Posted in Chronic Pain, Haibun, haiku, Music Video, narrative, Reflections, Tournesol whispers

befriending pain (haibun)

This is journal entry I wrote today…sharing parts here in case it helps those who suffer chronic pain.

Pain penetrated  my every fibre. My chest felt like my duvet was made of iron weighing me away from life. Breathing turned to heaves of a chronic smoker and my head felt like the regular common cold…sinuses squeezed my cheeks like that aged old auntie who never heard the word, no! Nothing to do but call into work and take a sick day…crawling back into bed, my Bette snuggles next to me keeping watch on my breath…in…out, in…out.

Every time I turned over I felt more pain as if I had gone to the gym for a complete workout for the first time in years.

like the common cold
hits you when you least expect
no cure

© Tournesol ‘16-03-06

It was half passed five and the sun was setting. How wonderful that the days are longer now.  I chuckled at the fact that I am getting up at sunset rather than sunrise.  Oh well, c’est le monde en envers…who the f cares?  My body guides me at times.  I know now why I was aching…sort up. I walked a lot yesterday…maybe a bit too much…I vacuumed only half the apartment but the walk was the over exertion.  Gawd! I hate this condition…I love to walk for hours…it clears the mind…it ties up so many odds and ends and it feeds my creativity too.  Maybe if I lived in a warmer and dryer climate I could manage this so much better.

I know that will never happen at my age nearing retirement with little money set aside…I won’t be able to  afford travelling.  It’s as if my body needs to live in a desert, now that is odd, non?  Does my body remember a past life perhaps?

I am rereading John Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness for Pain and listening to his CD.  I need to be reminded how to befriend my pain. I used to be more mindful that my pain was simply a sign I was alive…I can feel!! and to embrace that rather than tense my body and challenge it.  So I cuddled with it all night and all day today.

Listening to music is helping. I discovered Kimbra recently listening to my Jango Indie Radio  and am enjoying her Studio sessions.  And that is what is soothing me…a little of Kimbra…Tristan Prettyman and Regina Spektor keeps me company this evening.

I have already written a Daily Moments post for today, Baby Girl Blessed thinking of my upcoming anniversary…mostly missing my mom. My second birthday without her. Every year until she could no longer remember me or herself, she would repeat the events leading to my birth.  Every year, nothing changed in the story…the long walk to her sister, the agitated feeling she had and impatience with my sister who was only two at the time. Her visit to GrandPapa, her father at his workplace, the filtration centre behind the town park.

I used to love going there too later. That is where he pulled my first front tooth before he got sick.  I remember the string he tied around my front tooth and the piece of string to the doorknob and then he slammed the door so fast I never felt a thing except my heart jump from the BAM.   I wonder how much I got for that tooth I left under my pillow…I used to be half a sleep when I felt a hand slip under my pillow and saw the next day a whole DIME!! That was two bags of chips or two ice cream cones!! I was rich!

Then Mom would say how she did not make it to the hospital and the taxi dropped her off at her mother who was a midwife…lucky me, eh?  Imagine being born in a loving home in your grandparents’ bed! All the loving, holding, hugging within seconds I took my first breath. In those days if you were born in hospital you rarely saw your baby for long periods of time and you were in bedridden up to 10 days!  I was so lucky to have bonded with my mom as well as GrandMaman.

Yes, missing her and feeling lonely…missing family…just missing being a part of something this weekend…maybe that is why work or volunteering is so important to me…I am a part of something very special.  My heart, my mind wanted to be there,  but my body forced me to pay attention…feel the pain, befriend it, coddle it, it will stop working against you…and I did…trying to make sense listening to the sounds of silence in my home…

I resist too much
your familiar touch
a love that throbs

a love that throbs
learning new dance steps
to our slow dance

(c) Tournesol’16-03-06

 

“Eet”

It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can’t believe it; you were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to feel the beat

Eee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-
Eet eet eet
Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-
Eet eet eet

You spend half of your life trying to fall behind
You’re using your headphones to drown out your mind
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to move your feet

Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-
Eet eet eet.
Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-
Eet eet eet.

[musical interlude]

Someone’s deciding whether or not to steal
He opens a window just to feel the chill
He hears that outside a small boy just started to cry
‘Cause it’s his turn, but his brother won’t let him try

[musical interlude]

It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can’t believe it; you were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to move your feet
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can’t remember; you try to feel the beat…

Posted in Chronic Pain, Did you know?, Re-blogs

A Conversation with Pain 

A wonderful post from a person who understand pain. Read this unique way she confronts it…talks to it…

Seize One Day

Tuesday night I was extremely angry. I’d come home from angel class and the message for me was to trust and give up control. This did not go over well. I’d been working on something – suggested by Spirit – that was not coming to fruition in what I thought was an acceptable time frame.

So I did what any ego would do.

I decided to stop talking to all my guides. I boxed up all my cards, oils, crystals and paraphernalia. Put them in the closet and decided I was going to go on my own for awhile. I was livid.

Yes, I am a petulant child. I have always known this.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning 11:33 a.m. – I am in tears in the doctor’s office from back pain that has hobbled me so I can barely walk. Since then I have spent the last three and…

View original post 1,215 more words

Posted in Chronic Pain, Compassion, Depression, Grief, Homelessness, Mental Health, poetry, Stigma Talks

A holiday haibun with a smile

© Clr - Christmas Eve dinner with my children 2014
© Clr – Christmas Eve dinner with my children 2014

Ah!! the holidays are among us, where many families and friends get together. Notice I said “many” but not “most” or “all”. For many people and children, it is a day like any other day except the stores are closed, restaurants are too…eateries and diners where one might want to kill a few hours before going back home alone. What happens to those soliciting for “spare change”? Well, now the only people at subway entrances coming and going are people “usually” going to meet family or a friends or just a friend to share a bit of holiday love…cheer? I worked Christmas Day early in the morning and was surprised to see so many people at 6am on the subway and then it dawned on me that many revellers from the night before were coming home on the earliest subway after 5:30am. No one looked cheery though except the bus driver when I wished him Merry Christmas. And why must everyone be cheerful on this day? That is being presumptuous now is it not? Sure, we can feel blessed, heart warmed by a card or smile that week, we can feel lucky to be healthy enough to get around be if on foot, car, on scooter or wheel chair and able in some way to get OUT of that condo/house/flat. Connecting with people even silently is connecting and that is what I felt sitting in the food court December 23rd.

I needed a few spices to add to my turkey dressing…it tastes almost like my grandmother’s…you see she never gave her recipes. But I taste, add a dash of this and that and taste several times until it seems pretty darn close AND my adult children love it! That IS the strongest motivator to cook anything. Bake? Um, not really because I am not much of a baker but I may try a pie or two this coming week…

I purchased the items at Loblaws and crossed the street to the mall that is situated right across the street from my home. I wanted to get a few small gifts to give to the adults since my majour gift for the past few years is my Christmas meal and gifts for the children, currently, 3 boys and 2 german shepherd sisters. Ah, yes, nice socks are always needed because almost everyone I know gets a sock or two eaten up by the dryer (where else does that lost sock go?) It was already five and I thought I might get a cuppa or get a nice buttery and salty giant pretzel and sit to people watch. A line up at Mr Pretzel made me think of those long dreaded line-ups, Christmas shopping and the whole commercialization or C.S. {croc of shit or capitalism snares…take your pick} so I moved over to Thai Express…one person waiting, so I thought, that would be fine. Wait, wait, wait…I ask the woman at the counter if they were closing, she shakes her head, no smile and does not take my order…wait, wait, wait…a woman goes up to the cash and gives her order…I am stunned, frustrated and just leave…why should I give my hard-earned money to a business who cares less, right? On to another fast food place, order to eat here and find a most comfortable place with chairs with armrests…wow! and relax. I love to eat but you know, it is a social thing…so it is nice to be among people even if we aren’t talking. Not much different from some couples we see sometimes who eat and never look up at each other or talk, not much different from a parent sitting with their teenager who thinks talking to anyone 10 years older is uncool…and the list goes on…so sometimes our own individual self is just fine.

© Clr '14
© Clr ’14

I pretend to be looking at a text message on my camera and take a few photos of the group of men playing cards in front of me. It looked like a serious game and I wonder if they were regulars here. I mean, I see early morning regulars of older adults who come before the shops open to have their walk and by 9:30am. they are sipping coffee, reading the paper and many are in groups chatting about their plans for the day. But now it is after 5p.m. so I figure they are a group of men who are single for a few hours with their wives busy shopping or cooking a day before the eve of Christmas.

I am not much of a card player and wonder what game they are playing with soooo many cards. The only game I know of with that many cards is Canasta but I doubt these men are playing this. When they end the game one of the men who was just watching folds up his book where I wonder if he is entering scores for later payment…I wonder. Now that would be a cool story, eh?

Walking out the food court, I pass couples sitting, staring…no one talking, a woman with her little girl and the woman looks totally exhausted, a bunch of teens giggling and taking pics of each other and at the entrance of La Baie, in the comfortable overstuffed armchairs, two elderly men reading a news paper and one either sleeping or daydreaming. I wonder what their stories are. Being in the suburbs, people are often living with family…but there are many alone and I wonder if aloneness is more painful here or in the city. In the city we are closer to one another; in the burbs there are so many different stories but closeness and collaboration may be in clusters…I don’t know. Where I live in my 8 apartment building, the only people who were friendly lived on the second floor. Three different tenants and they were the ONLY tenants who talked to me, helped me with heavy parcels and always asked how I was….they were from Portugal, Florianópolis, Brazil and the most recent from around here. My next door neighbour never says hello unless I do first, his 20+ yr old son smiles and moves off even when I trying to lug my 17-inch tires with hubs to my car…no, “need any help”…nope…and that same neighbour who asked our landlord to take my parking spot so his son could take his…yeah, well, I must say it is not that friendly here either. Walking to the grocery store last week with bags in hand, that same neighbour just drove by me…could have saved me a few minutes …oh well.

As I left the mall to come home, I used my usual short cut walking down the tiny slope before getting to the sidewalk across the street from my building. It was not slippery at all but my ankles just gave up…down on I felt flat on the sidewalk trying to hurry to lift myself off the sidewalk but no feelings but pain in my ankles, and my right knee was already throbbing from the fall and I knew my left knee was bad enough…{had not knelt on it since last May!}…so wait a few moments, whimpering like a big baby…hearing cars go by and whimpering more for cars who had not EVEN slowed down. All I needed was a hand to get me up and I knew I could cross the street just fine…slowly …but fine.  But no cars stopped even if my winter coat was white…so puleeze do not tell me they did not see a human being flat on the sidewalk. I was careful as I worried I might fall again but this time on the street with my luck no one would stop…even after.

I made it home feeling so sorry for myself, limping and then examining the damage when I got home thankful I wore an old pair of leggings since that big hole could not be mended now.  Sure the aches and pains came later stronger but what hurt the most was the “laissez-faire” of folks…have we come to this now in our world? That makes me very sad and not safe at all.

Christmas Eve was lovely, eating good food…{well, harrumph…I made it (smiles) } and it was nice resting on the sofa admiring the fire, listening to the children play with my son, having my daughter take care of the planning, picking me up, setting the table and taking care of timing everything so we could all eat  and serving as hostess…thankful for my grandsons who were amazing considering the hype and anxiety before Christmas morning…grateful to my son who seemed to have fun playing with the boys and my son-in-law who is an amazing person, man, partner and son.

 

© Clr '14-25 6:40am.
© Clr ’14-25 6:40am.

 

The next day I left for work at dawn and hoped I would get a few pics of the sunrise before getting into the office at 6:45 a.m. …but nope…it remained dark. Well, then at least I made up for lack of nature’s beauty with an amazing sunset at 3:45 p.m…so gosh darn early!! on my way home.

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Today I am relishing the peaceful feel of the day  and missing my mom; wishing I could have been there more, said more things to her, yet I think she is hearing and feeling it now; however sometimes the silence is deafening and wonder how it is for many who have no choice but to sit in this painful dark place day after day even during the holidays. There can be many reasons … financially strapped, family and friends estrangement, a recent loss, a loss long ago that ripped their spirit, physical illness, mental illness and the latter sometimes being such an invisible disease no one can understand…unfortunately, too many do not try.

The next time you are out, if you see someone alone why not smile and say hello, offer him or her a good day…offer your seat with a smile…open a door with a smile…you have no idea how that may enrich a person’s day!   Our good memories are what soothe us, wrap us up like honey for a bee, warm our hearts like a duvet cover and make us smile like looking at a newborn baby or puppy tilt his head to the side.

Blessing and happy holidays to this amazing WordPress community and my readers. ((((((hugs)))))

Cheryl-Lynn

kindness
heartwarming like a duvet
honey to a bee

© Clr 2014/12/26

Posted in Chronic Pain, Stigma Talks

An absurd reality

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She left the doctor’s office and walked to her car in the hospital car park. Angela looked up at the glorious sun, the blue skies patched with puffy white clouds. Beep Beep unlocked the door and she sat in the seat for a while, contemplating on the absurd coincidence of her diagnosis. Her hands on the steering wheel, she leaned her head on her hands contemplating.  Suddenly, she burst out laughing so much, her shoulders shook.   A young girl saw her, walking to their SUV next to her old pocked Echo. The girl tugged on her mother`s sleeve, “Look, Mommy, the lady is laughing all alone and she isn’t even talking on her cell phone!” Angela heard the child and let out a soft groan, embarrassed at her public display of emotions.

She drove out of the lot. “May as well just face it, Angela! You don’t want to accept it but three rheumatologists have come up with the same results. Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, knees and C5 & C6,” she laughed again out loud,  “You just completed your thesis on the stigma attached to chronic illnesses that are invisible like mental illness and chronic pain.” How ironic was that? She really did hate this prognosis because of the stigma associated with it made her look weak, like a whiner. No one could see her pain; no one understood what she had to endure. There were no bruises, she did not wear a brace, walk with a walker (yet) or cane. Nope she would just have to deal with it and pace herself at work. Her insurance would never accept she work part-time…they just did not recognize this condition. What she found most difficult was hiding her condition to most people, colleagues, most friends and especially family. Only a few close friends understood.
She arrived at the bus terminal just in time to catch the bus to get to her late shift.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/05/18

Submitted for: Three Word Wednesday prompt, May 14, 2014 {Words: Absurd, Groan, Weak}

Posted in Chronic Pain

Healing relief

Plunging toes
in salty liquid
steam doth rose
from scalding heat,
soaking like a marinade
softens like a serenade
bathed in salted water
feeling such a deepened shift
startled, winded
from this swift
ache amended
gasps for air,
heart is seized
moments concede
tears that seep
and wet her cheek
clean,
saline,
cleanse her face
bathing eyes,
panes of the soul
halts the throb
her aching dole.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/10

Photo credits: 10 Healing and Detox Baths for Chronic Pain

Posted in Chronic Pain, Lazy reflective afternoon, Stigma Talks

Lazy ramblings

Chillaxing on my day off
Chillaxing on my day off

Ramblings on a Friday afternoon on the silly things people say sometimes and things that are going through my mind.  Sometimes there IS a storm in that brain of mine and rambling calms it down.

A few thoughts on entitlement:

I keep thinking this for the past few weeks, so decided to write it out to get it out of my head . I never promised you a rose garden, HELLO! I can’t even dig up a rock garden.

After all I did for *****, you do this to me? Oh Really?! Who asked you to? If you want to give to someone, do it unconditionally. That makes the service/gift priceless.  And guess what? It will be returned twofold but not necessarily from the recipient. Love means being open…you know…that thing that goes thump thump. That’s your heart, open it up like a child does and just see what comes…no expectations…that’s cheating…just open and see. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Stop dwelling on the past and on what you should, ought to, deserve to…and turn that head around because it is hurting your neck. I think that is where the expression “pain in the neck” may have come from.  I’m too lazy to check that out because it is my first day off of my weekend. So call me lazy already.

That ship has sailed {sighs with puppy dog eyes}  NO, it hasn’t. Haven’t you heard YOU are in charge of scheduling that boat!! Get off your butt and do something about it!  There are all sorts of excursions you now, cruises, schooners, catamarans, canoes, kayaks…shift your focus on what you would want and why. You might be pleasantly surprised to see the journey has many paths…just get on ONE.

Speaking of pain…I had Chronic Pain on my mind today after reading some great posts from respected bloggers I read such as Finding My Inner Courage and  It’s a lonely Place  ; and The Invisible Affliction is a post that I felt was reading my mind.  It felt very very freaky, I have to admit!   So that stirred up thoughts in that little brain of mine.

Chronic pain is so misunderstood…millions suffer each day at various intensities of pain and for various reasons.

– Does it help to put a diagnosis to it for folks to have a bit more compassion?

– Would you believe it more if a person said they had permanent damage from a terrible accident?

– Would it make more sense according to YOU for someone to say, “it hurts” if you have some proof?

– Do you wince and feel compassion when you see someone walking with crutches, sitting in a wheel chair, walking with a cane or a walker? 

– Just where do you draw the line and turn off that mind and heart that feels for someone who says they suffer chronic pain? 

Oh and what about women who have terrible menstrual pain (yes I actually said that out loud…grow up!) I remember a friend telling me when I was a teen that girls who complain about those cramps are females who do not accept being a woman and what that involves.  Right!  I remember feeling guilty for being bed ridden a day or two in high school writing with pain after that comment. Yet, Mother Superior called my mom seeming to understand my pain. How come this “friend” did not? So glad she never had children…boy oh boy, child labour would have killed her…no, perhaps it would have humbled her. 

That reminds me when I was in labour for my daughter (2nd child), I was induced and hooked up to a monitor.  A nurse pops in while I was having  a contraction; after a minute passes she says, “Okay, you can stop the breathing, the contraction is over, it’s well over a minute.” To which I ignore her comment and continue to breathe until it is over one minute later. {This was my second birth, I sort of knew what a contraction felt like and when it no longer was there!}   My husband raises one eyebrow, gives her “the look” and points to the monitor, to which nurse know-it-all gasps “Well, it didn’t look like she was in that much pain.”  Oh boy {palm to forehead…ouch!}

My first encounter with unexplained pain was at 14 years old,  suffering migraines. The chronic headaches lasted a good 10 years and restarted after menopause. Well, at least there was a pause. That too is misunderstood but not as much as other forms of chronic pain. If it is not visible on your body it is hard to understand. Heck, even doctors get so frustrated, they sometimes just say, “Deal with it.”  And yes, I have heard that.

I also get the comeback, “Well, insurance companies do not recognize this particular diagnosis.” And that should mean to shut the books and throw them away.  Why yes, of course, insurance companies are there to soothe, comfort…strive to heal…ahahahaha…that is a cute joke with tongue in cheek. Insurance companies are there to make money. If they were not they would not be in business. Get real!  So if doctors are scratching and shaking their heads, disagreeing among so many medical professionals, of course the insurance companies are going to take the easy road. Insurance companies are like the teen who asks Mom and Dad to stay over at Johnny’s for the weekend and assures them there will be parental supervision…Mom says okay because she’s  had a chance to chat with Johnny’s mom at school committees. Dad says no way, you can never trust teens with sleep overs.  The insurance company is the Dad in this case.

If you are interested in reading a bit more about this subject, click here.  If  you are interested in attending a support group on Chronic Pain in Canada, check out here.  Talking about it, sharing with others sometimes helps a lot! Here is an opportunity to make a difference at Share your pain, is  part of The Arthritis Society of Canada.

If you have more resources to suggest or have something on your mind…that’s what the “comment” section is for. Have a great weekend …it will be for me as it is my birthday weekend. {grins}  No matter how old I get, I am always a baby when it comes to my birthday. Here is a glimpse of what pain feels like…LOOK and SEE the pain.

And last but not least, I have a page here with a small list of resources related to mental and physical health. The Red links relate to physical pain, the Blue links to emotional pain.

Thanks for reading through my ramblings.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/07

Posted in Chronic Pain, Re-blogs

Change is inevitable

 

 

A beautiful testimony of compassion for life, friends and her love for creativity. We could gain much from her wisdom and generous nature…and chuckle with her humour as well. Check out her website, a beautiful mind…a beautiful person, Cheryl-Lynn

Butterfly Sand

Jan 30 2014 004

There are a few things in life that we can be absolutely sure of:  death, taxes and change. Taxes are the price we pay to live in the Western World.  There will always be someone we pay for protection and taxes are the legal form of extortion.  Death is also something we have little control over.  We can live a healthy, positive life style and still die young.  On the other hand we can live life to the fullest, indulging in all kinds of hedonistic behaviors.  Most people find a combination of the two to be optimal.  Finally there is change. Times change, people change.  Wouldn’t it be nice if some things could stay exactly the same.

MS is a disease of change.  Honestly, no two days are exactly the same.  It seems that I can have a really great couple of days and then everything goes wrong. My legs…

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Posted in Chronic Pain

When pain creeps in…

PE.Harrell-Sanders_DoYouSee

July 26th, 2013 by Dana Harrell-Sanders

Chronic Pain is probably one of the most debilitating reasons for absenteeism at work along with Mental/Emotional pain.  It is probably even more painful because of the …you guessed it…the Stigma attached to it. If you don’t see it, it ain’t broke. Well, something like that.

I wrote a poem at CherShares  under the influence, however, and when looking for a nice image to relate to my words, I found this amazing website. The National Pain Foundation has really great information as well as testimonials from people suffering chronic pain. What attracted me was the image I added to my poem and decided to share it here too…see above.

By the way, when I say I wrote this poem under the influence, I meant under the influence of extreme pain. I am at work so no way would I be taking anything and nothing works anyway.  Well, if you are talking about a hot tub and a private massage therapist every day…well, heck, yeah! that might ease the pain somewhat, but I digress.   I wrote this poem because last night I wrote a very dark gothic genre poem on another blog I have.  I happened to write about pain and giving up.  Well, of course I have no intention of leaving this planet…I have way too many things to do and still aren’t quite sure what I want to be when I grow up…writer, politician, poet, start up several tiny support groups for those suffering from mental health and for their friends and family in the Montéregie area  for the English speaking population and oh! I want to learn to draw, paint, photo-shop…so you see I have too much to do to give …yet.  Oh, and that last part is because English speaking people outside of Montreal don`t always have access to certain services in mental health.

Anyway, I wrote this poem while not in any majour pain, just the regular stuff;  but this morning I woke up with excruciating back pain and man oh man, it was almost like it was a payback for whining and complaining in my dark poem last night. I know and you know that is not possible but that is why I wrote that poem.  I also find that when I am in pain (migraine, neck, back etc.) or even feeling emotional drained or sad, I write the darnest things…my muse seems to be a bit of a sadist I dare say.

Check out this website The National Pain Foundation. You can subscribe to their newsletters as well.  They say it so much better than I do and the links are pretty interesting too. I love that the artists are people suffering from chronic pain because you can really see what they are feeling.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/10