Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Mental Notes on Pain


Note: You did not create this pain by acknowledging it.

Note: If ignoring it worked, it would have worked by now.

Note: Treating pain is not encouraging it.

Note: You have taken these drugs for a lot of years without feeling any desire to use them when you are not in pain. The most likely thing is that you are thinking of using them now because you are in pain, not because you have become a terrible addict… NOW!

Note: Being in pain makes you a low-energy, distracted, short-tempered parent. Taking a low dose of your medicine makes you happier (because you are not in pain) and calmer than usual, if slightly distracted. Guess which your children prefer.

Note: Avoiding your medicine never means you have extra energy, because being in pain takes a lot of energy. There is no high-energy option on these days.

Note: Calvinism combines terrible with issues of physical health. You have a number of academic texts on your shelves to this effect. You may be a WASP, but you don’t have to be a Puritan.

Note: You’re doctors prescribe these medicines for you. They expect you to take them. You don’t get a prize for having them left at the end of the year.

Note: Try to remember, as you sit in the waiting room, that your doctors want to help you. That’s why they got this gig. (And if they don’t, they are not the only ones in town.)

This post brought to you by endometriosis, anxiety, and the weird interior design choices at Dr. Joy’s office.



11 thoughts on “Mental Notes on Pain

  1. I’m sorry you are in pain. By all means, please woman, take the drugs! They are there to help you. But I understand. I have this weird mental hang-up, hoarding mentality about some of the medications that I need to take to help me feel better. My wife is constantly reminding me to take them and reassuring me that if I run out–I can just get more. And yet, I skip doses because I don’t want to “run out.” And then I suffer.

  2. Ouch. I’m so sorry.
    I, too, have a weird reluctance to taking pain medication. What if something is “really wrong” and I missed to because of the drugs? Sigh. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. What ARE those on the wall? Giant Mating orchids??
    You must be a better Calviniste than I, I just go to bed and sleep till the pain disappears. I have sent family members to the pharmacy to get drugs when that didn’t work. And chocolate. (Home brand, on sale, because I only indulge frugally! šŸ˜‰
    Take care now and spoil yourself a little!

  4. This is probably not the best time for the Princess Bride quote your title made me think of. Do take care of yourself.

  5. No, seriously. You don’t get points for not taking medication. You don’t also get points for being in pain. (Besides, who would want them? “I under went an amputation without any anesthesia! I’m up by 25 points now!”)

    Take your drugs. But most of all, stop feeling bad about it. This is no way to live.

  6. I hope you get to be feeling better soon!

  7. Stupid internet, making me cry. I know this post is by you, for you, about you…but it’s also the message I needed so much (so so so much) to hear. I think it’s the message my kids and my wife and my heart of hearts needed me to hear. Thank you for being brave and compassionate and (I hope) medicated and for encouraging me, however unintentionally, to be the same.

  8. To recap a conversation I once had with a friend who also has chronic pain: People in pain come to the doctor and they ARE drug seeking. They want drugs to make the fucking pain better. (Though yes, I know, drug seeking = euphemism for ‘addict’.) I hope the doctors and the drugs both help.

    • One could argue that people in pain simply want the doctor to make the pain go away. Seeking pain relief. And if the doctor has no magic on offer then drugs will have to do the trick….
      (Not that *I* want to argue, just trying to make it sound better)
      Yes, hope relief came quicker than my reply!

  9. That sounds bad, bionic. Very sorry. Of all the hearsay I hoped the belief that period pain is cured after childbirth was right. But no, endo is a right little (insert Irish expletive). I have that Calvinist affliction too, alas and alack, though I am curing myself, like you, with the force of sheer reason. It didn’t help that pain was viewed as a lack of moral fortitude by my parents. But no. Take them and keep ahead of it. Pain doesn’t teach you anything, it’s just a waste of a day, and we don’t have any days to waste.

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