Acceptance

The Desert Allegory

Imagine you have to walk through the desert to get to much needed water. Imagine that the shoes on your feet are a size too small. They were super cute when you bought them, but suddenly, when you most need them, you realize they just don’t fit right (don’t you hate that?), but they were expensive, so you keep them. And now you’re stuck. At first, when you start your journey, the too small shoes … Continue reading

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Accepting Acceptance

We all must be open to accepting acceptance. Tenacity is lauded in endurance sports, often with dire consequences. People view the Ironman motto as “Finish at all costs” rather than their current salvo of “Anything is possible” (which is equally mythical), since anything but obtaining a coveted medal after crossing the tape is generally deemed intolerable. The truth of the matter, though, is that despite putting forth best efforts, and pushing and pushing and pushing, … Continue reading

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My friend called pain

I have a new friend. Its name is chronic pain. Since receiving the diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia, and learning that the condition is permanent, I have unilaterally viewed the pain as an adversary. The 24/7/365 symptoms of stabbing, throbbing, and dull pain around my ribs along with the muscle spasms and difficulty breathing would test the patience of anyone; of course, I would view such an interruption to my life as adversarial. Who wouldn’t? Recently, … Continue reading

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Resetting the pain scale

The common question after my countless surgeries (I’ve had 7) or ablations (I’ve had 17 ablations of thoracic/lumbar nerves T5-L1) is “Are you pain-free yet?” Those who ask always have the best intentions, and I almost feel like I am letting them down when I say “no”. The answer is always no. Since my chronic pain, and many of yours, is forever, I suggest resetting the pain scale. The pain-free ship sailed many years ago. … Continue reading

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7 steps to dealing with chronic pain

Do you remember the book Flowers for Algernon? It is the story of a man with an IQ below 70 who undergoes an operation which triples his IQ. Over time, though, his IQ starts to drop and returns to its original level. I read the book way back in junior high, but I still vividly recall feeling compassion for this man who suffered so much. I cannot help but think about this story with regards … Continue reading

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One year later

 It has been one year since I last competed in a triathlon. It is hard to believe how slowly and how quickly time has passed. My last race was Lake Stevens 70.3. It was not a banner day. Despite the pain from my rib injury, I hobbled through the race. I knew at the time that it would be my last triathlon for a long while, so I decided that I would finish slowly rather … Continue reading

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