Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pain is Good.

Mr. Scruffles and the Evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff

Mr. Scruffles and the Evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff

Pain is good.

Pain is part of living.

The author has had some pretty sweet back pain for the last six days.

This is a good thing and I’ll tell you why.

For one thing, this is the first time this year when it’s been really bad. It wasn't always this way. At one time I became addicted to narcotic pain pills. It was for the pain, and the doctor prescribed Tylenol-3, which have 30 mg of codeine per tablet. I was having a lot of problems at the time, and it just went on and on and on...

They also make you high—you’re not supposed to operate heavy machinery and stuff like that, although I was probably roofing or using power tools readily enough at the time. One reason I took the pills was because we all need to make a living, right? Half of the construction workers out there are probably on some kind of pain pill.

So I get a little reminder that I beat the addiction twelve years ago.

One of the things about low back pain is that it’s almost impossible to sleep. Last night was pretty bad. These days, three aspirins and a couple of tall cans of beer is usually enough to kill most pain that I experience.

At some point the aspirin will eat your gut and I can’t really afford to drink constantly. Let’s just say you run out of beer at some point.

Be that as it may, my long term exercise program, the one where I walk in winter, ride my bike and swim in summer, do minor little exercises from time to time, actually works.

Those exercises must actually work, ladies and gentlemen, because this is the first major big outbreak of pain in 2015.

Simple logic at work.

One time, a few years ago, when my old man was still alive, but suffering Parkinson’s, we had a real bad winter. It snowed a lot, and the driveway was about eighty feet long. It took a lot of shoveling, and after a while, my back blew up. I suffered from late November until the first week of January. I can’t describe how frustrating that was, and with the old man basically dying very slowly right in front of my eyes.

My point is that this too will pass, and then we have that contrast. The simple sense of relief is overwhelming. A huge load will have been lifted off my aching back!

I get a little reminder of how lucky I am when I'm not hurting.

A lot of the time, I get out of my car. I stand up straight, and walk confidently, chin and chest held high, into the grocery store to pick up my nineteen dollars and twelve cents worth of food.

And there are times, when people must see that, and question the validity of that little old pension.

That’s okay, because we pay for everything we get in this life.

And don’t knock it until you’re tried it.

Pain, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s not entirely without its uses.

In fact, it’s a wonderful behaviour modifier.

A little bit of pain once in a while might just smarten us up.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be standing waist-deep in that cold Lake Huron water and at about ten o’clock, I’ll be knocking at the front door of the liquor store.

In the meantime, we just have to make it through the night.


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