The Separation Between Pain And Pain


Pain woke me up from a deep sleep, as if someone was crossly shaking me awake. It started in the middle of the night, doesn’t it always? I felt sharp, stabbing pain that started behind my ears and shot down to my jaw line like bursts of fireworks you want to watch but not feel. I  moaned out loud; the pain was unbearably familiar but I hadn’t had it in a long time. Labor pains, during childbirth, at least give you a couple of moments rest in between contractions and a beautiful new baby as an award but this did not. I would try to sleep for a minute or two and be awakened by searing pain, inside my head, like a steak being branded on an open fire. TMJ had come back with a vengeance.

I have noticed that my Fibromyalgia symptoms, soreness of legs, feet, joints, muscles, pain everywhere on my body, have been at an all time high. I wonder if it has anything to do with the weather changing since it started so suddenly, or all the stress building up in the last three months or is it just random torture? Maybe it’s all of them, together. I can take medicine for the pain but we all know it just doesn’t help. Nothing does.

I know it doesn’t seem to make sense but I don’t have the energy to take a train to see my Rheumatologist, I’m sorry, I’m just too tired. Patients with other type of  illnesses may not be able to relate to this but chronic pain patients understand. They understand all too well about Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups. “What’s a Flare-UP” you ask? Ah, obviously you don’t have Fibromyalgia and I am jealous of you now. I understand though, it happens all the time. I would not be a good Fibromyalgia Ambassador right now because I tell the truth. Physical and emotional pain are closely connected, they join together like two vapid snakes curled around each other. You can’t have one without the other. Pain is here to stay, it never goes away for long, it comes back like the univited guest that crashes a party with drunken rowdiness. Pain is here to stay; wrap your mind around that.

5 thoughts on “The Separation Between Pain And Pain

  1. Mom (also FM sister) says the weather has had her in terrible terrible flareup-s. I have too, but just started PT and have been overachieving in distracted spurts so not sure if itms the weather or my neck yelling to me to STOP doing & just rest. 😦 Hope u feel better this week.

    (Pssst ~ why “creativity” always giving you medical advice (on almost EVERY blog entry)? Is she your doctor?)


  2. I am sorry you must bear so much pain. Life is hard, and harder for some of us than others. I don’t know why that is. Sometimes I’d like to take those perpetually healthy and happy people and tie them into pretzels. But I guess the Universe has its reasons. Doesn’t mean I have to like them though.


  3. As I well know, stress (both emotional and physical) can lead to terrible pain episodes. If you are grinding your teeth in your sleep (a function of tension), that would make you TMJ worst. Even just beeing tense, means folks clench their jaws without even realizing it. (I’m researching jaw pain a lot these days).
    And, if you’re too tired to go see somebody like a dentist that specializes in TMJ/jaw related pain, then it’s just that much more stressful.
    Several years ago, I went to a very specialist dentist who took special panoramic xrays of my teeth and jaw. That’s when I found out I have oseoarthritis in my right jaw; maybe some of the pain is related to that kind of development? Not to add to your list of chronic pain woes, but there might be ways to treat your TMJ or “new” jaw issues.
    Certainly understand the way pain in the jaw/face makes life hell. Hope you’re soon in a less stressful situation and able to relax. Judy has some great CDS for healing, relaxing, and dealing with your symptoms. You might want to try them out.
    Sorry you’re in so much pain; I know that feeling and wish there was something I could do to help eliviate it. Maybe when you get your “happy bag” inside the “happy box,” you’ll get a smile (and a hug) or two.
    Take good care.


  4. Hey Big Sis! I sooo understand being too dang tired to go to a doctor! Especially havin to take public transit to do so! I have cancelled doc appts because I was just too dang sick to go! I do believe this rapid change in weather is causing flare ups in alot of us, then throw in all the extra illness/pain conditions and its just “The Perfect Storm”…..I’m going crazy tonight with pain. Just feel like banging my head against a wall, begging for it to just end. But I sure hope your TMJ cuts u some slack tonight and u get some much needed rest. I know all the stress you’ve been living under the past few months are probably making things a billion times worse….I’ve got you in my nightly prayers…you are one of the kindest people I know Laurie Lou and if anyone deserves a break its you right now. xoxo


  5. Laurie,
    I used to treat LOTS of clients with TMJ (referrals from a PT who specialized in TMJ and headaches etc) Almost all of them hadn’t dealt with anger.
    I always started with having them write an angry list. (“I’m angry at ____, I’m angry that ____ etc. Not paragraphs just listing) They added to it every day even if there were duplicates. One of the keys is not to censor anything and put down all the petty stuff. The list includes past as well as present.
    Of course there were other things we talked about etc. But that was always the starting point and usually helped.

    You could try it and see if it helps. It’s free and you don’t need to get on a train!
    xxxxxx J


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