“I laugh because I must not cry, that is all, that is all. ”
― Abraham Lincoln
There will be days where the pain wins. Lost days. When you cannot function because the pain level is too high. Nothing gets done. No thoughts get processed. Time is warped. The day is lost.
Even if I could count all the lost days I would not want to. They are horrible things to be trapped in. At first you think maybe you can treat the pain. Maybe it will get better. Maybe you can sleep a bit. It all fails and things get all hazed with it. Mental functioning is all distorted and you cannot distract yourself like you normally would because the methods do not work with that sort of pain.
But when it comes to chronic pain we have to except that lost days will happen. We have to accept that other people will not be quite so accepting of them. We were fine the previous day, were we not? To all appearances anyway. We functioned anyway. Due to that awesome pain tolerance and variability of chronic pain we can function one day and be laid on our ass the next. Hell, we can function one moment and be laid on our ass the next.
So of course we feel guilty about being incapacitated by pain for some reason. Feel horrible about losing the day and not being productive enough in our agony. But this is insanity. It is horrible to lose a moment to such pain. It is horrible to have to have chronic pain let alone lose a moment to the higher levels of chronic pain but we should never lose a moment over guilt about it. Our time is better spent doing anything we can to survive it. Because it is more difficult at the higher levels than it is a the moderate to moderate severe levels. We have our ways at those levels. But at the severe to acute levels it far more difficult to distract the brain.
I think of all the ways I distract my brain when in pain. And we must do so. In studies it is demonstrated to be effective… not that the pain ‘goes away’ but that it is less focused on. And we know that helps. It is just unfortunate once you reach a level you just cannot. So you lay there like a lump… and there is just this pain, and you, so what do you do? Well, things that require less brain power, movement and effort really are the best options. What TV, a movie, sleep. Meditate. Relaxation techniques. Listen to music if possible. Options are pretty limited to be honest. Because really the day is lost and it is a matter of getting through it to a lower level of pain that is more bearable.
And I find one of the worst things about high pain days is the end of the day. The night can be problematic. If the pain is too high at night I can think too much while in pain, which is what happens when we have no distractions. And thinking when in pain is not a good thing for me. Often a slippery slope into dark thoughts. I always have to watch that one.
And then of course is the fact that sleep is next to impossible with such pain.
So here is to a better tomorrow. A better pain day. One not consumed by pain.