This week I've been having the worst pain flare I've had for years. Three days of continuous strong pain, waking up at 2 AM every morning with nerve fibers screaming just reminds me what it used to be like every single day before my spinal fusion.
I'm still sticking to my plan though, and haven't taken any painkillers, hoping that this will gradually reduce my sensitive pain receptors and increase my pain tolerance. But today the pain was driving me crazy - and on this of all days, the day my first book was finally sent to the printer, after umpteen rounds of proofreading and minescule revisions! It should be a day to celebrate!
I decided to fight past the pain and proceed with my plan to go to Oslo, even though I could hardly walk straight. I knew I had to get moving to break the negative spiral, and a friend had invited me to come along to a gym class she was teaching. I didn't think I could do it, but I just put on some comfortable clothes, walked in there and did my best. It was first a pilates class, really soft and nice movements, then some more hardcore yoga moves.
And you know what? I was pain-free after 30 minutes, and now, 6 hours later, I am still... pain-free.
Yikes. It really, really works....
The best thing about walking into a gym class is that you don't have to think. At best you reduce your pain significantly, and at worst you provoke a flare (be careful about what class you choose!). You just have to be able to get yourself there, and then tag along and follow as much of the movements as you can. It's social. You get out of the house. You see smiley faces. You challenge your limitations, and win back some freedom.