Chronic Pain Diaries

There are some very definitive ways one might not want wish their day to start. For instance, waking up to discover the entire world has descended into primal rage and all kitchen appliances have gained sentience and now intend on enslaving us. That would be bad.

Other bad things include bombings, fires, irate government workers, and knife showers.

Knife showers, uncommon unless you happen to suffer from chronic pain. If that is the case you will understand why starting your day with what is meant to normally be one of your few areas of relief, now perverted by knives, can be a little depressing.

There is no accounting for it. I actually slept well last night, and I could have slept much longer. The minute I entered the shower today an entire portion of my right side felt like it was on fire, as if someone was pressing a heated blade flat across my back. No matter which way I turned or contorted myself, as limited as my ability is to begin with, the second a drop of water hit my skin it felt like my nerves were exploding.  Exploding nerves. Okay. I can deal with that. I hobbled out of the shower and figured maybe it would change when I got dress-

Holy mother of ass and ankles what is this feeling and how can I make it stop.

As it turns out, when your nerves start acting up it doesn’t matter what you place against your skin. Pain is inevitable. Now with my bra and shirt securely in place I am beginning to wonder if the life of a nudist is the life for me. Not in Canada, of course. Canadian nudity is just silly. But what I would give to stay home and lay on my stomach all day with nothing, least of all a bra, shirt, and jacket pressing against this strange oblong shaped area of nerves that have decided to rebel against the rest of my body. I can feel it sneaking its way towards my shoulder and around my ribs, as if a giant shadowy hand is trying to grip me by the torso and toss me around. If I weren’t in the train, in public, and sitting in close proximity to several dozen strangers I might just stand up, declare fuck this shit, and toss myself from the train. After all, it’s not like tucking and rolling is going to do anymore damage, right?

The thing about nerve pain is that it catches you off guard. There is no warning for it. Mechanical pain, at least you can anticipate a bad day on the horizon. The weather, too much of one thing and not enough of the other, they all contribute to mechanical pain. Nerve pain, however? Nerve pain is like the creepy uncle that is never invited to any family occasions but somehow learns about it and shows up anyways, and everyone has to pretend that he was always meant to be there.

Mechanical pain is sore. For me it has always been easily definable. Nerve pain has never been so easy to nail down. It is a sparkig pain, or a pain that burns (for whatever godforsaken reason), or a pain that feels remarkably like what I imagine getting stabbed repeatedly in the kidneys with a frozen haddock must feel like. It is a pain that has little to no basis for description. You can point to an area and say “hey, this is what hurts”, and it will be so far removed from the original area of injury that people will fail to take you seriously. But that’s what makes chronic pain an utter shitfest. Pain starts presenting in areas where it has no reason to be. Pain is essentially breaking and entering into your body. And much like B and E, pain decides to rob you for all you are worth. Dignity? Gone. Self-worth? Into the burlap sack it goes! Happiness? Sure, probably has some value on the blackmarket. Chronic pain is a remarkably apt burglar when it wants to be, and there is no saying when the bastard will strike next.

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