Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | December 6, 2011


I’m all whiny today because: 1) I’m coming down with a cold and I’m aching and sniffling and sneezing ferocious sneezes, 2) my back still hurts even though I’m doing my PT with the fervor of a recent religious convert, and 3) it’s a gray, drizzly, depressing day. All of this shall pass, and I will regain my cheer, but not today. I discussed the back with Brian, (I wish I had a picture to show you because he is really cute) and he says that it will take a while. It took a while to get into this predicament and it will take time and effort to get out again. He did promise that it will get better.

It intrigues me how being in pain narrows my focus. Everything I do I think about how it will affect my back, will it make it hurt, will it help it. It also reduces my mental energy. I read and find I need to slow down or re-read for me to really get it. I’m not as interested in the news and what’s happening in the world around me. I have less patience for listening to my kids. I’ve never had a truly chronic condition that would entail living with pain on a long-term basis, but I have to say that what I see happening to me with this isn’t particularly encouraging for my living with pain in a graceful way.

Moving to a new topic – change. I read a bit more in the book on change I’ve been reading. (previous posts here and here) One of the ways to help a change happen is to find the places where it already did happen. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking and have tried in the past and succeeded for even a day, what made that day different? If you are trying to exercise regularly, and did for a week last year, what happened during that week that made it possible to happen then. (No, no, no, don’t go to why it didn’t continue!) Then take that success and try to build on it. The next part, which I just started, is about how we get hooked emotionally into embracing the change. I haven’t gotten very far into it so more on that another day.

I didn’t think much of today’s challenge, but maybe it will do something for you. Take 5 minutes to tidy up your email inbox by deleting unwanted emails and filing the rest. I delete as I go, so it doesn’t get that messy. Unlike my house.



  1. A few years ago I had a shoulder incident/injury/issue and I also went to see a PT guy. He was super helpful and basically “cured” me, because I did what he told me to. Dan broke his arm about ten or so years ago, had a PT person (lovely woman) who also “fixed” him, because he did what she told him to.
    (I am NOT saying that you aren’t doing what you are told, stay with me.)
    As he was getting to a point where all of his shoulder and elbow and hand mobility was just about back to “normal” he asked her how long it would take to regain FULL movement, as his arm had been before the accident. She said: never.

    This answer was unacceptable to him so he asked her why she’d said it. Her reply was that no one ever regains full range of motion after they’ve begin physical therapy, because they always STOP when it hurts. He and I broke the rule, and I am betting that you will too. My issue is long gone, he returned to work with 98% of his orginal movement, those last two were scar tissue and bone regrowth that he couldn’t do anything about.

    Use you brain as well as your body in this healing. I am sure you can be on our team and not with those other folks. 😉 (If WE can do it….. )

    • It’s because there is that equation in our brains that pain means something is wrong so stop. And, besides, it hurts. I’ve been through this before with tendonitis in my achilles tendon and a strained shoulder so I do know that I have to keep working through the pain. I just say to myself – you’ve been through childbirth, you can do this! So, yay! you and Dan for persevering, and I’m on your team!

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