Monday, November 7, 2011

Musings on Pain

I've been recuperating from my failed flight lesson for two months now.  It seems like two years.  It's really been a l-o-n-g ordeal.  But, on the other hand, all I have to do is look out my back patio door and see my landing pad and it all comes rushing in like it was yesterday.  There have been so many emotional ups and downs during this time.  Any little change feels like I'm making a lot of progress but when I start feeling like I'm going backwards I remember all the initial pain and get scared.  Will I always have pain?  I know the answer to this question all too well.  I was always in pain even before my body broke to bits.  But that was a dull, always present pain scattered around various places in my body.  The pain associated with my injuries now is very local and it stabs and burns and throbs.  I guess it's worse than my "regular" pain because my other aches and pains are taking a backseat.  Weird, but it's my body's way of coping.  It's a good thing because with everything shouting and yelling at me I wouldn't be able to get out of bed!  No kidding!

I find myself complaining a lot.  I moan and groan and holler sometimes.  I guess it's more than sometimes because while Dave and the dogs at first were very concerned and shaken by all the noise, they now they just continue going along, doing their own business and ignore it.  That's not to say they are without compassion, they're just used to it by now.  The worst pain is connected to my broken hip.  The rod placement down the side of my femur really is hurting.  I guess the point is to have the bone grow around it and make it all part of my anatomy.  The screws up top hold my femur to the hip joint.  Since I've been working with PT that area has really woken up and is not pleased.  It's really sensitive to touch (or the foot of an 8# pound puppy).  

But, the knee aches, too.  I'm supposed to be aggressive when I try to bend it.  I have gone from a 40 degree bend to an 82 degree bend in a couple of weeks so it is stretching but it is the strangest feeling.  I can feel the ligament over the patella stretch like a big rubber band (which is what it is, I guess) and then when it's gone as far as it can it just stops--frozen, done.  There are ways to stretch it further and by keeping up with exercises it becomes easier.  Did I just say "easier"?  That word never really belongs in a paragraph about physical therapy!  It becomes less annoyingly painful.  How's that?

My friends happily take me to therapy and I love staying in touch with them during that brief time.  It's good to get out of the house, too.  I really think that my therapers are marvelous and are helping me a lot.  They're the ones who I need right now.  I learn so much from each session and the environment is so friendly that we therapees learn from each other, too.

Also, even at this late date as I reflect on my injuries I'm still very thankful for them.  It could have been so much worse.  When I look at the scar on my left leg I remember that it came so close to the bone.  So much more damage could have happened to my foot and being my "good" foot, I need it at 100 percent!  My other injuries will heal and that right leg will be a bit more lame than before but I'll still be able to get around by myself.  That's important.  I'm not sure how the pain situation will level out but that's something that can be dealt with, too.  All in all, when I complain it's just the pain talking.  That's what I tell Dave when I snap at him but that doesn't really make him feel better.  I just want to be thankful for my spared life and for Dave's presence here and his willingness to do things for me that he'd rather not have to do.  We're getting to the age where it's hard enough taking care of ourselves.  As his Parkinson's Disease progresses we realize that someday I may be taking care of him.  We're trying to be brave and face those facts and prepare ourselves.  But in the meantime, we're going to be even more diligent in taking care of ourselves.


  1. Oh Momma, I wish I was there with you!!! Sending lots of love from Oregon!

  2. Hugs to you have come such a long way already. You are a wonderful writer. Keep it up. Thanks for painting such a vivid picture of what is going on.