When I was 20, a car I was riding in was rear ended on the freeway by a car who did not see that traffic was stopped. The resulting injuries to my back, neck and shoulders were excruciating. I had to take a quarter off of school and spent most of that time in bed, on the couch, in numerous doctors offices and physical therapist’s rooms. MRIs and Xrays were performed, measurements of disc compression, nerve damage, joints injured. Numbers were assigned, predictions made that my injuries would be a lifelong affliction. Mostly I remember (though mostly suppressed) the fog of pain. How inward it turned me. How I cared little about anything unless it was alleviating the pain even just a small bit. Pain is being in a room with a gigantic, annoying
scary clown that no one else can see. That invisible clown is pushing on your sore spots and torturing you.

Gradually, slowly, the pain receeded, little by little like a tide. Until finally flare-ups occasionally were the most I suffered. And I
forgot about that clown.

Until 6 weeks before my wedding and I fell out of my office chair after adjusting it wrong. Suddenly, the freaking clown was back, even
scarier than before, like Stephen King “It” proportions, because was I going to have to spend my whole wedding sitting down? Was I not going to be able to dance? After trying every last thing (physical therapy, accupressure, muscle relaxants, osteopathic medicine, rest) I finally was given an epidural two days before the wedding. Which, thankfully worked even if it was a somewhat extreme solution.

Now, 10 years later (there seems to be a pattern of 10s here) I find myself with the clown again, after tripping over a toy, and putting out my back. Of course, as always, the timing is awful, just days before Darcy leaves for a two week trip, my in-laws take off for a month-long vacation and my own parents are unable to come out due to my Dad’s delicate health. Alone, the sole support for my kids, when getting them into the car feels like knives digging into my back. The clown with teeth of razor blades laughs.

Pain is agony, it’s not being yourself, it’s facing your limitations. It’s awful.

Go away, clown. Please just go away and leave me alone.



Filed under body shit

17 responses to “Pain

  1. Oh no!!! I am so sorry to hear about this! I’m not far away at all, I can’t be there day in and day out like I’m sure you need but if you just want some help one day for some relief please let me know. I’m happy to come down for a day and give you a break from the heavy lifting and bending over. When my husband throws out his back he is essentially paralyzed for several days and its awful, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Please tell me if I can help!!!

  2. ugh, so sorry to hear that. has anything else worked in the past? physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture? or do you just take pain meds? or just suffer? hope something works, if even a little.

  3. I’m so sorry. I hope you feel better soon.

  4. that sounds horrible 😦
    I hope this time around the clown leaves you alone – soon!

  5. Ugh, I am so sorry!! I don’t think we realize how precious our health is until we lose it. 😦 Hope you feel better soon!

  6. Wordgirl

    Oh no! I can commiserate — not on that level — but as a college freshman I rolled off my boyfriend’s vaulted loft and onto the concrete floor — incurring a broken vertebrae in my neck and a severe case of whiplash/concussion — I have never had full mobility — and everytime the pain comes flooding back I remember what being in pain really means. I am so sorry you are going through this — and that your husband’s business will take him out of town — I’m thinking too about about your father — so many good healing thoughts coming your way — if I wasn’t so shy and so bad about reaching out — and if I lived nearer you (too many ifs)I would come and help you out…bring treats and movies and a cadre of paid helpers for the kids xoxox


  7. I’m sorry you are hurting. I wish there were a way to ease your pain. Any word from the acupuncturist.

  8. Oh, I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. I hope someone close by can help you out until you feel better!

  9. Oh, crap, that sounds awful. And being on your own on top of that, I’m so sorry. What a shitty timing. If I could I would chase that clown away! Or come help out.

  10. Oh no! that’s shite timing. Hoping for some magical helping hands for you

    (feck right off, arseclown)

  11. I’m sorry you’re feeling like this! I hate it when the timing is so bad … being a single parent is hard enough. 😦 Sending thoughts for quick healing!

  12. Oh, how completely… well, “awful” doesn’t really even scratch the surface. Chronic pain is so completely demoralizing. I hope you can get some relief soon.

  13. Gail K

    Oh no!! So Sorry to hear that! Do you have any friends in the area that could help for a few days? I know that my husband and I rely on friends because our families are too far away for the day-to-day help and support. In fact, we think of some friends as the siblings that we always wanted, but never got. 🙂

  14. Oh, MAN, that’s rotten. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with the clown, especially now. I hope you are able to find some relief and some support while Darcy’s gone.

  15. Oh boy that sounds horrible! I know it is probably difficult, but rest when you can. I hope it gets better soon.

  16. I can totally relate, having recently had a bad bout of pain, when I turned inward completely. And now the fear that the pain might recur. So I am very sorry you are going through this, and hoping that you recover soon.

  17. Pingback: Odds and Ends | Too Many Fish to Fry

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