Winter Has Come Early, All aboard the pain train.
It seems that “that time of year” has come earlier than most years have in the past. For chronic pain sufferers, you know of what I write. The “grip” has come. Also, this has been quite a different year than many have experienced as well. Let us not forget the world is in an odd place right now (I mean how can we forget?), according to the humans that inhabit and destroy it.
The past few years the “grip” does not usually come until the beginning of January. This year (of course) it has come sooner and by months. The grip is the effect on my body that freezing weather and humidity brings when they spend time together. My name is V and I have chronic pain (could not help myself). Chronic pain sucks ass. Fortunately there are ways to deal with it for some but not all.
As the years have gone by the winters get increasingly irritating to me. If you have chronic pain, it can affect many other things like mood, energy levels, depression (which can also increase your physical pain), sleeping patterns, appetite, etc.
It goes like this: You could be having a good week, or a stretch where the pain is manageable or even a low spell. Then for shits and giggles lets say a cold snap rolls in with a week of rain, sleet, and snow. This is when things get complicated for me personally.
How? Well, the body becomes more rigid, range of motion decreases, sleep schedule gets thrown off, depression can set in (usually not my thing), eating habits change, mood can be affected, and energy levels tapped. That means sometimes plans can be thrown off, postponed or at times having to suddenly leave a function or hang out. Sometimes it means a no show as much as you may want to go and that's ok.
Again, I am not complaining about my situation. I am explaining it for sake of story. I can only tell you about the way it affects me and those I have met who share a comparable situation or beyond.
For me, my pain issues main villain is "the back", and the rogue's gallery is filled out with both knees, left hip and right shoulder. Ice is my personal nemesis. Because eating shit on the ice can cost me two or three weeks of getting back to where I was before I slipped. So fuck a doodle doo to that! It is a pain in the ass...literally. Ok, fine, ass cheek. Does not mean the smiles disappear or my sarcastic nature lessens. Like Vito Bupkis says, "It is just another fucking day. "
As we all get older many of us will climb aboard the pain train. Of course, being in good health as much as you can have great benefit.
A lot of people who have chronic pain do not really talk about it. We know people do not want to hear it. We get it. I do not talk about it often if not asked. My family knows and sometimes everyone else can just by looking at you. We know no one wants to hear it. But man, sometimes it can be a fulltime job just dealing with the pain and all that goes with it.
People may be unaware that it can also cause other issues such as weakening of the opposite limb due to favoring it over the injured one for example. This happens due to compensating for the deficit they are experiencing, and which may lead to new sources of injury. It is good to be cautious and brace up. Having the mental security of stability in an unstable situation can go miles to lessen anxiety for instance and most of all, confidence.
No way to really describe chronic pain as it is in the name, I can tell you it is not fun and at times it just really sucks. The way it manifests vary in types of pain, how it radiates, what is affected, frequency, depth, and duration of intensity. A lot happens in and around such a short word four letter word known as pain. Not to be mistaken for the other four-letter gem, but I can tell you they do go together and as nicely paired as a fine wine and gas station pizza. I have always looked at it no matter how intense it was as it could be worse. I understood I was better off than some and they took it in stride, so buckle up cha-chi!
I am sure there are people you know that deal with this situation in their daily life. I do not like to use the word suffer. To me suffer means defeat and that is not going happen. To me it just frames things in a way that it makes you a victim. Battles are fought by warriors and warriors they be. (ARR!)
Other ways it can affect people's lives and those around them is that at times you must stay back or stay in. No offense meant to anyone having the event or dinner, etc. It is practical life kind of shit. Sometimes you have kept your physical body movements limited which may lead to energy expenditure you would rather not exhaust. When limitations are present you would much rather use that in other ways. I will however make people aware of a situation if it affects their time so I will not put any one out if I can help it.
Sometimes the challenge is getting in the car without sweating your balls off or getting your leg into the car slowly, at times even having to lift it. Those are the days that could be better. This is again just an example of what I deal with at times and in varying degrees. To most, standing there I look normal even though my pain level can be through the roof. Not complaining, just saying. With some people you may never know.
I do not get excited when it snows, or winter comes early or when it decides to leave late. It is for selfish reasons such as vanity and self-preservation. Either way, I have had two decades plus on how to deal with it. Notice I separate it from me. “The back” and “it.” That was the key for me to lose the connection to who I am. I am not the pain nor the situation. That is separate from me. An entirely different entity. It is family now, but the kind you are never thrilled to see. Who wants fruitcake?
Thanks for hanging out. Enjoy the day!