Today my writing is focused on pain because my ankles hurt each time I stood, freezing me momentarily, locking my stride in a halting limp. Pain is a signal, telling me to pay attention. It’s a warning that there is a blockage in a nerve. Some part of my body’s operating system isn’t getting enough of what it needs to work smoothly. There’s a kink in the wiring. It is worrisome and annoying, like the sound of a smoke detector. I’ve learned it should not be ignored or overridden. It’s natural to think about turning it off by taking a pill or finding another way to dull the ache. It’s tempting to keep busy with distractions. When I was growing up that was not an option, so I practiced the old-time techniques of rest, ice and elevation.
I’ve learned that low level pain is eased by paying attention to it. Ignoring it gives me the impression that it is incessant. When I really stop to listen it actually comes and goes. The wail, lightens to a squeak, then to a chirp, there are pauses, and bits of silence. As I listen to the pitch and volume modulate I feel relief.