Sunday, 21 February 2016

Appreciating a life without pain

One day, as a young teenager, I was sitting in front of a small television in the hallway of the house where I grew up. I was playing a Super Nintendo game (Lufia II) and generally having a good time when suddenly I felt a sharp, burning sensation on the left side of my head and neck. Next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor next to my chair, with the game's music still continuing in the background. I had no idea how long I had been lying there.

At that time I didn't think much of it as I was feeling fine - just a bit odd and with a weird metallic taste in my mouth - so I just got back on the chair, picked up the controller again and resumed playing.

This morning I had a similar experience, only while lying in bed. While turning my head to the left, I suddenly felt a bad pain in the left side of my neck, radiating towards the left shoulder and my head. Dismissing it initially as a muscle I must have pulled by accident, while touching my neck to figure out whether it felt painful anyway, I suddenly felt white-hot pain flaring up in my neck.

The hours after this are a bit of a blur. I remember trying to find a comfortable position, while trying to figure out what to do next. I initially figured that I'd just take some painkillers and sleep it off, but as I got up into a sitting position on the side of my bed my vision blackened and I heard ringing in my head.

Next I found myself trying to figure out where the hell I was, beyond uncomfortably lying on a floor somewhere. After a short while I figured out that I had fainted and fallen off the bed onto the floor, leaving a nice bump on my forehead. Abandoning my plans to get painkillers, I tried to back onto the bed, only to start feeling sick again.

Cue another few minutes of disorientation and feeling absolutely sick accompanied by a metallic taste in my mouth. Then of slowly crawling into a semi-comfortable position where the infernal pain in my neck wouldn't bother me so much, or make me pass out again.

At that point I considered calling the emergency services, but couldn't convince myself just yet. As a last test I figured I'd try to sit up again, so that if I fainted I'd fall onto a soft fluffy pillow instead of the hard floor. To my surprise the sick feeling and ringing noise stayed away and I was able to get painkillers and everything.

That's the point where I pretty much still am at this point. It appears that much like when I was a teenager that one time a nerve got pinched, possibly as a result of the severe emotional stress I have been under for the past months. I'm currently doing pain management (paracetamol, ibuprofen), waiting for the pain to subside on its own.

While not ideal, it at least allows me to function again on a basic level. I'd really like for this pain to fully go away, though, instead of having these sudden pulses of pain in my neck if I try too much.

It would be wonderful to be without pain again, even if it seems like it will never happen again. Just like with the aura-based migraines I used to frequently suffer, I have come to really appreciate those days when I am completely free of physical pain.

Maybe tomorrow will be like that again.


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