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Pain is my friend

No, I am not one of those
However, by mid-life I figured out something really important about how to operate this machine I occupy… that pain is a valuable partner in healing the various injuries I subject my body to.

If it hurts, don’t do it.

I smashed my finger during a move, went to my ex-San Diego Chargers Physicians Assistant. He offered me pain meds as soon as I told him what I was there for. I declined.

Without examination, he then told me with great confidence that it was not broken. He knew that because I declined the drugs. I asked if we could take a picture anyway. With one look at the x-ray showing multiple broken bones in my pinky he offered me pain meds, again, which I declined, again.

“I want it to heal as fast as possible.
If I use it because I feel no pain, the healing will take longer.”

I got what I wanted, walking out with it well wrapped, with a program to keep it immobilized for a while, and the pain medication prescription he pushed on me that I never filled. … a strategy that did and still does serve me well.

That comes up once again because I made a tactical error when I got home from my Sunday Morning Motorcycle Ride a week ago. As I stopped on the gravel slope in front of my gate the 550-pound bike dropped me on my back with a WHUMP, OOF, and OUCH! As I was walking it off, looking askance at my reposing steed, a passerby offered to help.

Can you help me lift it up? Yes I can. So we did the lift, set it up on the sidestand, then I put it in the garage. I did a few other normal around the estate things that day discovering much later in the afternoon/evening that the sore back was not going away in any hurry. The next day an unscheduled, long-awaited project got rescheduled to THAT DAY and I was doing things I probably should not have asked of my back (though already somewhat gingerly).

There obviously was not enough pain … quite yet. That arrived Monday evening. Except for a few unavoidable little things Tuesday, I finally began treating my injured back with the respect it deserved… and by Tuesday evening, DEMANDED.

Stir crazy arrived a day or so ago, but still my friend Pain said, “Not Yet”.

Last night was my first without having to alternate positions from bed to recliner on ice to off the ice in order to get what I could of a full night’s sleep. I even took a few ibuprofens during the week to reduce swelling. They also reduced pain, allowing some more rest, but I did not take enough of them or often enough to forget that treating my healing back with great respect was JOB ONE.

Today the sharp stabs are gone, but not forgotten… not quite yet, but I am pleased that Dr Pain is telling me, “Soon, grasshopper. Be patient.”

So much yet to be done before winter … and The Bitterroot’s two weeks of autumn have arrived.


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Thank you, Ted Dunlap