As so often happens to people living with chronic pain, I was knocked off my progression horse this week. His name is Pierre the Palomino (the metaphorical horse) and sometimes he can be a right prick about bucking around psychotically when I am trying to get back on him.
I am kind of still recovering from the big weekend that I mentioned over a week ago. My body hasn’t been playing very nice since then, despite my best efforts to whip it back into line. I managed to calm my system down enough to go out to a BBQ birthday backyard movie screening, which was a wonderful break from solitude, however the hypersensitive owies were peaking again by the time I woke up the following morning.
This flare and, more notably, the failure of it to abate after so many days coincides with my total liberation from Lyrica. I still feel trapped in a perpetual state of medicinal hangover. I am not sleeping soundly and continue to awake to an unbelievable amount of pain lingering through my limbs. My arms have been especially uncomfortable; they seem to believe that even the slightest bend in a elbow or wrist is akin to cutting off the blood supply with a rubber band.
I’ve had excessive pain and stiffness plaguing my shoulders, neck and jaw. I have been working with my Feldenkrais practitioner to increase my awareness of movement and tension in this area at a deeper level than I have previously. Any sort of step up in treatment has a ramification and I’m not surprised that my shoulders and neck are causing me grief whilst they adjust to no longer being able to glide along being sore below my internal radar.
Along with the excessive pain, I have been dragged down by fatigue. I feel like I am tired all the time, even after I have had 6-7 hours sleep. Concentration has been elusive and thus too my ability to distract and entertain myself. Fatigue combined with pain is a classic recipe for depressive thoughts and I’ve been fending those off, fastidiously trying to catch them and free them before they can play tricks on my mental wellbeing.
Setbacks are always to be expected and I have to keep ploughing on through this rough patch until healing momentum builds once more. I have been doing close to two hours of Feldenkrais everyday and, along with some meditation, this helps to ease the pain. I have spent a lot of time soaking in the bath, which also eases the pain by helping my angry muscles let go of their tension. I am almost constantly trying to regulate my breath and focusing on simple breathing to help avoid over-thinking and keep that depression at bay.
To keep entertained, I have been watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls. Ah, life is so simple and dreamy in Star’s Hollow. It’s nice revisiting some old friends and all, but I am missing new episodes of my more current fictional favourites. The return of United States Of Tara has me fairly excited but, let’s face it, pretty much every television viewing minute is simply filling in time until there are more new episodes of Parks And Recreation. Man, that show leaves me in fits. The good kind of fits.
I’ve been reading my usual concoction of trash and genius. The trash is hardly worth mentioning, however I am looking forward to having the brain power to share some reviews of the quality reading that I have enjoyed. In truth, I am simply looking forward to having more brain power in general so that I can ponder properly again, rather than just absorbing the information.
I have to keep my faith that remaining level-headed, continuing to practise a lot of Feldenkrais, continuing my relaxation methods and moving at a sustainable pace will get me through this adjustment period. Giving into my frustration about the situation will only cause me anguish, so that’s not on my to-do list for today.
I have gotten through much, much worse than this before. Every flare that I beat is one flare closer to the day when I’ll beat this chronic pain right out of my life. The battle gets boring sometimes, but at least I have an action plan and some past proof that sticking to its regiment will improve my condition.
Has life been spraying you with lemon juice lately? Perhaps (I hope) it’s been kinder and hit you with the sugar water?
Love & Endurance,