Friday, April 30, 2010

One year rib resection anniversary

I read a book recently that greatly helped adjust my attitude toward pain.

My synopsis of the book, Dr Paul Brand talks about the life of lepers, who lose the ability to feel, no pain, and that is what kills them. He goes on to talk about his life experiences with patients and how fear, lonliness, helplessness and other emotions affect our perception of pain.
I gleaned much from this book and highly recommend it to anyone dealing with chronic pain. So much of the pain we feel is in our minds. There is hope to deal with that and live more fully-even with pain.

Hauling buckets of dirt,
pulling and carrying armloads of weeds,
carrying armloads or rocks,
dragging bags or mulch,
planting bushes,
using lightweight weedwacker.
On the anniversary of last years' rib resection,
this is what I was doing.

All in all, I'm better.
I have learned to adapt.
And I try to adjust my attitude.
To not be a victim.
Life is good.
Don't touch my neck or shoulders-raw nerves!
And on rare days when the pain flares,
I take it as divine signal to slow down,
tune in and readjust whatever I'm doing.

My left side is actually affected more than the right one, with my pulse instantly stopping when I just turn my head toward the right-cuts it right off...but I was having more pain on the right side last year.
Doc recommended surgery for the left side whenever I'm ready.
At this point, I'm not.
More than the surgery, the helplessness was excruciating, for me. (I hate asking for help-being dependant).
Even though I'm good now, mostly happy with my surgical outcome.
Not sure I ever will be ready to sign up for another one.

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