Chronic Pain is something of a curious companion. A very constant, curious companion.
When waking in the morning it’s already there. Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and smirking in delight. Always perched at the end of your bed, double espresso in hand and impatiently tapping a foot. Just waiting to crack on and eager to ruin your day.
From eyes open to eyes shut, Pain makes everything you do a mission and the simplest of things a chore. Stairs turn into mountains and every walk feels like a trek. It’s there when you shower, cook, eat, drive, shop and rest. It pesters you when you’re working and turns your brain to fog. It mocks all attempts at exercise. It punishes you for weeks.
Like a lazy toddler who refuses to be put down, Pain hangs off necks causing knots to form and tendons to shriek. It clings to backs until muscles pull and ache. It grips hands in a vice, crushing fingers until colour drains and cramp sets in. It bounces off hips and sits astride shoulders, gripping temples and reigning blows down upon throbbing heads. It’s positively relentless. And an utter pain in the arse.
At the end of the day when you eventually collapse into bed, Pain is still there. Snuggled in like an unwanted spoon, weighing you down and wrapping around every painful limb. And then for its grand finale – the biggest insult of all.
By the time your eyelids are hanging down past your cheeks, blissful sleep doesn’t even come to save you. No sirree. Pain snores like a freight train, kicks the small of your back and hogs the entire duvet. So now, you’re utterly exhausted and completely wide awake, all at the same time. Painsomnia they call it. Possibly the worst hours of the entire 24-hour day. And that really is saying something.
Week after week, year after year Pain hangs around like a bad smell, just sat there waiting every morning. You can try drowning it in lavender scented bath water or drugging it with pills. You can count your breaths and be mindful or ‘downward dog’ it to death, but nothing really seems to work. No matter what you tell it or how loud you scream, rant and swear, it just smirks a little more and ramps it up another gear. To give Pain its dues, it certainly has commendable staying power and a very thick skin.
So yes, Chronic Pain is quite possibly the most curious, constant and loyal companion of them all. Just like cellulite or a very needy dog, come rain or shine, no matter what you do, it’s always there and it refuses to ever back off, take a break or budge.