When there is physical pain how do I get the writing done? Honestly some days nothing gets done except for laying on the couch, or in bed, or on the floor trying to make my back feel better. After I was struck by a car in my early 30’s, the resulting back injury has been degrading with age. Sciatica everyday, mid and upper back pain 24/7, my hips and knees an aching mess. I’ve been everywhere, and done many things to make the pain go away, I visit the pain clinic three or four times a year, I dread the painful injections. It is only a temporary fix.
When there is pain, I find I have no mind to write, to think, or to stop and take a quick note. People who don’t know what constant physical pain feels like are missing out. When I wake in the morning it is always there to remind me: I am alive. Sometimes it even wakes me up, gets me out of bed at un Godly hours. Some days I believe living with physical pain is like living with an alarm-clock that has no off switch. On the really painful days there are times where I don’t know if I should shit or go blind. And at my age I’m closer to a tight fitting depends diaper and a stronger optical prescription, so I suppose you can chalk me up for one of each.
When the pain is bad, there is rainy weather, and it makes my disposition less amiable. I can’t work on my writing or my music. On those days I keep warm, rest lots; I eat as healthy as I can, and try to get out for walks, but all that falters when the rains come. In times like that I don’t mind getting a little dark. I turn to poetry, I find it helps to pull things from the abyss, and shed light on my dark mood. I try to describe the powerful emotions pain brings. And let’s face it, shitty weather helps.
When there is physical pain, I try to adopt the same philosophy as if I have “hard writing ahead”. I try to be as gentle on my body as I can, I switch up my writing position regularly, and I walk around the apartment during my breaks, stretching slowly, and paying attention to my breathing. I try to be as present as I can be. When that fails, I break out the painkillers. Yup, you heard me. Painkillers. I don’t take harsh ones, and I only take them as a last defence. Tylonol-3’s and extra-strength Advil. For me, my life with physical pain lends an urgency to my work for sure, but I know that I have to be patient. Patient moments are a product of my physical pain. I have no choice but to take the pain, it’s coming like it or not. Patient, I wait for it to subside, for the drugs to do their job so that I can do mine. I am grateful for my pain because it gives me perspective and gratitude for my life.