pain

Talking to nurses about pain

While laying in the hospital bed after my recent surgery, a young nurse came into my room and asked what my pain level was, on a range from zero to ten.

I replied that it wasn’t bad at all, maybe a one or two at most, and I didn’t need any pain medicine.

She said that was great. She said that a lot of people immediately say they’re at a nine or ten.

I replied that I’d never say anything that high, I always thought a nine or ten should be saved for something really bad, like if you were just stabbed or shot.

She said, “I know, right. Or maybe broken bones ... or a heart attack.” She paused and then said, “Lately I’ve been wondering if giving birth is a 9 or 10.”

Invictus, by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

A feel-good list (for those very sick days)

These days I generally feel very good, but as I go through some of these medical treatments they can make me feel pretty miserable, especially when combined with the effects of the MCAS. During times like that I usually just meditate in bed or in a recliner, generally not thinking about anything, just breathing, letting the inside and outside become one. I do this almost all of the time.

But other times when I can’t do that for one reason or another, I started to create a little “feel good” list to reflect on. This is something that when I’m not feeling well and I can’t meditate, it helps to remind me that life has generally been very good to me. I think about various things, all of the favorite times I’ve had in my life, meeting my wife, playing baseball, all of the dogs, good vacations, fun with friends, etc.

One thing I hadn’t thought about in a long time that came to mind recently was that when I was 32 years old I worked for a company I called the Evil Empire, and something good happened on my last day there. (That wasn’t their real name, but some of the owners of that company inspired me to give it that name.)

May the suffering that this being is experiencing cease

“We should think and feel over and over: ‘May the suffering that this being and many others are experiencing cease, along with its causes. I will do everything I can to free them from this pain.’”

That’s from this tweet by Tulku Thondup.

I have to be honest, I can’t feel this for my loud downstairs neighbor here at the Terracina apartments. The only nice thing I can currently pray for is for him to move. I’m trying to work on that, but when someone plays their music so loud that your floor vibrates and your kitchen range rattles, it’s hard to think about his suffering and pain. (Just being honest about how I feel today.)

Thanks to ongoing abdominal pain I know what a Trocar device is

Thanks to some ongoing abdominal pain from my colectomy surgery back in June, I’ve learned what a Trocar device is. Per Wikipedia (and also my surgeon), “Trocars are placed through the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery. The trocar functions as a portal for the subsequent placement of other instruments, such as graspers, scissors, staplers, etc.”

I have pain in the spot where a trocar device was placed, and the theory is that’s because of a combination of scar tissue and a nerve in that area. A backup possibility is that I may have a hernia in that spot, though the surgeon thinks that’s unlikely. I’ll be having a CT scan soon to see if that shows what’s going on.

How long does Angio-Seal leg pain last after an angiogram?

After having what I call a “fake heart attack” — something that was really Kounis Syndrome, also known as allergic angina — I had an angiogram in May, 2016, at which time an Angio-Seal device was used to help seal the hole that was put in my femoral artery after the angiogram.

As I understand it, this device is used to place a collagen seal around the artery. The collagen is shown in this image, which comes from the link in the previous paragraph:

Angio-Seal diagram shows artery, collagen

To know love, be like the running brook ~ Kung Fu

“To know love, be like the running brook, which deaf, yet sings its melody for others to hear. Feel the pain of too much tenderness. Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for yet another day of loving.”

~ Kung Fu