The Pained Life| Part I by Alicia

“I feel horrible right now”

Those of you with a chronic illness know that you always tend to feel a low level of discomfort. It becomes background noise to the rest of your life. But, just like sometimes you actually hear the elevator music (usually when you’re trying to concentrate on something other than the creepy guy locked in there with you) pain will punctuate your life, growing so strong that you can’t block it out. It’s not the Celiac thing. I refuse to call it a disease, so for me it’s “the celiac thing.” Something else in my gut is flaring. My naturopath calls it Leaky Gut and this week I’m committing to going on a healing diet which means I get to eat less types of food than I usually do. So…that’s going to be awesome.

Anyway, something has made my gut angry. It’s often difficult to say what. It could be stress. It could have been the protein powder I used in my shake. Sometimes dairy irritates me. I did have yogurt yesterday. It could be the fact Mercury is in retrograde or that it was partly cloudy today. I have no idea what Mercury is doing right now, but maybe it’s influencing my gut health. Who knows? Sometimes, there’s no obvious answer. Basically, for no discernable reason at all I’m in pain. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there in the universe that are also in pain, that understand what it’s like to live with either daily physical distress or the feat of it coming on. But, I’m also cuddled up in a blanket. My cinnamon spice tea is steaming beside me. The television is on in the background. Oh, I do love television. My Shetland Sheepdog has her head on my feet. My husband is telling me about how good his apple peach pie is. I hate pie so I’m not jealous. And, my baby is asleep upstairs. I’m kind of happy. I’m in pain, but I’m happy. How does that work?

Dictionary.com defines pain as “physical suffering or distress…a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body.” That’s a very specific explanation about what pain is. It doesn’t say that pain is feeling bad that you can’t eat what everyone else in your family can. It doesn’t include pain as the time spent before your diagnosis when you’re paranoid that something is really, really wrong with you and you’re going to die. This definition doesn’t say that pain is not being able to enjoy the evening with your husband and puppy because you’re so preoccupied with your pain that you can’t appreciate anything else that’s happening. It says that pain is a sensation in your body. The feeling that I’m having of the entire 25 feet of my intestinal tract cramping simultaneously is pain. However, the story I create around it is something entirely different. How I incorporate those sensations into my thought process and life is called suffering. I’m turning to Dictionary.com for the definition of suffering because… Well, I’m in pain. I’m not getting off the couch to look for a dictionary. At least not until tomorrow… 🙂 Stay tuned for Part II of this post.

 

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