Throughout my adventure with pain I have tried -and continue to try- therapies to relieve some of the pain. These treatments have been in the form of medications, procedures, mental exercises and spiritual guidance. Much like dating, each therapy comes with excitement and hopes that this one will be the one. In case you haven’t guessed, we haven’t met each other yet.
Much like the beginning of a relationship where you and your new potential mate spend hours getting to know each other, I have spent hours reading about each therapy. Some therapies require more of a commitment than others. Think-casual dating for some things, marriage for others. So there is a fair amount of consideration necessary before we commit to eachother.
Starting a new medication, for example, is much like dating someone for the first time. In the beginning you don’t know much about the potential mate, so I take the time to get to know it first. What are the side effects, how bothersome can they be? What dosage typically brings the most relief, what other aspects of my life might this medication interfere with? How likely is this medication to help my specific kind of pain? Once I am confident the benefits outweigh the risks I can start taking the medication. This is a lot like deciding to be exclusive with your new dating partner.
Other treatment options require a much more serious commitment from the start-like a surgery or procedure. This is more like jumping straight into a marriage without the long term relationship before hand. Much like the dating scene discussed above, I am sure to learn as much about my partner as I can, before I commit to wearing their ring for life. Unfortunately, the only real way to know if this new therapy and I are going to get along is if I just close my eyes and jump off into the deep end. This-as you can imagine- is a bit terrifying.
This is all very new and exciting and, of course, you have the highest hopes for this new relationship. Your eyes are wide open to all the benefits this medication is bringing you and, at the same time you are seeing their ‘true colors’ (also known as side effects). Eventually you find that you and this new mate are not quite right for each other and it is time to end the relationship. With people it may be that your personalities don’t blend well, or your lifestyles are too different. In this case either I am getting no relief or the side effects are intolerable or simply not worth the small amount of relief I may be getting. Regardless of the reason for making this decision it is always sad when we ‘break up’.
Much like the disappointment and potential heartbreak, that comes with a real life break up, this decision always stinks. I always feel at least a little discouraged when a therapy doesn’t work out. In an attempt to feel like I have something to move forward to, I try to keep up on my research and ideas for new therapies. I find when I am at a stand still that I get restless, like I am not trying to make things better. If this reminds you of the woman who is never happy without a man, I would say you are spot on. I guess you could say I am a bit of a hussy 😉 After all this time, it can some times feel a bit hopeless as I watch option after option bring little to no change to my situation. Much like a woman past her ‘dating prime’ I am starting to wonder if anything is ever going to work for me.
Other times, much like the single woman taking a break from the scene, I need to just be, without the pressure and stress of “will it work, won’t it work?” This never lasts too long, but sometimes I just need to take a breather from all the doctors and tests and constant debating about what it is that causes the pain, and how we can make it stop.
I suppose just like it takes time to find the right partner to make it through life together, it takes time to find the right therapies to control pain. And, just like partners grow and work together over time to stay together, I will need to change and adjust as my condition changes. Still….much like the last single girl in a bar…… I am desperate to find my match….