Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Pain Flare Up

This week I had what many pain communities call a "flare up." My father is very ill and that tipped me over the line.

But that phrase, flare up, is too polite for me. I think a spike in pain deserves a more militant, aggressive, even violent nom de guerre. Because it is a guerre (French for war), after all. A fight in which pain plays dirty.

This enemy, pain, sneaks across my threshold, disguised at first as a wee bit of pressure. Then once it has positioned itself deep inside my core, it digs in and brings out its weapons.

It has long spears and axes, clubs and tiny daggers. It pounds and stabs in an irregular beat, which makes it unpredictable and dangerous. Soon the intervals between beatings diminishes. The pain becomes constant. Nowhere to hide.

Pain's most foul weapon is fear. Fear is the guerrilla warrior. It hides inside the pain, like a stealth poison, and then slowly infiltrates. It fills all the spaces pain does not reach. It latches onto the breath and grows with each inhalation. It squeezes the heart into a tight ball and fills the minds with images of a dark, bleak forever.

I despise pain; yet it is part of me. I want to wake up one day and find a note on my pillow from pain. The note says, "So long and thanks for the ride." Then I get to go back to a life of blissful ignorance where pain is a dying dream that some alternate version of me once had.


lafaymom said...

thank you so much for putting into words how I also feel, I think that no one can understand pain but you do

Orphanus said...

Probably the most artful description of a flare I've ever read. Couldn't help but link to it.

My prayers are with you and your family.