Have You Mastered the Art of Ignoring Pain?

A couple weeks ago I believe I damaged my shoulder. I think it had something to do with my large TV, a skinny TV repair man, me doing some heavy lifting and the angle that we had to hold the TV in order to place it safely on the back seat of the car. [Can we say ‘THANK GOD for the flat screen TV invention?]

Anyway, the only time that I really feel the pain in my shoulder is when I am stretching my arm as in reaching to take off the alarm on my phone, that’s perched on my bedside table or when I am changing a t-shirt.

The thing is once I don’t stretch it or lie on the side of the injured shoulder, I’m fine. So I’ve basically ignored it going on now more than a month I’m sure.

This morning I decided to call my physiotherapist. So she told me to ice, 15 minutes, twice a day and then see if I’m still in pain and then come see her, unless of course I’m having trouble hooking my bra. Then I needed to book an appointment immediately!

I said “well no – I’m not having trouble until my brain offered ‘d-uh that’s because you’re hooking in the front!’ ” 🙂 When I  tried to put my hand up behind my back, needless to say I couldn’t.


Now pain, that I’d been experiencing for days on end because as much as I’d like to think I could contain stretching, I couldn’t, is now escalated to emergency – must see the physiotherapist YESTERDAY!

Aren’t our lives similar? We make it through because we get good at ignoring the pain we’re in?

Superhero gifts come in all shapes and sizes, identifying their owners as someone apart. A girl on an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” thought she was a superhero because she felt no pain. You could kick her, pinch her, scrape her, burn her — she wouldn’t flinch. But she wasn’t a superhero. She had a rare disorder called CIPA – congenital insensitivity to pain.

Sam Crowley says “many of us have emotional CIPA and we go through our lives functioning just fine, somewhat comfortable, and completely oblivious to the pain we may be suffering from. “I don’t want to get dramatic here”, he says “but unfortunately the facts tell us our emotions and the thoughts we have on a daily basis control the quality of our lives if we aren’t paying attention. They affect the choices we make, our perspective on life and our reactions to its events. That pretty much means that whatever you’re feeling is affecting your life and the quality of your life whether you know it or not. So if you’re unaware of how you’re feeling right now – if you have no idea what pain you’re in or why you’re dissatisfied…guess what? That unidentified pain is in the driver’s seat and it greatly influences the direction your life takes.”

Please don’t wait for as long as I did, to determine exactly what shape you’re in. Stop fooling yourself by saying things like “it will change just now, things will get better soon.” This is not going to happen on its own. YOU need to be in the drivers seat and take control of alleviating and then eliminating that pain altogether.

Don’t wait till it reaches a crisis stage when you have no choice but to pay attention. Deal with ‘it’ now, whatever that is.

In my case, I’m seeing my physiotherapist next week!

Image from http://www.ladyzona.com
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