What Do You Do When the Pain Stops?

What Do You Do When the Pain Stops?
If pain has one redeeming quality, it’s how good it feels when it stops. Every morning for the past six weeks, I’ve been awakened by the pain of occipital neuralgia. It was present when I awoke and throughout the entire day. As nighttime rolled around, my body, exhausted by the day’s suffering, fell into a fitful sleep for roughly five hours — only to awaken to endure another day. For the past two days, things have been different. I’ve awakened and lain there, wondering when the pain would begin. But it didn’t. I wasn’t sure how to behave, what to do with myself and all my free time. I was no longer spending hours heating rice-filled socks for my neck in the microwave or exchanging warmed-up ice packs for colder ones in my freezer. I could skip the breathing exercises that helped me get through the day. I could move from place to place without Voltaren gel or lidocaine cream in my pocket. I could sit in a chair that my heating pad couldn’t reach. I was pain free! Paperwork on my desk beckoned to me, as did the laundry in the garage. Both stacks had grown frighteningly large while I’d been hurting too badly to care. With the holidays quickly approaching, decisions needed to be made — and soon. I decided to address those issues after a short rest. I was asleep before I’d closed my eyes a
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