A Symphony of Pain and Health

music sheet

I am an individual familiar with chronic pain.

I have no desire to go into the super-particulars, as they are not relevant (now) – but I will just say that for the last 5-7 years or so, I have been experiencing different levels of pain. Constantly. Sometimes just a minor annoyance, sometimes…far worse.

Compared to other individuals I know, I am lucky thus far – as I haven’t lost a job, or found myself 100% incapacitated or hospitalized due to my issues.

In addition, outside of this/these particular pain issues, I’ve been a model of unusually good health – with no sickness being able to touch me. If you don’t count over-consumption of alcohol, I haven’t been physically ill with anything flu or flu-like since 1996. Ugh, that was during Christmas, and was just awful.  I have gotten a random cold here and there over the last decade or two – and for me the traditional cold ‘cycle’ is 4 days… Day 1, my throat is sore. Day 2, my nose is all stuffed up. Day 3, my eyes burn and nose gets runny. Day 4, I cough. Day 5, I’m out and about, pretty much fine.

I’ve been in 6 car accidents (4 where the car was totaled…and only twice while I was driving, and never found at fault) and I’ve never had any serious injuries or broken bones.  My appendix DID explode – now that is a fun story…the bottom line is I was told I’d end up having 3 surgeries, as they imagined they would need to keep re-opening me up to make sure my insides healed properly and avoided infection… but I only needed 1 surgery…and instead of being in the hospital for the initially quoted 3 weeks, I was out in 4 days.

I say all this because I don’t believe the pain I am experiencing now is some sort of by-product or karmic comeuppance, because of the nearly supernatural health I’ve otherwise enjoyed up to this point.  I don’t attribute my current predicament to the wrath of an angry God, flooding me with sin-pain, to turn me against my pagan-istic ways. I don’t attribute the inner workings of my body, good or bad, to any particular source, outside of myself.  Could any of these things possibly be true? I suppose so, as I wouldn’t actually know better… but I truly suspect not.

I think each of us lives a life that is filled with ups and down. Sweet bliss and agony.  We ARE those opposite ends of the spectrum. We are sick and healthy…stressed and content.

We are the notes in a grand symphony – one moment lively, pompous, and exuding joy… the next moment we are the soft, haunting strings, singing softly and full of melancholy.

I’m not trying to even play at the idea of suggesting that anyone else dealing with some sort of chronic pain or disease, ought to focus on the balancing factors of life… whether that’s love or friendship or art or words… I just know that in the darkest of times, I also manage to find the most inspiration to create and express myself.  At this rate I will be churning out novels in no time.

Don’t try to overthink it. Perhaps you, or something in your lifestyle, led you to the pain you are dealing with. Perhaps you are the most boring, well-behaved, sweet, giving person in the world – and there is no discernible reason to explain ‘Why Me??’

However you got here – you are here. And it’s a quick journey. Cosmically irrelevant, as far as the construct of time is concerned. Your and mine legacy is not, and will not be, ‘how much pain was endured each day’ – it will be determined by the totality of who we were, and in what ways did we make the world even just a little bit better.

I’m the sensical turtle, and Tchaikovsky is my JAM.

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