April 13


Got Pain?

By Sue Ingebretson

April 13, 2010

Acceptance, choose, Disneyland, flare, pain

Bear with me here. You’ll have to read slowly because I can’t write very fast.

Let me ‘splain.

No wait. In the words of Inigo Montoya (from the movie, Princess Bride) “There’s too much. Let me sum up.”

I’m in a bit of pain. My wrist aches and my shoulder burns. I could tell you that I fell running to the mailbox or that I tripped over Pup (I’ve done both). Truth is, my injuries are not accidental. Having family over on Easter Sunday was fun. We played bocce ball in the yard. If you’re not familiar, it’s sort of an Italian lawn bowling game. Think heavy, smaller-sized bowling balls sans holes. Anyway, shot-putting them back and forth across the backyard was apparently tough on my rotator cuff.

The wrist thing is all Woody and Jessie’s fault. They enticed me to aim and fire my rootin’ tootin’ arcade shooter in the Toy Story-themed ride at Disneyland. All I can say is that my score was high (for the first half of the ride, anyway) and so was my spirit. A good time was had by all.

Like a lot of weird fibro moments, pain doesn’t happen right away. My shoulder didn’t hurt at all while I played bocce ball; nor did it the day following. My wrist was mildly sore while on the Toy Story ride, but the real intense ache didn’t show up for several days.

Common sense tells us to avoid activities that are sure to cause pain. Duh, Barbie. But sometimes, it’s worth it.

Experience is a great teacher. I know my own body, and know what activities I can do within reasonable limits. My increased pain is temporary – this too shall pass.

A favorite healing concept that I talk about a lot is the act of choosing. I knew there was a risk of increased pain, but I CHOSE to participate anyway. Even if I didn’t participate, that would have been a decision, a choice, too. Nothing wrong with sitting it out.

For me, weighing family fun against short-term pain is a no-brainer. Family fun wins hands (and wrists, and shoulders) down. Are there activities where you feel left out because you can no longer participate? Maybe there’s a compromise? Thinking in terms of the “can’s” instead of the “can’ts” will tip the scales in your favor.

Let me know what you think!

  1. Ah, choices. You are so right. Sometimes you make the choice to live now and hurt later. And usually it is worth it!

    Bocce ball is a favorite in my family as well. Many holidays have been spent in fierce competition in my Grandparent’s backyard. My husband bought me the most beautiful set a few years ago! Too pretty to play with really.

    And the activity I miss most is bowling with my nephew. It was our thing to do together. The last time I took him was for his 10th birthday, and I spent two weeks in a flare after. He turns 19 this June. I guess we need to find a new tradition. Because I have made the choice to give up bowling – and I am okay with that.

  2. Absolutely agree that some activities are definitely worth the pain. In fact, the activities that are worth it are typically the only ones that I feel motivated to do. A few people have asked me why I can do some things and not others. My reply is that “sometimes the gain is worth the pain”. Every day with pain is about appreciating the moments. My biggest motivators are my biggest loves, my children & my significant other. I do what I can because I love them. They are my blessings.

  3. I have Fibromyalgia and know what the pain is like. I have a pain in my neck though that has been really bad for a couple of weeks now and it’s horrible. I checked it on webmd just for giggles and it says amid a few things, fibromyalgia. I was also in a car accident January 2008 and suffered pretty bad whiplash. I am so busy with work (as a flight attendant) that I haven’t been to the doctor or chiropractor. Do you have any idea from experience if the upper neck right of the two main “things that hold your head on” can be fibromyalgia pain.

    1. Sure — it can be fibro, and it’s also likely that the pain is making you hold yourself in an unnatural pose. That “stiffness and pain” spreads and continues. Try to keep moving, gently…. “Wearing your shoulders as earrings” is common with fibro. You may also benefit from stress-relieving activities and/or massage, chiropractic, etc. Please see a doctor if you’re concerned.

  4. “‘Wearing your shoulders as earrings’ is common with fibro.” This made me laugh because as I read it I noticed I was doing it. Made me straighten out those shoulders!! Never put the two together.

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson