Contributed by Local Columnist Sarah Hudson Pierce
According to the Center for Disease Control, “falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older Americans.”
About 4:00 AM on June 4th I fell out of bed.
Can you believe that?
At the age of seventy-two I fell out of bed — the first time since I was a young child which gave me nightmares then that I was falling from the moon!
I guess I was too close to the edge.of the bed.
Anyway it really shook me up thinking I might have bleeding on the brain!
I was fortunate to have a friend who drove me to my primary care doctor but since everyone fears the virus I was examined on the parking lot — no ex-rays — and would you believe I was too dehydrated for the nurse to draw blood.
But now four days later I am hardly sore except for my chronic back pain but now on to some thoughts that I have written about pain.
According to Comprehensive Pain Specialists, “pain not only affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined but workers lose an average of 4.6 hours per week of productive time due to pain and 20 percentage of Americans pain disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more and 80 percent of people in the United States will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Besides the common cold, back pain is the number one reason people visit their family doctors.”
The bottom line is that we can’t get through this life without a little pain but that doesn’t diminish the pain that I have experienced for the past five years. Anyone who has suffered back pain can identify with the misery that goes with not getting a good nights sleep.
Not only has back pain become more intense, interrupting my quality of life for the past few years, it has taken all the grit, raw courage and determination as I struggle to write the stories that are so much a part of who I am however I am blessed to be able to get a few prescriptions for pain medication.
I feel I have a mission to leave a legacy for my family and for those who might appreciate my slant on life.
Anyone who thinks that pain is just in the head needs to think again — although I do believe that Bill Moyers, best selling author of Healing and the Mind, was right in teaching that there is a strong connection between the mind and the body!
Ever since 1976 when we lived in Cleveland, Arkansas, where our youngest son, Jeremy, was five months old, I experienced my first bout of back pain, which lasted about a week, I learned that I could only find relief by lying flat on my back on the floor — often on a heating pad and accompanied by muscle relaxers.
Since then I’ve discovered other exercises that offer relief within minutes.
I always thank God when I awake without any pain even though my relief may be temporary!
Almost everyone I talk to about my back pain knows exactly what I am talking about!
After numerous tests and x-rays and an MRI the conclusion was reached that surgery really isn’t an option. I don’t really want surgery but I would like a quick fix that would get me on the road to recovery!
Just to have a few hours of life without pain makes me euphoric! Just to know that others have experienced our kind of pain – whether physical or emotional gives us strength to go on which leads me to my bottom line!
I believe it takes experiencing deep pain to help us grow – to become who we were meant to be – so that we can reach out and lend support to those who need it most and it’s when we drop our barriers and allow others into our private world that we are joined together as one large family. I am just grateful that it appears that my recent fall didn’t permanently injure me.
Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org