Pain Management or Purple ProseThere is pain, and there is PAIN.

If you’re reading this, you or someone close to you  is dealing with pain on a regular basis.

Whoever you are, I hope your pain is easily controlled, something you can ignore and go about your business, because there are too many of us out here who have pain that doesn’t behave in any predictable manner.

Most people dealing with chronic pain (it’s considered chronic if you’ve had it 90 days or more)  have their own coping strategies, things we do while waiting for the medicine to kick in.

Because I am a writer and words are my tools, I try to find ways to describe the pain so someone who thinks pain is a headache or a bruised shin gets a picture of what it feels like inside my skin.

There are days when it feels like a blacksmith is using a red-hot pincers to lift up my kneecaps and hammer equally hot nails inside.

There are the mornings when I literally roll out of bed and tell my husband, “I feel like I’ve been beaten with hammers.”

The weather can be a vicious enemy when fronts come through. We had a major one come through recently. I was sitting in an office waiting for my rheumatologist to come in and I knew when the barometric pressure started changing. Imagine you have firecrackers taped around your kneecaps and the fuses are lit. That explosion is unbelievable. Then imagine someone is shoving a chisel into your shoulder joint, or your rib cage is full of C4. Those are some big time explosions too.


For some reason, today I feel like my bones are being held together with barbed wire.

I know it sounds like I should be writing a screenplay for a slasher movie but it’s how I keep my sanity.

If I make fun of the pain, it makes it a little smaller in my brain and a smaller foe is always easier to manage.

And, it beats swearing — though if I’m alone the language coming from me would probably make a sailor blush.

And, when all else fails, I lie down. “Home and prone” with heat is my last defense. Generally if I combine it with listening to music or trying to conjure up memories of some of my favorite experiences, I can live through it until those pain killers start taking off the edge.

So, right now, I’m propped up in bed with pillows behind my back and a netbook in my lap. I’m wearing headphones and am listening to my favorite playlist on a free music website.

I’ve got about 10 more minutes until the pills should start working, so I thought I’d share my woes with you guys.

If you’d like to share your coping strategies, I think it’s a good idea. The more we share, the more we can discover something better to try.