A Bed Full of Legos
Pain is an intensely personal experience.
As I write this, I’m lying on my side because I’m experiencing Level 5 pelvic pain. I’ve been helping a friend navigate surgery for two days, and it’s beginning to make my nerves more sensitive.
In the bed next to me is my friend A., who is cruising on Dilaudid and Morphine since she just finished having surgery — her second in two days. Her pain is probably a rock solid 8, and she can’t find a comfortable way to sleep.
Or even lie down.
It’s like her bed is full of Legos. There is nowhere to turn, no position that will make it hurt less. My also shoes feel like they are full of Legos, and I’m not looking forward to putting them back on.
Even when you have the same pain condition as another person, the way your brain interprets signals from your body can be completely different. So, your pain may be here and my pain may be there.
But we’re both in pain. And while we may not be able to solve one another’s problems, it is helpful to have someone there who understands.
Since pain is such a personal experience, the responsibility often falls to the person in pain to find a community or a support person. And then it falls to us not to take on too much of our community’s pain, which can be overwhelming. We also have to innovate ways to support our partners just as they support us.
A bed full of Legos is somehow more bearable when we aren’t in it alone.