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Pain on the rebound

January 14th, 2008

Pain is as diverse as man. One suffers as one can. Victor Hugo

The worst pain I have known was not in childbirth. My brother, who is a physical therapist, told me that he sometimes asks women (if they have given birth) how the pain of the physical therapy compares with labor pains. I have had migraines that were worse than any labor pains. I have had injuries worse than any labor
pains.

At the end of labor pains comes a blessed event, a birth, the beginning of a life. We finally meet this child who has kicked, wriggled and squirmed inside us all these months. And physical therapy is pain tomake better an injury, to cause healing, improve function. The outcome lacks the drama of birth, but at least we suffer the pain for a good cause.

The worst pain I ever felt was when I broke and dislocated my elbow. The birth theme comes into it – I broke it 8 months pregnant with my second child. I had dropped my daughter at nursery school and was taking an early morning walk, dutifully keeping fit and getting ready for labor. I stepped on a patch of black ice and slipped. My feet flew to the left
and I came down on the heel of my right hand, with my arm extended and elbow locked, taking the entire weight of my pregnant body on that arm. I managed to walk the two blocks back to the nursery school, crying with pain. I walked in and interrupted the teacher and parent who were talking in the doorway, said “Excuse me, I think I broke my arm,” and promptly went into shock.

I have had migraines where I cried with the pain, crying making the pain worse, I moaned with the pain, moaning making the pain worse, I vomited from the pain, vomiting making the pain worse. The best that can be said for a migraine like that is that you know it will pass, in a few hours or many, that this will not
be forever.

I can’t speak to severe chronic pain – I know there is pain that makes people wish to die. I can speak
to moderate chronic pain – the pain of daily headaches, pain that nags, wears you down, beats you, backs
down some, comes back. When I had medication rebound headaches, I learned that I had to endure the pain to get to the point where I would stop rebounding. And since I am sensitive to medications, this has happened more than once.  And so I learn it again.

When I had a dislocated elbow, the worst part was when the doctor “reduced” the dislocation in the ER, popping it back into place. Few things make me scream aloud. That did. That was the worst pain I ever felt. Worse than the break, worse than any migraine, worse than labor pains, or my herniated disk, or my other broken arm. And as soon as it was over, when the elbow was back in place, even still broken, the pain ended.

So yes, this is my (tortured) analogy. This is where I was heading. My heart goes out to everyone in pain. Seek comfort and pampering as best you can. If you are having rebound headaches, just like reducing the dislocation, just like physical therapy, the pain will lead to a good outcome – enduring it, moving through it, will end it.  I’m sorry it’s not a magic pill.  It’s the best I’ve got.  Just hope.

- Megan

Feeling well, wishing you the same

morning breaks courtesy of lida rose

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Posted in Musings | Comments (1)

  • http://www.cynthiayoder.com Cynthia Yoder

    Hi Megan,
    I’m glad to see your blog! I can’t say I ever had a migrane that beat out childbirth in the pain factor. Natural childbirth was a pain unto itself. But I do find that the times I do get to the point of moaning from a migrane, that putting a hot water bottle on my belly actually helps. Perhaps it just takes the focus away from my head. I can’t tell you, but it helps!!

    Cynthia

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