At 61, I’ve learned to live with a certain amount of pain. With age comes arthritis. You take some Tylenol to take the edge off and make it tolerable, and learn to accept it. I have arthritis in my hands, wrists, knees and shoulders. It makes for some great conversation. “How’re your hands today?” “Oh, they are okay today, but the wrists hurt a lot.” “How are your wrists today?” “Oh, they are much better, but the knees are killing me.” You just get accustomed to the “traveling” pain. I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery in one hand and might need it again. I also have no cartilage in my knees and need 2 knee replacements. Bone spurs in my knees cause a lack of movement and add to spurts of pain if you forget and move wrong. These types of pain are the ones you become accustomed to. They are part of your life and are similar to a nagging headache…you are aware of it, but try to ignore it for the most part and just live life.
Now, a new pain occurs. A torn? abused? aggravated? muscle awakes and causes debilitating pain. It is not like the underlying subtle pain you are used to. It is sharp, and extreme, and horribly painful. This kind you can’t ignore. You tend to take more and more pain pills just to be able to function. And you start to fear moving the offending part…knowing it will scream and attack you with excruciating violence. Pain can be insidious that way. You feel it, you fear it, you want to avoid it at all costs, and you know that when you experience it that you might be causing damage to something, which causes you anxiety and worry. Pain is bigger than you are and can be relentless. And the longer you experience it, the more it wears you down. The only good thing about it is, that you know it won’t last forever. It is going to get better. I thank God that I have not had to live with insidious pain as a constant in my life. I don’t know how some people manage it.