It’s been a while since I posted about chronic pain primarily because I still feel like a whiner even on my own blog, somehow. I’m blaming German stick-to-it-ed-ness and the fact that my grandparents lived through the depression as farmers in the Dust Bowl and probably ate pickled tumbleweeds without complaint. They were the boss.
I have a new medication. It gives me about three hours of low pain twice a day. This is good news. I now have six hours a day where I can be productive in a way I haven’t been in a while. There are some side effects. I can’t concentrate very well and I get super tired. I forget things and get flustered and double book and am generally not the best friend in the world to anyone. However, I get six hours where I can crochet, or read, or do chores, or play with the kids. Six hours when I can see movies or friends.
I am not sure when I began measuring my life in hours. I suspect it started after Michigan when I first got medication that gave me some relief. All I do know is I now think of my days in terms of how many low pain hours I can get. Do I schedule a movie? A party? Dinner with a friend?
I am blessed to have these hours. I have far more hours now than I used to. I am also sad I don’t have more hours and envious of those who do. You healthy people with your bodies who don’t prevent you from being anything you dream of. You people who can be at parties all night, see any movie you want, go to a rock concert or night club. Your vibrant lives flash before me and make my previous self cry out in recognition and despair.
I miss you! She says. I used to be like you! I want to be like you again!
You don’t measure your life in hours. You may not even measure it at all. I know I didn’t used to. I had the luxury of a limitless existence with nothing but my own ingenuity to stop me. Now I struggle to carve out a happy existence in a world increasingly defined by limitations.
I envy the freedom of your limitless hours even while I am happy you have them.