I lost the battle today; it doesn’t happen often; I feel like I usually win or find a way to think I win. I went to bed at 2:30 PM so numb from medicine but still in pain; there was nothing else I could do. Just imagine millions of little hot red ants stabbing their forks and knives into your body starting just below your rib-cage and then down the back and front of your legs all the way to the tips of your toes. There is not a millimeter left untouched. It’s so intense that it feels like there’s a tourniquet wrapped around my torso and each leg.

red hot ant daggers of pain

Every time I move the ants get disrupted and start moving and deepening the pain with every step they take.  It’s like a million hot daggers stabbing into my torso and my legs. The bottom half of my body is on fire and there’s nothing I can do to put the fire out.  It sucks my energy and pollutes my mind with anger. The most interesting thing that happens is I feel like I’m freezing. I start with a sweatshirt to see if I can stay warm then I also smoke some of the medical marijuana in hopes that it won’t make the pain worse because sometimes it does.

I tried to make it through this time; I have my passion to distract- lesson plans for my students to master so they don’t get bored and actually learn something. I try to focus through; the weed helped a little but I accidently smoked too much and now I’m falling asleep at my computer and the pain is not much better just masked by the high. I don’t want to give in I want to focus and do my work; I just want to feel normal agian. 

I ask myself what else can I do? I could have a coffee but I know that increases my pain 5-fold, but at least I would be more alert and maybe able to focus through. I use to have the good shit OxyContin, Vicodin any opioid pain killer that I wanted and not just a few; I can have 90 of them per month (3 pills a day).  I use to take these put they cause horrible constipation, addiction and for me they only mask the pain for about 30 minutes. After those 30 minutes of pure bliss the pain came back 10-fold and also total exhaustion. Of course, I can just take another one but I couldn’t do it, my body wouldn’t let me; the high wasn’t worth the cost. This is what brought me to the medical canabis which given the right strain can take off the edge and help me focus on what I need to do  – it’s been a gift from God when it works.  I also try not to use it very often or I’ll just have to keep increasing the dosage.  

So now when it gets bad, I smoke the weed and do whatever I can do to get distracted from the hot ant daggers that feel like they are sucking the energy out of my soul. Distraction is the key and it totally works. When I’m passionate about what I’m doing and really in the present moment; no amount of pain can keep me from enjoying that moment. This is what happens when I teach and that’s what makes the pandemic quarantine so hard.

There is no great distraction like teaching available to me, no brat teenager taking out his phone or talking while I’m trying to teach (these are the ones I miss the most right now). What I would do to be back in class where student interactions can distract me from my pain and bring me into that present moment of engaging/inspiring that student to do the right thing. Or other distractions like a super fun hands on labs to get the kids to have some magic chemistry experience. These moments of passion and purpose are stronger than any opioids or weed strains I’ve ever had. Living a life with purpose is what keeps me sane!

But today I’m home and this distraction is not available and I’m freezing, exhausted, burning from the ribcage down. The only thing to do is to get into bed, cover myself with 4 blankets and pray that I wake up pain free.

I lost the battle but my body will win the war when one day these little daggers find a way to reconnect nerve sensations into feelings and movements once again.

No matter how sadistic it might be I need to celebrate the intense stabbing tourniquet of nerve impulses because they are resilient in searching for a connection that I know they will find.