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  1. Finding the right avenues

    Sunday, 2 May 2010

    I know a lot of people are very proud of having an extremely high pain threshold. There are also those who admit having a very low pain threshold. Personally, I'm neither of these, as far as I can tell. I believe that I sit firmly in the middle. I know pain is of course, subjective, but I don't think I'm any kind of wuss. I don't think I overreact, and if I say a thing hurts, then I'm being serious.  

    Arterial Blood Gases hurt. I wish that I'd been told that, you know. I've only had one done, and I'm very thankful that I haven't had to have another one - I'm hopeful it will stay that way. I vividly remember getting mine done. Again, this was during my first night in the hospital (I'll try to move away from this soon, I promise!). I wasn't even told what was going on, really. The pfleb just went at my wrist. I turned to Andrew and started trying to get him to distract me. Andrew is not a big fan of needles, and tells me he has no memory of this, but whilst this THING was sticking in me, I was begging him to talk to me about when the last train from York to Doncaster was, as he had been planning to go visit his parents that evening. He didn't seem to want to engage in that conversation. I was just really glad that I don't recall the pfleb telling me 'that wasn't so bad now, was it?', as cliché would dictate. If she had, I believe there might have been a sarcastic retort. So if you've never had the joy of experiencing an ABG, and find yourself in the situation, then let me tell you - they do hurt.

    I guess I'm lucky though. On a day to day basis, diabetes doesn't cause me high levels of pain. A lot of the wonderful people I have come to know online suffer from chronic, and sometimes debilitating pain on a daily basis. I generally don't have that problem. Sure there are things that I have to do which are painful - I've spoken on here about the problems I've had with lancing , though that seems to be behaving itself at the moment. Lantus burns, and sometimes injecting can hurt. But these are only momentary.

    But as a disease, diabetes isn't momentary. I've said this before, but it's a 24/7, 365 days a year thing. And whilst, as I said yesterday, things aren't so bad a lot of the time, sometimes it's just a bit too much. 

    This might sound a bit pretentious, but the weight of daily routine, balanced with all the confusions of thoughts and the blame game means that your own emotions can sometimes cause as much 'pain' as anything physical might do. I know that it's really common for PWD to battle being depressed, and depression (the clinical sort). 

    I think that in learning to live with this big weight is to make sure that you don't keep everything inside. Now don't get me wrong, there's such a thing as too much information to share. I don't put everything down on this blog, because some things just aren't anyone else's business, at the end of the day! But blogging, connecting with people through the wonder that is the DOC - there are lots of avenues. Finding the one, or ones, that are right for you can take a bit more time. The main thing is making sure you find a way. Don't bottle it up. From time to time, make sure you let it out. Otherwise, that sort of pain can become all-consuming. 

    And I don't like hurting. I don't want you to hurt either.

  2. 4 comments:

    1. Becky,
      I so agree with you that emotional pain can be as bad or worse than physical pain. I'm both a psychotherapist and fibromyalgia patient so I may be a bit biased. But I do know my emotional suffering has often been worse than my physical.
      I so admire you because at your age I was not nearly as wise.
      Judith Westerfield

    2. Anonymous said...


      I MUCH prefer physical pain to emotional pain, it's a whole lot easier to deal with. (And, yes, ABGs HURT, a lot. I got "lucky" when mine was done. They sent someone who didn't know what she was doing, and I ended up with a gigantic bruise. Stupid b**ch nearly got smacked when she told me to "stop yelling, it doesn't hurt," too. Even better, she never got the sample, the supervisor that came with her finally had to stick the OTHER wrist to get it.)

    3. Dana Marton said...

      Fabulous writing. I was (am) a diabetes educator. I struggle with the verb tense b/c I'm not working ever since I've been on disability from my very first joint replacement. It's been 6 1/2 years now that I've been on disability.

      Anyway, my reason for commenting is that I have suffered from physical disabilities myself and worked w/ patients w/ diabetes. Believe me, their pain was REAL whether it was emotional or physical from the finger sticks and insulin shots, or worse even from the complications of diabetes such as diabetic neuropathy. I know that you are definitely not complaining over nothing!

      Love and blessings,

    4. Great post. My biggest struggles are with the emotional pain, and you are SO right - blogging and connecting helps that a lot. It's free therapy! :-)

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