I’ve been thinking a lot about pain the last couple of weeks, mainly because I’ve got a lot of it. (Please note, this is not a desperate plea for sympathy or solicitation for advice on treatment–I really *have* been thinking about this.)
I’m experiencing a recurrence of the leg pain I had back in 2003 when I herniated a disc in my lower back (longtime readers may recall I chronicled that experience on an earlier blog that is thankfully no longer online because, hell, I was wallowing in self-pity and it was pathetic and, even more inexcusable, boring). It starts with a pain in the ass (but then, don’t most things in life?) and it migrates down the leg until everything from your hip to your toes hurts. In my case, it’s on the right.
Here’s what’s got me thinking, though: All of the pain is in my leg, but the problem is in my back. My back, however, feels fine. So the problem, in one location, manifests itself in another.
When this first happened, in 2003, I had a terrible doctor who all but said I needed surgery or I might end up paralyzed. (No, wait; that’s exactly what he said.) The pain was so bad, I couldn’t even stand up and walk straight. Eventually, though, it did go away, with only occasional reminders that it was ever there.
This time around, when the pain started, I knew exactly what it was. Thanks, I think, to years of yoga, I’m not doubled over in pain this time (although it’s still fucking painful). Also, this time I’ve decided not to wait to do something about it. I’ve started seeing an acupuncturist, and saw a massage therapist today. Next week I’m going to see a chiropractor.
The acupuncturist, though, is what interests me at the moment, because in order to treat the pain in my hip that’s caused by a bulging disc in my back, they insert needles in my hands, shoulder, feet, and forehead.
That seems like a metaphor, and if I weren’t so fogged by the pain, I might be able to figure it out.