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I Have No Lid

February 1, 2012

Not everyone wants to know your interior, especially if it’s in turmoil.

I’m in pain and I can’t put a lid on it even if others wish that I would. And good God, so many people wish I was my former self.

I’ve spent nearly a year learning how to cope with chronic pain and degenerative spinal issues without pain killers. (Wait, I have had 16 vicodin — it helped me decide just to wing it)  It’s been a year of bone spurs and slipped disks. The changes this last year have been significantly humbling. At my core I think know these changes are deeply profound no matter how completely annoyed impatient I am — I know how impatient others are with me at times too. This is worse than the physical pain I tell you.

My body doesn’t work the same. My left arm is completely useless some days. I just met a nice lady named Carol from Durango Colorado who has the same problem though it affects her right arm. I met her last Saturday. We laughed and cried for an hour.

Isn’t it awesome how some people can help you feel good about the truth.

It may be months until I regain the ability to reach for a door knob with my left arm without feeling like collapsing over the pain. I’m willing to wait and trust chiropractic care depending on how long I can afford it. Six to twelve months longer seems like a real fucking stretch. I just might be more raw than I am right now, then.

There are no easy answers. It’s really hard to put a lid on pain or pretend it isn’t happening. I tried that. My kids just read my face as angry. Wait, maybe I am angry. Yep, that’s a part of this whole thing too.

It’s true. There are plenty of days I struggle with feelings of fear, anger and doubt.  I took so many things for granted; like keyboarding, washing dishes, and folding laundry, and sleeping all night too. Also, it’s really messed up when you pay someone to do your job, to take ‘your place.’

I am completely self-absorbed at times. I cry a lot. It’s better than pain medication. I’d rather feel it all than to be knocked out. The option to drive a car and take care of other regular stuff is not an option at times. You know?

Mostly I love talking with those who’ve walked in the same trenches. There’s only a handful of people in the whole world that I’ve come to know who completely get it. But no one more than Carol from Durango.

Seems my move to Colorado last summer made perfect sense before I even knew it. Total badassery.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2012 12:57 pm

    oh, dawn, i am so sorry you are going through this! i have watched so many people i care about, including my lovely young daughter, cope with chronic, severe, and debilitating pain. it is amazing how brave we all try to be when we are in pain, whether physical, mental, or emotional, when all we want to do is have someone close by who will let us cry and lean on their shoulder for a while. but, oh, how scary that can be!

    you moved to Colorado??? good for you! i hope you are loving it (or at least as much as you can right now).

    you can vent to me anytime — i think you still know how to get me on skype 🙂

    a seriously great big hug and hold xxx

  2. February 1, 2012 1:19 pm

    Ah, thanks Lynette. Maybe sharing this out loud means I’m a little closer to acceptance. I remember: Baby steps are steps.

  3. February 1, 2012 8:31 pm

    I am so sad to read this… what happened? Have you ever met Kat from She has chronic pain, unbelievable stuff she has been going through since I “met” her online. I am thinking of you…

  4. February 2, 2012 12:33 am

    Thanks for your love. Maybe I’m in denial thinking this is a blip, and not forever and ever lasting thing. I seem to lose hope feeling like a prisoner in this body. What I’m experiencing is the result of an old injury that happened 27 years ago when I was hit by a drunk driver. What I’m experiencing seems so out of the range of what others can relate too. So awesome that you would think of someone who just might ‘get it’ — *sighs*

  5. February 3, 2012 9:13 pm

    That really sucks, Dawn. I hope you find freedom from pain soon. And yes, it does feel really good when you find someone that really gets it!

  6. February 4, 2012 10:56 pm

    Thanks for hearing my message Les : ) You are one in a million.

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