I wrote this while on my honeymoon. I was a week and half off of cannabis at this point. The NSAIDs and muscle relaxants weren’t helping me much and the muscle relaxants actually made it more difficult to walk and caused stress incontinence. When I have days where I feel like maybe I’ve turned into a “stoner” because I use marijuana for pain relief, I will reread these words of agony that came to me during what should have been one of the happiest times in my life. I’m going to keep listening to my myself and trusting my instincts.
The dull, constant thrum of pain waits for our conscious mind like a lover. It embraces us fully, touching every part of my body and sending tendrils of awareness into the deepest part of our brain. The companionable headache that results from constantly processing the pain signals does not allow us to sleep longer than absolutely necessary. The man we love snores softly next to us. We’ve already had to get up twice, despite our best efforts he’s probably fully aware of that.
We’re married now, safe. On our honeymoon even. The nightmares don’t stop though. Unpleasant and confused dreams torment our unconscious life while pain threatens to tear apart the conscious one. The hemispherical headache only worsens as the seconds pass slowly. Moments. Moments of pain, moments of hurting. Today will have many moments, and the ones where there is little to distract us from the pain are the most isolating and miserable.
Inside the mindscape, Vren glowers at me from across the chasm. Neglected, isolated, lonely – he projects these base feelings into me and I know today is not going to be about me. I didn’t feel like I was hogging all of Jimmy’s attention, but there you go. I furrow my brow in apology and turn back to the conscious world. Communicating with the rest of us while I’m plugged in is difficult. I get conflicting signals and inputs, sometimes I don’t process quickly enough and they briefly take over so they may fully express their desires. None of them are designed to withstand being plugged in as long as I am.
Vren tugs on my awareness again. Dammit, I’m busy. I’m trying to sort out what the best course of action will be moving forward with today. Our pain is substantial. We’re not going to be up for much at all. Ideally we’d just rest, but that doesn’t look like an option we have. If I don’t get more sleep and pain relief soon, our sanity will start to spiral away from us and then we’ll be extra sorry we didn’t take care of ourselves.
The cycle of pain is predictable. Usually I have one or two good days per week, the rest I struggle and suffer. Yesterday was a good day. I knew it couldn’t last though. Every night I strip and practice Yin Yoga on the floor, forcing my body to relax. I stretch the deep tension that is buried in my muscles until the spasms begin. I can control when I have the flare ups, but I can’t stop them. I can take drugs to take the edge off, but the pain still remains. Sometimes though, I wonder if a butter knife is really any better than a pearing knife.
When I feel the spasms begin as I lay helpless on the floor, bending at odd angles, I open my mind and accept the pain. I will often gasp, cry, and talk myself through the worst of it. I try to force myself to be above the pain, and sometimes I am. Other times, it tries to consume me. Often I am weak after yoga. I struggle to stand. I will half crawl, half drag myself onto the nearest soft place, be it bed or couch. I try to do it alone, but if I cannot I ask Jimmy to help me. He’ll hoist me up and gently set me back down. I wait for my muscles to respond properly to my brain again.
It is a better way to suffer when you know when it will be. As long as I don’t overdo it during the day, I may experience the worst of it quietly, privately before bed. Every night. I can’t skip a day, to do so would be detrimental to my routine. My body counts on the regularity as much as I do. It hurts my body as much as processing those pain signals hurts me. The pain never stops, sometimes I ignore it better than others.
I need to sleep more, I’ve caught a cold. Pain won’t let me. It stabs in my shoulders and flays my lower back. There’s a heaviness in my abdomen and everything below it protests and screams. I wait in darkness for the pain to ease, but it’s a futile game. How long before I give up and give in to consciousness. How long before I try to do something else besides rest, besides sleep? The pinpricks on my arms are enough to make me wince. I feel the steady throbbing in my back, each pulse, each beat of my heart reinforces the agony that lingers there. I am exhausted by pain.
Oh how I wish I’d been able to bring my medicine with me. Unfortunately medical marijuana is illegal in most places still. It doesn’t get rid of the pain, it simply brings me above it. The muscle spasms haven’t stopped, those never stop. It makes it easier for me to accept the pain. I am still functional, I still manage just as well physically without it, but emotionally I’ve begun to wear thin. Pain is all I know and it threatens to consume my very soul. Perhaps if I spend the rest of our vacation in a hot tub?
Help me, please. Today is pain. Tomorrow will be pain too. My waking life is awful, even with the man I love laying next to me. Does that make me ungrateful and wretched? If so than I am truly a wretched beast.