Pain, Agony, and Misery

My body aches with twinges of sharp pain, thrown in for good measure, letting me know that I’m very much alive. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia affect joints, muscles, and even skin. Pain is a constant companion but not a friend. Different methods or combinations help people manage living with pain, but not all work consistently.

Pain medications are the main line of defense for many pain sufferers. Everything from aspirin to heavy-duty narcotics help delete or deaden the pain that wracks bodies. Also, often those medicines only deaden the level of pain, without dispersing it completely. However, the use of such drugs can allow a person to have a better quality of life.

Massage and/or manipulation helps alleviate some aches and pains. Such treatments also relax a person, which in turn causes pain to decrease at least somewhat. When the arthritis in my neck and back is severe, massage works with my medication to reduce the levels of agony.

A warm bath, or at least a shower, relaxes a person and eases the pain in muscles, tendons, and joints. Climbing into a hot tub with jets pounding against sore places brings relief, too.

Some people practice bio-feedback to help manage pain. The results seem to vary from person to person. At times, a person can develop a method that greatly reduces pain levels; at other times, the results are little to none.

Exercise appropriate for a person’s condition, age, and/or situation helps with pain. With my many problems, my physical activities are quite limited, but swimming, short walks several times a day, and isometric exercises help reduce the level of pain. When I’m in a lupus or RA flare, activity has to be limited, but exercising in warm water helps.

When all methods have been tried, too often some pain remains. Then a person has to learn to live with it. I know that I’m never completely without pain, and if I should be, I would be like the old woman in a joke. She woke her husband, insisting that she was dead. He assured her that she wasn’t dead. She would state again that she was dead. Finally he asked her what made her think she was dead. Her answer was, “I’m not in pain, so I must be dead.” I laugh because it’s too close to the truth, and crying just makes the pain worse.

Vivian Gilbert Zabel taught writing for twenty-five years, honing her skills as she studied and taught. An author on Writing.Com/ Writers ( Writing.Com/ Writing.Com/ ), her portfolio can be found at Writing.Com/authors/vzabel. Writing.Com/authors/vzabel. Her books, Hidden Lies and Other Stories, Walking the Earth, and The Base Stealers Club, can be found through book stores or Amazon.com.

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