognise this particular pain, and I can trace its symptoms the way I could recall the touch of an old lover. My body has taken up the steps of this particular dance, and I have been pulled into its rhythms.

If my pain remained where it began, these episodes would not be as terrible as they become. Sitting down aches, so I adjust my weight to take the pressure off the worst parts. It is unconscious and automatic, and I only realise that I am doing it when I feel the pain spreading up towards my waist. This is the first part of the body that is flexed and under too much tension.

When the pain is deeply settled into my waist, I find my next round of compensation begins. The spread continues up, towards my middle back, which is also under tension and shifting to adapt. From here it is a short journey to my shoulders, and I become increasingly immobile because to move is to ache. To ache is to cry in my sleep.

Knowing what to do in these periods is always the challenge. Do I spend a lot of money seeking treatment for something that a hot shower and a day of rest would repair? Or do I put off treatment and risk that my current aches are beyond my ability to help?

It has been several days, and I know that I made the wrong choice when I felt this episode began. Today has been spent booking appointments, wincing at how long I will have to wait, and wondering if I can afford to rest. Pain does not care that I have other commitments, assignments that need to be submitted, a home that needs to be maintained. It cares only for its existence and, while I am trapped in it, I find myself helpless to see beyond it.

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