Plowing through the pain

There are many things I can’t do when I’m experiencing pain. However, for me living with finesse* means plowing through the pain to do those things I can. I was faced with this challenge last week while on a trip to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the ordination of my son.

Slide at Rustler's Rooste

As I mentioned in a previous post, my life-long friend Carol met me, my mother and mother-in-law at the airport and took us to dinner at Rustler’s Rooste before dropping us at our hotel. Rustler’s Rooste is a fun steakhouse with great ambiance, great view and great food. You can either enter the dining room by going down a set of stairs or by going down a slide. (I said it was a FUN steakhouse!) Unfortunately, I had developed a migraine during our flight and my medication was not working. From experience, I knew taking another dose of Imitrex would not be effective until I could lie down for at least an hour, if it would work at all.

Now, if anyone but a family member or close friend like Carol had met me at the airport, I probably would have apologized and explained that I’d become ill on the plane and needed to go directly to the hotel to rest. However, Carol has seen me with migraines many times before and everyone needed to eat, so I plowed through the pain and went to dinner.

The steaks smelled wonderful, but as soon as I began thinking of actually eating a bite, I became extremely nauseous. Everyone’s food looked and smelled so good, and my dinner companions confirmed such with their “mmmms” and hearty eating, as I sipped on Sprite and nibbled on the dinner rolls.

The choice was to forego an evening with my friend and force my mother and mother-in-law to eat at a fast food establishment adjacent to our hotel, or plow through the pain. I couldn’t change how I was feeling, but I’ve learned enough tricks over the 40 years that I’ve had migraines to manage a small degree of normalcy for an hour or two. Was it pretty? Probably not, but part of living with finesse* is exhibiting skill, poise and assurance. I have the developed skills to plow through pain when necessary. I have learned I can exhibit poise while in pain. I am assured that friends and family allow me to do those things I can, and understand when I determine I simply cannot do anything.

My pain management finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert             

What’s your pain management finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

P.S. I understand there are many people who live with constant chronic pain who have little choice about what they can and cannot do. My heart goes out to them along with a prayer that they will find relief.