It has taken me many years to understand my chronic pain experience of over 30 years. 18 years ago hip replacement surgery cured my pain, but I was still a chronic pain victim. I have had to take many steps to reintegrate my mind and body. To accept limbs that no longer hurt, but that had been mentally castrated in my mind.
Here is an article on Health.com quoting Dr. Sean Mackey defining chronic pain as a disease which aids in understanding that it has profound effects that last beyond the initial pain experience.
I remember as a small child riding in the family station wagon on a trip down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago to grandma’s. My right leg hurt so much and so constantly that I recalled a scene from Mary Poppins. Bert is in a bakery and wanting to buy some ladyfingers. He plays a trick on the kids and makes it look like he is popping off his own fingers to give to the kids as a treat.
I thought, great, how about if I imagine that the car door opens as we are driving, my leg falls out, and it POPS off. It was such a soothing thought, and I know must have increased my ability to deal with my pain.
As I think of these thoughts that I had when I was about 6, it seems so brutal. I knew that it helped me deal with overcoming the pain, and that was a blessing. But how unfortunate to have had such gruesome thoughts and not be able to express to anyone what I was thinking.
This is what drives me today to want to connect with those that are enduring, or have endured, the silent agony that chronic pain can bring. And to be able to discuss what it fells or felt like being on the inside of the experience.
I welcome your comments.