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Chronic Pain and Feeling Down

November 17, 2022

There I was considering stopping blogging because it’s been a while, but 2022 has been a wild and fast ride so far (summary below)* and Sooterkin™ said something interesting so here I go**…

I have been suffering worse chronic pain recently than normal for me, necessitating painkillers (all hail cocodamol) and being unable to function with precise mental acuity.  Painkillers sometimes leave the brain fog behind or even make it worse, but the pain is gone so it’s all good.

I mean it when I say that. It is all good.  I am perfectly content.  I am content even in brain fog.  I am content even when is chronic pain.  I took painkillers because it is worse than normal, and that is an important distinction to bear in mind, because I have noticed when I post I am feeling pain and having to take painkillers, it is a statement of my physical body and not my mental or emotional one and many people mix up the two.  If I felt it, I would say it.

This is down to how we as individuals experience pain.  The difference between acute and chronic pain, which is one that is learned when one lives with chronic pain.  I have learned to recognise the difference, because otherwise I may not recognise acute pain and that can be dangerous. 

Chronic pain does not indicate a traumatic injury, acute pain does.  I learned to understand that movement will not cause further damage to my body, such as walking on a broken ankle would.  This then helps the anxiety and, in the long run (and in my case through pain management courses and both physical and mental therapy) being able to be content and in pain.  I gained an instinct so if you squint really hard it could be seen as a superpower.

People who don’t live with chronic pain don’t learn this.  There is no instinctual need. Acute pain causes anxiety and needs immediate treatment to avoid further damage to the body.  Chronic pain comes from already existing damage.  Living with chronic pain means learning to deal with it in every way.

I have immense gratitude towards those who can empathise and understand living with chronic pain.  Please know that it doesn’t mean I am suffering in any other way.

Have a picture of my cat.  You are welcome.

*2022 so far, having started the year without a job, on chemoimmunotherapy drugs, and still recovering from a ministroke.  Settlement from fracas of 2021 received in December.  Spoiler alert – it’s been fantastic!

April – started my own business, All Inclusive Wills.

May – I have my first social gathering, an outdoor picnic, since going into shielding (15th March 2020) for my 50th birthday; beloved friends and goddaughters are LFT’d and I’m masked. Shenanigans are had.

June – ended chemo treatment, medication down from 24 to 9 tablets a day.  Painkillers optional.

Also June – went to seen Queen with Adam Lambert at the O2 Arena, wore a rhinestone mask I made for my birthday.

July – business properly running, purpose regained.

August – started a monthly free clinic for legal advice (how to access, where to look etc, as well as my specialism) at social enterprise café The Jamii Project.

September – final Consultant visit for CLL with it now “undetectable in my blood stream”, so basically the best treatment result possible.

Also September – won Community Champion of the Year and was awarded Highly Commended Will Writer – Individual at the National Paralegal of the Year awards; attended Gala Awards in Birmingham.  Public outing number one out of shielding.

October – attended public bring & fix at TimeBank, my first time back to the TimeBank since shielding.  Made a t-shirt, gave advice, got a jumpsuit shortened by six inches.

November – went on a bucket-list fabulous holiday to Rome and Ostia for a week so officially out of shielding for good.

TL/DR – 2021 sucked so very hard, 2022 continues awesome.

Left to right – 1 – I win my award and a highly commended certificate at the National Paralegal Awards at a Gala Ceremony in Birmingham. 2 – Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen on stage at the O2. 3 – I stand in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Shielding done.

** he assumed I was having a down day because I was in chronic pain, as so many people do. It sparked thoughts.

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From → Autobiography, health

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