Friday, November 30, 2007

No Pain, No Gain?

We have all heard that old saying. I think we all share the same understanding of what it means. No Pain, No Gain. A very simple way of saying so many things. It applies to just about any situation. There are other cliches that have similar meanings: Nothing In Life Is Free, Early Bird Gets the Worm. I am sure you know a few other phases that work as well. They all have the same underlying meaning that to get what you want you have to work at it, you have to put forth some kind of effort to achieve your goals.

Even though I know this meaning to the phrase, it has come to be something different to me than a simple encouraging phrase. I have constant back pain. My back hurts me no matter what I do. Pain killers don't work for me any more, hot baths or showers do nothing, creams, ointments, etc, all have no effect. My back still hurts. If I sit very still and move as little as possible, I can ease the pain to a level where I can almost forget about it for awhile.

But it is always there, biding it's time, just waiting for me to stand up too fast or move just a little too much, so it can jump out and attack me again. At times, the pain gets so severe that I can't take a breath without feeling that agony shooting up and down my back. It is almost impossible to stand up straight at times, and sometimes, I can barely walk.

No Pain, No Gain. This says the effort you make will pay off somehow. For most people this is true. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Keep at your efforts, you will see your goals become reality. Not quite fitting to me, I feel. Even something as simple as getting up to get something to drink can leave me hurting so bad I feel nauseated and dizzy from the intensity of it.

There are good days, yes, where I can summon up the will to leave my house and go do something, visit the flea market, see a movie, do some grocery shopping. But then there are the bad days, where all I want to do is stay in bed and cry, or try to sit at my computer and surf the internet in an attempt to forget or at least distract myself enough that my pain isn't all I am focusing on. Sometimes this works, other times I just end up sitting there, staring at my screen, doing absolutely nothing but concentrating on not taking too deep of a breath.

No Pain, No Gain. This is a good phrase, but for me I think it is backwards. The less I try to do, the less pain I have to suffer. For the most part, anyway. For my situation, the correct phrase would be No Gain, No Pain. If I do completely nothing, the pain usually stays bearable, in the background so to speak.

However, I have come to realize recently that this is not good enough for me. I don't want to give up my goals and dreams and efforts. I don't want to be controlled by my pain. I want to go get a drink when I am thirsty, to go for a walk on a nice evening, to clean the bathroom so well that it sparkles when you turn on the light. In short, I want to take back my life and live it productively. I know that some of these wants are just not possible physically. I have no choice but to avoid them. I cannot go bowling, or spend the day walking around the mall, it would just hurt too badly. But I will not let the pain stop me from the small things anymore. My bathroom will sparkle, dinner will be made, I will have a drink if I am thirsty.

No Pain, No Gain? or No Gain, No Pain? Either way, I will still have pain. At this time, that is a fact and unavoidable. But now? I have decided the gains are worth the pain. Pain will still control much of what I can and cannot do. Pain will be there just waiting for the chance to attack me and bring me down. I will not be just a victim of it anymore, this is official notice to my pain:

I am fighting back!


Julio Mantecon Valdes said...

Hi again, I read this post a few hours ago, and my first impulse was to write something against anything, just to charge on letters my anger (if it's written that way)
But i decided to let it go, and now i've think with a lil more clarity, I'm till obfuscated, can't understand how you're still without a treatment, i'm one of those that sit at the doctor till i get a treatment, but that's me, and i don't know all the story.
But back to the clarity, i think that you're right, u have to fight, always fight, fight against pain, fight against the adversity, or simply fight.
Just remember you're not alone, there's always someone who can help u, someone who can give a hand, or two, and the others like me that only can give u a few words.
Wish u the best.

ericka said...

sumtimes my back hurts to but usualy its from laying on the couch on my computer to long i usually lay down and sit on my laptop with a pillow behind me and it still hurts hope your back feels better

hugs Ru

Hrist said...

your strong but yes whatever we do sometime we cant avoid a pain but fighting it