BUMMER. It's all I got right now! Those two words- Chronic and Pain, are two of the most dismal words imaginable, and who gets psyched up about going over for a potluck at The Dismals? Nobody!
Take notes I say! One day soon, although you can't see it and can barely dream of it, such is the nature of the beast, you'll be out of this. You'll feel better, and your experience miring through this damp, black tunnel will be of great service to you and to those around you. Once you've been through the tunnel, and you are familiar with its peculiar and convoluted layout, then you'll be able to run back in and grab others when they need to be rescued.
So I was my own hero, and I took some notes. Here Is What It Feels Like To Be Diagnosed With a Disease or Chronic Pain. I scrawled it across the page, like a sixth grader diligently responding to a writing prompt in Language Arts class.
And let me tell you, ain't nobody want to be reading that. Not me, not you, not anyone.
NOT TAKING FIELD NOTES ON THIS MISSION, I said to myself the next morning as I buried the papers in the recycling bin. But a few hours later, after a walk and one of those Trader Joe's free coffee samples, which I'm allowing myself daily to get my brain up and running again, I felt like I ought to give it another go, this time here on the blog. Write Everything being my (currently very shaky) philosophy. Besides, writing on the blog forces me to be more articulate and purposeful in how I express myself, and so I dug up the papers and tried to drain some of the copious amounts of self-pity out of the words.
Didn't work. So I started over and wrote something super! poppy! Everybody get on the bus we're going for a ride and I brought individual fruit cups for us all!
Needless to say, that was terrible.
I need a map. I will find myself a map.
I will say though, the 99 tips that you left in the previous post on how to cheer up and take care of yourself when all else fails, reading those felt like somebody had illuminated a string of christmas lights inside the tunnel. It was as if all of you set up an aid station on this planet, with Gatorade and a stack of nice books to look at. Thank you, it's been enjoyable.
People with chronic pain often are forced to live minute by minute. That's what I've had to do these last few weeks, but by jumping from comment to comment and using them as direct medical directives, your tips have helped me fashion together bright and elaborate sequences of good minutes- even good hours and good afternoons have flown by (By the way, as a group, we really love podcast and drinking hot liquids.)
So, for my thank you, here is this week's Mystery Prize Winner:
I am over halfway done my accelerated nursing program and have experienced a wide range of emotions since its start - hopelessness, anxiety, stress, stress, stress, excitement, wonder, etc. One thing that is stressed throughout our education is self care and taking time for ourselves. I have found that beyond exercise, sleep and healthy eating, I try and watch a funny TV show when I'm feeling especially low. Some of my favorites are the Mindy Project, and especially Friends! Anything that makes me laugh out loud by myself usually does the trick!
Jamie, taking your advice led to one sublime hour of Friends, season 3, episodes 6, 7 & 8. Thank you for that! Congratulations on being halfway through the ABSN program, which I hear is itself a bit of a dark tunnel at times. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you all sorted.
Thank you for commenting, everyone. I love you and I sure needed you this week. See you back here soon.