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Pain Price

Still trying to recover from knee surgery. And so I am doing my daily negotiations with my body.

“This is what I would like to do today…….. What will be the pain price that you will extract from me?

Okay, how about if I just do…….and not……. How much will that cost me?

For someone who does not have to go through these daily rituals of trading physical activity for pain paybacks, they would think this was craze. But for everything I choose to do, I have to realize that there will usually be a price to pay. Somedays I am willing to pay the price and other days, I do not even want to negotiate. Laying in bed with a good book or movie sounds much better.

Do you have to endure daily negotiations with your pain? How does that feel?

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

8 responses »

  1. Pingback: Pain Price

  2. 3 years after a total knee replacement, I feel the exact same way. It took 2 1/2 years for my doctor to stop thinking I was crazy or trying to get drugs and refer me to a specialist. It was then determined that I had uneven leg length, my lumbar spine has curved opposite my surgical leg and that I may have the chronic pain due to nerve damage. A day I only have the knee pain is like the good old days…
    I now see a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a rheumatologist. I’m getting the correct meds after lots of trial and error. I have lost years of my life I cannot ever get back. I would gladly trade back to the days when I had serious but intermittent knee pain and a job.
    Now my job is to take care of myself and get to my doctor appointments.
    I have lost nearly every friend I had because my life had too much “drama” for them. It’s a struggle to be positive. Flip side I have a great loving husband who takes excellent care of me and completely understands when I have spent days upon days in bed for years now.
    Now the doc thinks I may have RSD or CRPS and my GP should have egg all over her face. And that knee replacement was supposed to improve the quality of my life??? Hard not to be bitter, oh well at least I am very well read and have become much more informed about chronic pain thanks to all those days in bed with books and my laptop.
    Terry M.

  3. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Terry, thanks for your comment. It is so hard when we see something, like surgery, as a cure and it only leads to more problems. I am sorry you have such pain. But thank god for good books and the internet. It can keep us connected. Mary

  4. Hello Mary,
    Thanks for the reply. Nice of you to take the time to respond.
    I guess the title Price of Pain really stood out to me as I feel the price I paid was far too steep. Still, this is the way things are. If only the GP would have sent me to the specialist after even 6 months of chronic pain. It’s pathetic that I had to live for 2 and a half years in severe pain 24/7 before getting proper diagnosis and treatment.
    I’m only 56…things can only improve now that I know what was making things worse. I give a lot of credit to my physical therapist who recommended “Explain Pain” and the work of Lorimer Mosely. That is what gave me the push I needed to demand proper treatment for the chronic pain. The definition of chronic is “lasting more than three weeks”. Some peole say I could write a book but I think it would be far too negative at this point. I do think that getting some belief ( a doctor, an excercise, a medication or a shot if it works) equals some relief…half of it is the brain/mind.
    Thank you again Mary

  5. Mary, I certainly know what you’re talking about here! Every day is about achieving some sort of balance between what I’d like to achieve and what I actually CAN. The thing is though, I think this is ‘normal’ for people even without pain – the difference is that when we have pain (or fatigue, or some other limitation) we have less to come and go on. I could be quite negative about how much juggling I have to do – but then I remember that everyone I know has to juggle various roles and responsibilities. So I’ve decided to stop demanding that I achieve as much as my mind wants me to (after all, half of what it says to me is actually things I learned to say to myself as a child!), and start doing what I can and being IN the moment rather than wishing for something different.

  6. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thanks for your insight. This is so wise. And it forces us to be “in the moment”. Ah, the wisdom we had as children.

  7. My life is negotiating with pain. I have stage III RSD and inoperable degenerative disc disease with bulging discs at three levels. I am only able to walk as far as the bathroom. When I go out, I have to be in a wheelchair. I spend most of my life in a recliner. If I thought about how much pain I actually have, I don’t think I would be able to survive.

    I am on a heavy dose of pain medications, plus several other medications. They don’t take the pain away but they take the sharp edge off so I am able to manage it.

    My negotiation with pain is not about how much activity or exercise that I am able to do, it is about living period.

    I also have a terminal degenerative brain disease but I am not miserable. Pain has taught me a lot about life, what is important and what a blessing a kind word can be or a gentle touch.

    My husband gives me foot massages occasionally and that and chocolate pudding with whipped cream is heaven to me.

    Now I see people receiving huge blessings and not even realizing it. I wouldn’t want anyone to be in the situation I am in. When watching a bird take a bath makes your day, life can be quite enjoyable.

  8. Mary Byrne Eigel

    I am sorry for all your pain. It sounds like you have a very beautiful attitude and loving husband. Those are such gifts. How wonderful that you can find those special moments in your day, like the birds. May there always be special moments to reflect on and get you through. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings. Mary

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