Monday I hit a desperation point, a flare that seemed to not be easing up or responding to treatment left me exhausted and drained. I was sobbing on the floor simply from sorting laundry, it was hard to lay down and be comfortable and moving was not helping. So I asked my acupuncturist if there was anything that might help, and he prescribed me an herb. I drove to pick up the prescription, meticulously measured out the correct amount with my little electronic scale, dissolved the powder in hot water and swallowed the bitter tasting concoction.
I sat down on the couch, and shortly tears started pouring out of eyes. It took some time for my mind to process and register that the pain level was dropping. The tears of gratitude and relief continued to fall for a little while as all the noise died down. I wasn't numb, but the screaming stopped. That miraculous moment in which the pain went away had arrived.
What did I do? I didn't jump down for joy, I didn't immediately grab my shoes and go for a run. No I stayed on the couch for a while and listened to my body, the screaming might have stopped but there was still a lot to hear. My body protested any more movement, not because of pain but because of exhaustion. My body was more exhausted then it had ever been, running half marathons, traveling for 48 hours straight, backpacking, conditioning for sports, even that time I had mononucleosis, I had never felt anything like this.
I mention a lot about the amount of mental focus it takes to live with chronic pain, but I had little appreciation for the toll it takes on my body. Each and every part of my body has been working so hard to keep me going, to keep me upright, smiling and growing. So I grabbed my heating pad and crawled into bed to take a nap, to rest, to thank each and every cell for working so hard. To thank each and every bit of me for not giving up, my will might be what gets me out of bed each and every morning, but my body works to keep me present.
It is amazing when the noise gets turned down how many different things I felt in my body. I could feel my ankle throbbing from where I had twisted it the day before, I could feel that my abs were sore from working out, the most miraculous thing was being able to BREATHE. Being able to take a full breath without aggravating the pain, feeling the rib cage expand, the diaphragm and pelvic floor move, is a gift. So I welcome my respite and instead of running around chasing after all those things I dream about I enjoy the gift of this breath and moment.
Question of the day: What gift did you receive today? What gift can you give back to yourself?