Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When Pain Goes Away

For the past three days, Richard has had a smirk on his face. In general, he is a gentle soul, compassionate beyond the point where most people would be showing impatience, usually able to leap over fear and ego in a single bound. He does show moderate smugness -- especially when he is proven right about the time it takes to get to the airport during rush hour. But he rarely smirks.

This current smirk, is a combination of "I told you so" and "I am happy for you, and us." It's a smirk that follows the ending of a pain episode.

He knew, based on many similar episodes of past pain experiences, that getting to the right medication titration would eliminate the pain. I only knew the anxiety of all the untested "what ifs." What if this time is different? What if something else is wrong? What if it takes months or years, again? What if I can't work or write? What if we run out of rice cakes and almond butter (funnily the only thing I can eat when I have pain)?

He goes to Whole Foods and comes back with shopping bags overflowing with rice cakes and almond butter and reminds me, again, that this pain will stop. And it does.

The smirk of love.


Anonymous said...

Where did you find this angel of a man? When my pain was at it's worse (before i knew what was happening to me), i found myself served divorce papers instead of love.

i asked him whatever happened to those vows he spoke, in sickness and in health. He shrugged his shoulders and told me he found a new love, that she didn't have pain like i did.

Karma has a way of coming around. A year after the divorce, he married the gal i caught him in bed with (on my birthday) and less than 3 months after their marriage, she died of a blood clot.

i am still in pain - but i'm still alive!

Barbara K. said...

My heart goes out to you anonymous. Being in pain is enough of a hell. I am sorry you had the extra suffering of having to deal with such a brutish partner. I am indeed glad that you are alive, and I hope you find relief, soon.

btw - I don't want to mislead you or any reader -- Richard and I have had a roller coaster of a relationship. We both grew each other up through our struggles

Diamond in the Rough said...

Barbara - You wonderful person. I am touched by your saga of love and pain. And to Anonymous with the beastlike partner, I also commend you on your bravery and survival. I can relate to you both on a very personal level. I have been married to a man with untreated BiPolar disease for 10 yrs. Two years ago, I fell down a cement ramp at work, and the injuries resulted in RSD. A Spinal Cord Stimulator was implanted in June '08, and relieved alot of the chronic pain. In July '08, someone ran a red light, reinjuring the same leg. Being now unable to walk or drive, my own husband has used my condition to continue a previous onslaught of deceptive, illegal and immoral activity against me. He used insurance money that would have replaced the totalled car to go on wild shopping sprees for only himself. He forged letters and contracts to cover his trail. He rented a tri level house for us, so when I was released from a nursing home, I had nowhere to go. Could not navigate three flights of stairs without huge risk of falling. His mother asked me to live with her in her ranch. My husband showed up there to visit me when he ran out of money, saying all the while how concerned he was for me. His lies, cheating and other assaults on my integrity no longer affect my self esteem. I know this man is going staight to the southern location when he dies, and for all my years of taking care of him and his disease behavior, I say this: Care about your Maker first, and yourself second - everyone else comes last. No human being can force another person to feel bad about themselves or life in general. My own situation has been grim, however I am determined to walk without a limp someday, I will kick my husband to the curb, and I will once again enjoy my life. Kudos to you all with pain that have had similar issues with awful partners. Barbara - your husband is as wonderful as you are, and I will pray that he always sees your beauty and grace on your worst pain days. God is good!! Diamond

Barbara K. said...

Dear Diamond - how much you have endured! and learned! I am so sorry for the added suffering your partner brought into your life. May you find peace and many, many pain-free days.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for approving my post. When complete strangers say that they are indeed happy i'm still alive, it makes life a lot easier to bear.

i'm going on my 5th spinal cord stimulator (in 15 years). This one is rechargeable!!

Diamond - not sure if you're coming back here or not - but hopefully you'll see this. When my foot got really bad, i couldn't drive either. BUT! GMAC and Toyota have a driver's mobility program (others may too, but those are the two i'm positive of). In other words, if you purchase a brand new vehicle - they will install up to $1,000 of hand controls FREE in your car! After 3 years of not driving - i am mobile again!!

i should add to my original post. i met a man online 4 years ago who still has a difficult time understanding the pain i'm in, BUT loves me regardless. We are now happily engaged to be married. He's as healthy as an ox, but has the heart of a lamb. i am indeed very blessed.

Kerry said...

You and your hubby are an inspiration at truly living vows and doing so not out of duty but out of love.

Seems to be the small things that can make us feel loved--like you rice cakes and almond butter Barbara--Your hubby bringing them to you in bulk when you're in pain.

Glad he is smirking because you two have made it through a pain episode. I am much aware that my hubby and I both live this chronic illness experience, though it's my body that's hit, it impacts our lives in almost equal doses.

Hope your easing of pain, and your hubby's smirking smile continue a very long time. Kerry

Barbara K. said...

I'm glad you're finding happiness with a good man, Anonymous

Kerry - thanks for your appreciation. And you're so right - pain lives in one body, but two lives are affected.

Anonymous said...

I have arthritis, fibro, CFS, and ehlers-danlos. I don't think I could make it without my supportive spouse. My physical limitations worsened gradually over the years, with many joint reconstructive surgeries along the way. He has been wonderfully supportive. I've now gotten to where I cannot even go to the grocery store except for a short trip in and out for a small bag of absolute necessities. Forget weekly shopping. Forget doing laundry. I do try to cook something simple a couple of times a week but even that is pushing it. He has taken over these chores gradually over a period of years as I have been able to do less and less as time goes on. We've been married almost 33 years and were together 5 years before we got married. I couldn't have a better friend.

Anonymous, I'm sorry for your pain and having to deal with divorce on top of everything else. I'm so happy you've found someone to share your life, both the good and the bad. Best wishes.

Diamond, I hope that you reach that point of enjoying life again very soon. The stress of dealing with a negative marriage can make pain worsen over time.

Good advice, Kerry. I was just reading about that last week and looking at a lift so I could get a scooter or power chair. I hope those auto companies will still be in business when I need to do that.

Best wishes to all. Barbara, I'm enjoying reading your blog and so glad I found it last week. Please visit my blog sometime when you get a chance. It's a mix of work and personal, but mostly about trying to find a good balance between the two. Some days I can do that and others not so much : )

Prof S

Barbara K. said...

Prof Sherlock - it takes work to have a good relationship - and pain makes that work more urgent, and harder. I'm glad you and your hubby have found the way. I wish you ease from pain.