A Moment of Chronic Pain

I have a gizmonic exercise bike I found on the sidewalk last year.

I say ‘gizmonic’ because it has a computer that monitors heart rate and caloric output.

It also has games.

I brought it home and slipped some batteries into it and
nothing.

It looked like the computer was broken.

The fix was simple.

The springs that held the batteries in place weren’t making contact
with the batteries.

I stretched them and Bingo!

A fancy exercise bike for the time it took me to stretch
some springs.

My favorite game is the  ‘Calorie Destroyer.

The faster I pedal the more ammo and mobility my gun has.

Last week I raised the seat for better leg extension.

Bad idea.

As I reached level four I felt a twinge of pain in my lower back.

Did that stop me? Of course not!

I was taught to ignore pain.

The twinge became a sharp pain.

The next day I felt stiff.

Friday I walk across the City to therapy.

I began to dress.

There’s  a small chair in front of the door to bedroom closet.

I needed a jacket so I moved the chair and felt something pop; a jolt
of pain raced up my spine and down my legs.

Did I decide not to walk over five miles to my therapist, most of it up hill?

Of course not!

I was in so much pain that when I got home I took two aspirin and a double dose of ‘Clonopin.’ Most docs use benzos to treat severe spasms of the lower back. (I don’t advise anyone else to ever do this without consulting a doctor.)

I laid down and entered the world of pain.

Survival in the world of pain means finding the ‘right’ position: a way to arrange one’s body to cut severe pain.

Finding the ‘right’ position and holding it for as long as possible was the focus of all of my energy and concentration.

I’d find a position only to have to find another position five minutes later.

This meant having more pain to find respite in less pain.

For all my emotional pain I have never had to deal with severe medical pain.

After it was over I had a deeper appreciation for the suffering and courage of
people in chronic pain.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

First published November 2015
Revised November 2018

66 thoughts on “A Moment of Chronic Pain

  1. I’m sorry you had to deal with that pain. Pain anywhere, especially the back, is frustrating. I never really realized how much we use our core and back for everything until I got hurt. The one time I threw my back out I was scared to even laugh or sneeze the pain was so bad. I hope one day God rids us of this imperfect and fragile body (Revelation 21:3,4). Glad you’re on the road to healing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t make it clear enough that this is a revised post from 2015. I apologize for that. I suppose an opening statement at the beginning was in order. But I do appreciate the concern. I had a great Thanksgiving.

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  2. Major empathy from this chick! ( Lumbar stenosis and the crazy idea I could paint my whole house – two days later, log rolled out of bed to my knees and took five minutes to stand and make it to the bathroom.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rob… I’m confused by the dates on this… Does this mean you’ve re-injured yourself? I hope not. Hopefully WordPress is just playing games with me when it took me straight to this post.
    I hope you are fine and that you and Jamie had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hugs on the (leftover turkey) wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert, hope this finds you feeling much better. Did you try the ice and heat therapy? Twenty minutes with an ice pack then twenty with a heat pain, etc.

    I love the artwork.

    Take care. ☕️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully you aren’t like my father. He has about 5 pairs of glasses that he leaves all over the house but yet can’t find any of them when he needs them.

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  5. A hearty “feel better!” from a person who knows pain….I’m glad you’re better now…at least, I hope by this time you’re learning to walk gently and not keep your appointment to run that 5k…And if you need permission to give your bike a three day rest, just because it, like, needs some rest, well, I’m your man. Er, woman. Oh hell, YOU know.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Feel better! I can empathize. I’ve been rehabbing a strained low back with some disc issues since September. I’m finally making some progress after months of physical therapy. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…I hope that your doc is managing your pain…I’m glad that you’re making progress. As I said, my life has been more marked by emotional pain…and because of the numbing effect of PTSD I have a high tolerance for pain, so I’ve never really understood how it can shatter one’s ability to function intellectually. I was actually reduced to staring at the television because I was unable to concentrate. In that sense it was a learning experience and a lesson in gratitude. I am grateful to have a healthy body today. I will do what I can to help those who aren’t as fortunate as I.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m doing well now and glad you’re recovering. Yes, physical pain can be debilitating in every respect. I also have more awareness of how others in the same situation feel now. Thanks for posting about your experience.

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  7. I can relate to back pain and also find that klonipin or muscle relaxers are helpful . the best therapy (when it lets up a bit) for me seems to be…walking . I wish you a speedy recovery from
    this misery .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am in AWE…like….how do you manage that? of course its easy to say “do this and do that”…but the thing is…I still couldn’t imagine you being able to cope with all of the pains…I am also referring to the emotional pain (should there be any) brought about by your current medical condition…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only alternative is to die and I’m not ready yet. I think surviving pain is what abuse survivors do best. I will even go so far as to say that I’m not certain that I don’t bring these things on myself because pain is my comfort zone.

      That said, I tool lots of Epsom salts baths, still live on a heating pad and now that the pain is lifting, doing exercises to strengthen the muscles of my lower back. There was a moment when I was worried. I may feel like a man in his thirties but I’m not–and I wondered if this was the thing that was going to bring a cane or a walker into my life. But tomorrow I’ll walk to my therapist. The biggest stress is being so behind on my blog. I realize that I’m on five social networks…the only way to catch up is to prioritize them and work through them one by one. Once I realized that my back was better I was relieved.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome back and sorry about your pain. As the winter has taken hold my chemo induced neuropathy in my feet is acting up worse than normal and is a reminder of how awful thing must be for those who feel pain more intensely and have for years. Not that the cancer treatment wasn’t painful, but I wasn’t trying to live a normal life at that time either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neuropathy can be excruciating and thank you for the welcome back. I know some people who have taken an old school anti-depressant called Elavil for neuropathy. But every thing we take has consequences. I need to research Chemo-Therapy. It sounds as if the doctors have to do quite a bit of damage in order to clear the Cancer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, most do not do a good job of distinguishing between cancer cells and healthy cells. They go after fast multiplying cells, so hair, blood, nerve sheath cells, stomach and throat linings are all damaged as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are doing great things with immunotherapy. Looks to be the wave of the future for many cancers. They have also started designing viruses to go only after cancer cells, but all of that is a ways off if they can get it right.

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      3. Hello Josh,

        Sorry for the lapse in time between your comment and my reply. I remember attending a lecture in the mid 1980’s regarding AIDS and the medical discoveries that science will make in its attempt to find a cure. The speaker said that research into the immune system will result in a deeper understanding how how the immune system works and the result may well be a cure for Cancer. Most of us who attended were in our 20’s and 30’s and what we wanted to hear was that a cure was pending. I raised my hand and asked how long it would be to find a cure. The answer: about 40 years.

        The speaker was right. We have a much deeper understanding how how the immune system defends the body and we have much better treatments for many things but thus far clear cure for AIDS or Cancer. To be fair it hasn’t been forty years since I attended that lecture.

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