Monday, February 20, 2012

My Battle with Pain

I used to be a fit, healthy English teacher until I broke up a school fight in April 1985..and later that night began a 27-year struggle with chronic pain that I will likely be waging for the rest of my life.  I retired on disability in 2008.

Throughout my battle—because that is what it is—I have found out several things about pain:
1. That pain is an evolving thing, changing form and manner to attack me in ways I can not foresee; and
2. I will probably never win this battle; and
3. Though it is a physical affliction, it can at times attack me psychologically and alter the way I interact with the world; and
4. Despite its sometimes overwhelming nature, there are techniques I have learned to live with it, and still lead a life of quality and satisfaction; but
5. It will take the work of others to help me through, and I must accept this and let people in to the shell I sometimes build around myself to deal with it.

I am creating this blog for several reasons that can probably be further distilled, but the first one for now is simply this: I have always liked writing, and I have found that it can help me in the manner a good therapist can help others.  I believe writing is even now a dialogue of sorts between me and my assumed audience, who may simply be me someday down the road.  When I write I choose words and phrases for specific reasons, and that forces me to think analytically and, I hope, honestly.

Over the years my friends have often told me to create this blog…people who know me and whose opinions and faith and support I have grown to trust and believe in, and though it took quite a while for their suggestions to sink in, I have come to the point where I also think that this may do some good…

But here’s the catch, and it’s as true for me as it is for anyone else who reads this: this blog is about pain—MY pain, and what it has done to me, and how I have dealt with it.  While it is my hope that someday another person or persons may read this, and my blog may have a positive effect on others, I do not want anyone to think my writing is meant to supplant medical advice or anything of the sort.  I cannot prescribe solutions for others any more than I can prescribe medicine.  That is NOT the purpose of this blog. 

What I am hoping for is to come to a better understanding of my own lifelong struggle with chronic pain, and to perhaps make a difference with others who hurt by suggesting that they may come to terms with their own struggles in their own manner.   What I have found out is not only that must I become my own best advocate,but also that there are others out there—good, caring people, both personal and professional—who have dedicated some portion of their lives to help me.

Together, I hope I—we—can get a handle on this thing.  We may not beat it, but then again it will not beat us.