THE MANY FACES OF PAIN
I know someone in their mid 70’a who has, over the years, become reclusive. He does not return most phone calls, no longer uses email, and does not reach out to people, except a necessary few. Others, who also know this person, have gone from feeling somewhat perplexed and rejected to surrendering acceptance. Well, most of the time anyway. I am not surprised at his behavior, and am sure that years of joint inflammation after a recovery from a pretty serious vascular illness, more than 10 years ago, has taken a huge toll. Still, none of these other people seem to fully understand why he has disappeared. Some, I can tell, still feel hurt and rejected. I am not a sage, but I am certain that the level of inflammation this man experiences is very high and is greatly due to his vascular illness many years ago. There is severe damage and inflammation to his entire body and that includes his brain. Hibernating is often an act of self preservation.
I have been on a quest to heal my gut for decades. I knew that any pain I was having with my hips had to be addressed through rectifying my digestive/gatrointestinal woes. That I am not alone is validated everyday by the strong presence of Pharmaceutical Company advertisements. Drugs such as Humira are advertised and prescribed for joint pain, gut inflammation, and skin problems. Medications / Drugs are not the route I have chosen to take because I know this is not a long term plan. There are serious consequences that are listed in the commercials as they show people doing all the things they have immense pain doing while crippled with inflammation, miserable with irritable bowels, or embarrassed by eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. One thing I am sure of is that the people who create the commercials for Humira (and drugs of all kinds ) know the mindset of pain very, very well.
My personal experience with pain has changed my understanding of other people, and their behavior. My empathy for others has increased immensely. I dd not understand the word inflammation until I personally had joint pain. Toxic, sluggish gut was more what I was feeling. Uncomfortable, annoyed and frustrated by an unhealthy gut eventually turned into joint pain. What was an injury that would not heal for many reasons, turned into chronic pain. This cataloging of the sequence of my own inflammation, both gut and joint, has been a circuitous root that has moved to some solid conclusions. Without these experiences I would have only understood inflammation and pain in theory.
MAKING SENSE OF THINGS IS NOT ALWASY POSSIBLE
I am experiencing a deep recovery from inflammation. It is not an simple sequence of personal events to write about. Much of what comes out of me through my bowel is pretty gross in nature. Sometimes it is hard to put into words, recollect and catalogue. The reason for some of this difficulty is due to the myriad of contaminants I have been exposed to over these many years, choices I have made, choices that were made for me. The voracity of the quality of dehydrated residue of contaminants that has been stored in tissues, organs, etcetera all over my body. The list of these substances are beyond my memory, or understanding. I am coming to the conclusion, that in the end, that most of the details are not that important. Finding a way to heal while being more functional as I live through this process is one of my main focuses.
EMPATHY FOR OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Getting back to the person I wrote about in the beginning, I understand his unspoken need to disassociate from people. I have had to do this to some extent. I have needed every bit of energy to heal. That need is something I would not have understood if it were not for my own situation. It takes a great deal of energy to explain to people what is going on with me physically and emotionally. Many people, in trying to help, challenge my decisions, or add their opinion as to what they think I should do. It can be exhausting. It is hard for most people to understand that discomfort may be part of healing. The Western Medical paradigm is based, in theory, of doing no harm. It is documented that this is often not the outcome. I am not saying that is the intention. Treating pain in Western Medicine usually means masking it. This is a major problem today in the USA with opiate addiction, and death from opiate overdose being so prevalent. These rampant addictions speak strongly about the level of inflammation people are suffering from and their need to find relief. Empathy is not the answer, but it is a good start. I truly feel empathy for these people.
Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD has her own unique approach to healing. I have written a good number of posts explaining my experience with her. Here is a link to her website.