most of you know that I am currently dealing with nerve pain issues in my left arm/hand/neck. I have been fighting for 1 1/2 years with intense constant pain in my neck, left arm and hand and have been pursuing conventional treatments in western medicine as well as alternative methods for pain treatment.
After over a year of therapies and failures I had surgery on my neck in December, to fuse three vertebrae and remove ruptured discs. I have a titanium plate now that keeps that part of my neck stable. The Neurosurgeons told me that the surgery would resolve the pain issues and I would be back on my game within 5-6 weeks, tops.
Well, unfortunately the pain is still there, and in fact has become much more intense. There is no posture I can take to find relief, and the pain is constant, beginning in the morning 2 hours after I wake, continuing until I finally fall to sleep late into the night, if not at dawn.
I am literally having to drug and heat and ice myself to sleep.
|(you can see the scar on my neck in this pic)|
One thing I had never thought of before- It is almost impossible to fall asleep if you are in acute pain: Your brain feels the pain and signals a flight response from the body- You tense up, ready to flee- which of course you cannot do, as the pain is coming from the inside. I just had never encountered this before- never have had such a constant ache. At this point I figure I've not had a pain free moment for almost 4 months. It's nuts!
LOOK- I'm not writing this to be dramatic or scare anyone- I'm just trying to capture what I'm living through, so that people can try to understand chronic pain. Oh, and yes, I know I'm a "Newbie" in the chronic pain community- I believe this gives me a way to write in the contrast living with/out pain; it's New to me, so sometimes fresh experiences are particularly focused.
One thing that I'm really struggling with is that I have a really strong desire to work- and I find that I cannot work in my studio for more than about 1/2 hour without having a flare up of intensity to the pain.
So Sadly, I am coming to the realization that I have to take a break. At least until I find some solution to this pain. I am slowing down my studio practice to a snails pace, and will only do minimal metalwork, if any for the next ?? period of time, until I can find a way to work pain free once again.
This decision is brutally difficult for me- I have cloaked myself in metalsmithing for 25+ years, creating in the studio on a daily basis. However, I can't continue at the same pace, and believe that I can find satisfaction in shifting directions in my creative life.
So- for now at least- "Working small" in traditional jewelry is slowly being put on hold, and I will be looking into other paths to satisfy my need to create. I have an open book ahead of me, and a bunch of crazy ideas and design explorations that are taking shape. I will be on walkabout in my wilderness.
And what is in stock in my etsy shop is pretty much going to be all of the traditional jewelry I will have for sale. I'm not saying it's over- I just need a break.
Thanks for reading- I'll keep posting!