Aug 31 2012
A day should not be sacrificed solely to pain. As long as there is breath, you can inhale the summer breeze. With vision, whether internal or external, you see deep greens and bright blues and grays and the whole spectrum. My skin can feel the air, the bare earth beneath my bare feet and toes, and a hand upon my shoulder. I can taste the sweet milk in my cereal and I can think about my experience. I can even hear the silence just now along with the click of the cicadas. Above all, I can continually go from sleeping to wakefulness making it possible to arouse the thought of enlightenment.
No, a day should not be sacrificed solely to pain, not as long as there is breath.
Discomfort at a discouragingly 9 to 10 all week, yet discouragement does not seem to stand against all the hope that I cannot help but have.
Off to the pool after walking with Loki up to Waneka Lake and back, having a bite, and sitting (yay sitting again) on the cushion for awhile.
Blue moon tonight. I will walk with my friend Dan to see its reflection in the lake. I don’t know if it is possible to describe how important people are to me, always, and especially now – especially the really loving ones. 🙂
August 29, 2012
Trying to learn and understand the anatomical/chemical/physiological aspects to the condition of my body, especially as I am prone to contemplate the emotional/spiritual/mental aspects so frequently, is enlightening.
As a bodyworker and meditator, I am intrigued by the study as a whole. The vastness is simply endless.
What keeps coming to mind is a paper my son wrote in 2nd or 3rd grade. After a two week session in which the curriculum was the study of the human body, his test asked for a paragraph telling what he learned. His big white sheet of paper had one full sentence written in his best hand. “I learned there is a lot more stuff on the inside than there is on the outside.”
He got an F. I proudly pinned the paper to the frig.
August 28 2012
Yesterday I received my weekly treatment from Dr. Joel Carrithers at his office, Kinetic Chiropractic and Massage in Lafayette, CO. We spent some time looking at the MRI images that I had made in Costa Rica on July 10. Joel brought out his spine model and explained what we were looking at in the images.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging slices the body on multiple planes. We viewed saggital and transverse planes, in slices. I saw a photo of the hard and soft tissues in my spine, and I saw the impingement of nucleus pulposus, or maybe the desiccating annulus fibrosus (I don’t quite understand which), against lateral, right nerve root exiting the spine between fifth lumbar and 1st sacral, which feed my right side pelvis and appendages. Well anyway, just think current of low level shock 24/7.
I will ask Dr. Carrithers to edit this blog and correct or clarify it if he will be so kind. Joel has been the touchstone in my healing journey since it began, and he is my kind of doctor because he is a collaborator. Neither of us expects the other to do all the work to heal this body of mine. He also takes time to educate me and discuss the physical realities we are dealing with. He trusts my input and responds to it.
Well, that’s all for now…. Physical discomfort scale began about a 9 and is down to I don’t know, 3 maybe. So life is good. I will collect data and stuff and write some summary posts one day.
…happy to be standing at a computer in front of an open window perfect late summer Colorado day.
Aug 26, 2012
Samsara on steroids, I called my affliction one day. My perception of samsara is that of a place that we are all born into, without exemption. Born into a body which can only know its world through senses of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind (consciousness), samsara divides life into pleasure and pain just as night and day are divided.
But truly, we never left a vast and appealingly peaceful space – it is very deep within the core, and waits for you to offer it your attention. That space is so great, even your most phenomenal experience is simply a passing cloud.
August 24, 2012
Pain scale today: Two to Three!! This is very good news. I think I will change the scale to a “physical discomfort” scale, as pain is a small word for such a large phenomenal experience, and I have decided the word doesn’t really mean all that much, except that Pain = Duality and Duality = Preference and Preference = Stress and Stress = Pain.
I practiced meditation in a sitting position today for the first time in several months!!!
~There is always an answer to everything, because everything is always an answer to itself.
~Everything has changed, but only in the places where there is no change. Therefore, nothing has changed. My face before my mother was born.
August 17, 2012
I am a new woman, arriving from the place of no-change. Therefore, nothing is really new.
Pain, my pain, my own pain, identified by my own mind is what I reach for, grasp, hold on to. I lust after pain and life as synonyms. It is a pattern I saw clearly when I reviewed my blog from August 2010. I titled this year’s august post “Pain and Life”. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on “August 2010” to see “Pain and Suffering” as the title.
I have a relationship with pain that is teaching me all sorts of things which I cannot deny. One of those things is that struggling is useless and tiring.
August 11, 2012
I have written about the pain and hard work of becoming, and I have written a protocol for living with and managing my pain. What I have not addressed is a much larger dimension of my experience. It is what I do with my time.
Here is the kicker. My current lifestyle is my dream lifestyle, even my plan for retirement. The only part I did not plan or desire is the pain. Yet it seems the pain has forced the lifestyle. My vision of retirement includes the following: working with people and the healing arts twelve or so hours a week, teaching herbal medicine and spending time making herbal medicine, allowing hours each day for athletics and hot tubbing at the gym, receiving massage and chiropractic treatments each week, taking naps, spending quality time with pets and neighbors, eating well, surrounding myself with positive minded folks who like to laugh, meditating as a way of life rather than as an event in the day, moving slowly between activities and keeping everything very simple. Well, I am here to tell you that I have what I have asked for.
Right now I am just listening to my body. Body wisdom rules.
P.S. Earlier pain of 8.5 is down to 4ish and I am sitting to write this post. Yay!
August 11, 2012
Pain this AM, 8.5 on the 1 to 10 scale.
The protocol list. Some of these are used hourly, daily, weekly. Pharmaceutical meds are rotated to prevent toxicity and to prevent pain from over-riding the effects when my body gets used to it.
To clarify, these are all of the treatments I am using since July 16 to treat chronic acute pain caused by a complex injury in which torn gluteus medias muscle tightened the right hip and back muscles, pulling a degenerating spine down onto a degenerating disc, spilling its contents onto the nerve root extending from fifth lumbar, feeding the right side of my pelvis and right leg. I am able to ride a bicycle, swim, walk, dance, lie on my stomach and sometimes my back. On a really good day I can sit in a chair for up to 30 minutes. Sitting in a car seat is a traumatic experience, so I do not ride or drive, but I take the bus when I need to go to town, because I can stand in the bus.
- Swim 25 minutes once or twice daily
- Bicycle and/or walk average 2 miles daily
- Yoga with and without exercise ball minimum one hour daily
- Meditation minimum one hour daily
- Chiropractic once or twice weekly
- Massage once or twice weekly
- Hot tub daily
- Castor Oil hot packs several nights per week
- Homemade Herbal tinctures: nervine sedatives/anti-inflammatory/nutrients.
- Herbal infusions: nervine and tonics
- Food, food and more food – high protein and high carb
- Homemade vegetable juices, greens
- Multiple vitamins
- Calcium supplements
- Magnesium supplements
- Medical grade marijuana
- Electric stimulation
The plan is that the desiccated disc material will eventually be absorbed by my body, easing inflammation and nerve interference. My goal is to prevent further nerve/tissue damage, soften tissues, strengthen supportive muscle and heal torn muscle, and manage pain. Surgeries exist, but for me remain the very last resort. In a future post, I will address the financial cost.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Blossoming into an elder. Caterpillar struggling her way from her cocoon. Autumn wind. These and a number of nature’s metaphors describe my life at present. The experience has the feel of initiation in it, significant and intensely sensual. Pain accompanies me like my shadow, just as expected and just as accepted. In fact, when pain is not present, I completely wake up to the non-pain with wondrous joy.
Think of the immense pressure it takes to blossom, to emerge, to BE a force of nature. There is work involved, participation, energy and activity equal to the demand. As my summer unfolded into unexpected, even unimagined pain, I began to realize that my attention was being requested by my body – no – demanded. Fortunately I had as my summer companion the CD series “Your Breathing Body” by Reggie Ray. They are a series of 20 Tibetan yoga/meditation practices, of which I am practicing each one for two weeks and then proceeding to the next more advance practice. Through these practices, I sometimes feel like a giant, like my strength is that of the earth. It is not hard or unforgiving strength, but gentle and very subtle. The earth’s vastness, softness and kindness make pain somehow seem small and cared for.
The short end of a long story for today’s log, which can carry more of the story down the road, is that I am using everything I know and learn from nature, including human nature, to heal myself. It occurred to me one day as I was wringing my hands in anguish that I have been a medicine woman for the better part of four decades, and I know what I would have a patient do if I trusted her to follow through with the hard work her healing would require. That’s me. I am the patient, and I will be logging my protocol soon to share it and to reflect upon it.
Twenty six days into the protocol today. Today begins a pain rating scale 1 to 10, 1 being pain free and 10 being tears and “oh my god, I can’t do this”. I have been at about a 5 so far today, and I consider that a good day, one of my best in this twenty six day period. I am writing as I lie on a heating pad on a cotton futon, after wake-up yoga on exercise ball, 20 minutes walking, biking a mile to the pool, swimming 30 minutes, soaking up some sun, biking home. It’s 1:15. So far, so good. I put in a 10 hour light work day yesterday for my first time in five months, and it was miraculous, so today deserves rest. Meds, herbs, nutrition, and everything else – I’ll save that report for later. Thanks for reading. J
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