Lessons Through Pain

Yet another 2 weeks of not posting and 2 more weeks of pain.  I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow.  Again.

By the time I see him or her, I would have been in pain for 3 weeks straight.  To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever been in constant pain before.  Period pain comes and goes.  Headaches come and go, toothaches come and go, bruises and cuts heal, the pain in the butt would be on and off but this is something else.  It’s ALWAYS there, a dull noise in the background that I just can’t get rid of which will at times escalate to a point where I can’t actually sit down.  Imagine a pain in the shoulder that hurts so much it makes you stand up walk around and want to pound your head against a wall because no matter what you do, it just gets worse.  It hurts so much I want to cry but the pain stops my tears from coming out.

Believe it or not, I haven’t been online much because I’ve been making a concerted effort not to whine or complain but the pain is so present that I can’t think of anything else.  So I’ve done my best to shut up.  Even Tony says I’ve been really good and he has to listen to me and watch me suffer every day.

The truth is, I’ve lost some functionality in my arm so I can’t really carry things with it anymore.  Any movement of pushing (say wiping the table or washing the dishes) leaves my arm completely exhausted like I’m losing the will to live.  Pulling (like to open the blinds) makes me feel like I’ve just climbed up the side of a cliff with my one arm.  Typing makes my arm feel like it’s slowly turning into a dead weight and I have to type with one hand.  Then I get those moments where it just aches so much I really don’t know what to do with myself.  But it’s been happening for 3 weeks now, every day, so it’s become normal.

I’ve also stopped going to yoga because I found it aggravated my shoulder pain.   The only times I turned up to class were to do a weekend workshop with Sri Dharma Mittra.  Not only had we already paid but who wouldn’t want a chance at spending some time with a well respected yoga master?  And to a Mary Jarvis class.  Again, why wouldn’t I want to spend some time with another well respected yoga teacher?  Both of them had taken time out and travelled all the way to London so I couldn’t let my dead arm stop me from being in their presence!

I took it pretty easy in their classes and just made sure I didn’t do too much when it involved arm and shoulder work.  I asked myself what should I do when they say push to strain and not to pain when I’m already feeling pain just standing (or sitting) here?

Funny enough NEITHER of them said anything about pushing, pain or straining.  NADA.  EVER.    Do what you can.  That was the message.  Just do what you can.  DO IT PROPERLY.

Dharma said that you must feel comfortable when doing your postures.  You stretch to feel good.  You stay in the posture for a while to allow your body the time it needs to open up slowly, comfortably.  Mary said to wait for your posture to come to you.

This is called patience.  Something I’m learning through pain.  I actually don’t know how I hurt my shoulder but I bet I did it because I was being impatient like pushing my body to do something it wasn’t yet ready to do (like opening up in the shoulders).  Well, if you don’t learn the first time, it’ll keep happening again and again.

I realise that the only time I ever take it easy is when I’m injured and in severe pain.  Go figure.  I actually have to be broken before I’ll stop.  Until I learn how to take it easy without the pain, all I’ll ever do is go and make some pain for myself.  How’s that for awareness?

SO here’s the question.  If pain is the symptom then what is the cause?



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