Ouch - life is a wonderful thing, isn't it? I wouldn't give it up for anything.
But - yeah pain, I'm sure we ALL could do without that part of life and for many of us, it comes and goes.
You stub your toe climbing into bed, you burn your tongue while tasting your favorite dish because you can not wait to get in your mouth, you wake up with a headache after drinking too much the night before and...
It goes away - eventually, doesn't it?
Whether you pop a pill or ride it out, you just know it's not going to last forever so you manage your way through it AND sooner or later, you feel like your old self again. YES!
BUT what about when the aches won't go away?
What if continues to annoy and trouble you?
What if that pesky annoying thorn in your side gets stuck and NOTHING seems to be capable of pulling it out?
It really SUCKS!!!!
Okay - just you know - I'm quite the healthy looking forty eight year old man, won't turn forty nine until November 28.
(UPDATE - this post was released publicly after my birthday so I'm now forty nine with one HUGE change to be released and added to this post.)
But that's what's on the outside.
You wouldn't easily notice, unless you looked really hard, the grimace on my face, the slight limp, the "let's just get this over with before I need to lay down" because I hide it very well.
About six years ago I got a pain in my chest up to my shoulder. It FREAKED me out. My Father's side is known to have heart problems and all that goes along with it so it kind of weighed on my brain for some time.
I worked ten hours a day on my feet, came home to write for a few more hours in agony, and did it six days a week hoping if I got through the night, it would magically go away.
But it didn't!
Eventually landed me in the Emergency room as I began suffering through intense moments of vertigo on top of it. Some stupid ear infection stole my balance and although I've managed to keep the spinning down - it's left me feeling like I live on boat unless I lay down flat.
A few blood tests, some more tests, heart monitor, stress test, heart echo-gram, some gut doctor put me to sleep and looked at my stomach, sixteen X-rays, a few more emergency room visits, the worst coming in Bulgaria the day after my wedding when they said it's all good - it was your marriage that did it, these things happen all the time to newlyweds who get plastered on their wedding night.
Yeah, that MUST be it! I married the woman of my dreams and that's what caused the pain at the time, five years ago.
I found that experience amusing enough to include today. No harm or blame meant on the medical establishment overseas.
I live in pain.
Sorry, live WITH the pain.
I do all the exercising, the Yoga, the breath techniques, the constant searching for answers online because no doctor has been helpful...
I don't take any medicine. I've given up 99% of meat and eat a whole food plant based diet most of the time.
I take my vitamins - by the way - Magnesium has helped with "other" problems with my stomach and the headaches are gone. Just something to think about.
I also drink something my family calls a nasty concoction several times a day but I actually like it. Turmeric, Ginger, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Lemon juice, and healthy squirt of Apple Cider Vinegar to top it all off.
Unfortunately - after several stretching and exercising routines ever few hours to get me up from my desk, the pain comes and goes and then manages to put me on the floor in agony. Luckily, it subsides a little and I manage to get back to work and make us all a wonderfully tasty dinner.
Which is amazing because I LOVE to cook. Did it for a living for ten years and it keeps me moving so I push through the pain while doing it.
Anyways - my point today...
I'm a guy and although I can't relate to the PAIN you might feel about men and all the problems you've have had or are suffering through with right now... because I'm a guy... (And I won't get into today my past suffering as it related to women but I will - sooner or later) ...
I UNDERSTAND what all that pain can do to a person and how it can make you feel and how deeply it affects something better known as...
OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.
I wish with my snap of the fingers I could make it all go away.
I wish I could promise you that it's all going to fun and games and pain free days from here on out...
But I can not do that and you know that as well as I do.
However - there IS something you probably do right now to get you by in your worst of times. Something you might call your "secret concoction" which is probably far from my Turmeric cocktail.
But it does help, right?
Something you turn to which distracts you and alleviates your stress and anxiety and takes you away, even if it's just an hour, a day, or a moment.
Take it from me... whatever that is - don't STOP doing it.
If a man or men or understanding guys in general is causing any anguish and pain...
Take a break.
DO something you love and enjoy every minute of it.
Put the "figuring men out" on hold for just a while.
Don't EVER forget that and I promise to remind you every once in a while to take that needed break because you deserve to feel GOOD.
We ALL do.
Quality of life is VERY important.
- What makes you feel good?
- How do you deal with it all?
What's the one thing that WORKS for you almost every single time that if it was a choice - you would NEVER stop doing it because it makes you feel alive, happy, and nicely distracted from all the pain?
Smile - it's the cheapest no side-effect drug out there which costs nothing and it never stops giving!
Here's a little joke I found for you to help you out:
"A man drinks a shot of whiskey every night before bed. After years of this, the wife wants him to quit.
She gets two shot glasses, fills one with water and the other with whiskey.
After bringing him to the table that has the glasses, she brings his bait box. She says,
"I want you to see this."
She puts a worm in the water, and it swims around.
She puts a worm in the whiskey, and the worm dies immediately.
She then says, feeling that she has made her point clear,
"What do you have to say about this experiment?"
He responds by saying,
"If I drink whiskey, I won't get worms!"
Major Pain Update To Share
I wrote the original post as an email I sent to my private subscribers and a few major changes have come my way.
First - the sad news.
You may have read one or more of my emails explaining my condition of chronic pain through the last eight years or so. Good news finally came last year when I was getting real close to beating it once and for all.
I was finally feeling great again... until...
A sharp stabbing pain woke me up in sometime in March. Things began to get so bad that even sitting in my chair writing for more than ten minutes left me in excruciating pain. My temporary and only slight relief would come if I laid down on the floor in a certain position.
I worked through it and with it. Exercised more. Stretched more. I was determined to break that huge knot in my upper back.
But it only made it worse and then something far worse...
Hot electrical shocks start wrapping around my right chest area, shoulder to the elbow, and sometimes all the way to my stomach if I moved far enough.
Standing for more than a few seconds, sitting for anytime at all, left me with only one choice:
Drop to the floor and ride it out until it subsides and I could get back up and move again.
I believed I had slipped a disc in my upper back, the thoracic region around what is called the T2, T3 area because the nerves that govern that region mostly affect the area where my pain originated.
I checked into a few quick appointments - acupuncture, physical therapist, neurologist - but no answers and only more pain.
Time was grudgingly passing and I knew it had to be done. I needed an answer because I felt something was seriously wrong. It's hard to explain but when it happens - you just know it and sometimes, you don't want to be told or have to hear it because then it becomes all too real.
Anna was her name. A friend of the family who gave and read CAT scans for a living. She is such a kind and wonderfully nice person. I can not thank her enough.
So I hopped in the machine waiting to hear how bad the discs in my back were getting and how we could get to fixing them.
The news no one wants to hear...
I'll skip the build up and the back story. She kindly let me know what she saw on August 17th, 2020:
A cancerous Pancoast tumor of some size was growing in my right upper lung, spread to my ribs, and was wrapping around my spine. Hence the pain to making even a 30 foot trip to the bathroom.
Biopsy Update: The "official" name is... Adenocarcinoma.
The good news...
I was living overseas and had to rush back with my amazing wife to the United States for the help and treatment I need.
EVERYONE has been incredible. The outlook is great. In just over a month you can not imagine how far we've come and accomplished. I know there's still a long journey ahead but every we take a big step forward.
This is why you haven't heard from me over the last few months.
Right now I'm working on finding a comfortable emotional, mental, and physical area to get back to working with you, trying my best to keep you up on all the "stuff" that men do.
I'm going to move some emails. Work on some posts. Change my current email strategy.
BUT I'm NOT walking away.
This experience will only bring great things in the future and that is a guarantee.
I do wish this news comes to you in a way which is more comforting and hopeful. I'm not one to illicit empathy. I'm sure you have plenty of warmth and kind thoughts to express and I appreciate them all.
Thank you so much.
Today's letter had to be written and as I get through the "medicated" brain fog weirdness I feel inside, my mind will come back even stronger and I'll be far less likely to butcher the written word.
My distraction from you doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about you.
I sincerely hope that your relationships with men are always getting better.
Your guy friend,
Opening man in pain credit: Andrea Piacquadio