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Pain. Inflammation. This article looks at the phenomena and connection in the brain regions. Those who suffer from chronic pain, regardless of causation and triggering factors, share a universal commonality – intensity of sensory experience, tenacity and sheer perseverance. The latter description emanates from the experiential, the palpable description of what is actually lived, outside of the neuroimaging labs inhabited by white coated researchers.

The last few days were ‘inflamed’ days.

I could wax morosely lyrical about this aspect, and issue forth an eloquent central global focus on the Life and Times of the Chronically Inflamed, but it fails to provide relief or respite (to me). Since this is my blog after all, I get to choose how and what I write, don’t I? Hence, I shall dwell on the little details, as my own mind feels comfortable doing, turning everything inside out, bottom up, and making secondary references to what is actually a primary pervading sensation of the day.

Fragmented reflections of humble luxuries.

On Friday, the highlight of the day was returning home to a sparkling clean kitchen! My good friend Rick had kindly volunteered to engage in a Jeevesian undertaking, and tackle the mess in my kitchen, while I was out attending a meeting in the city.

Yesterday’s star was a little fluffy person called Blanquita. Pup-sitting is fun with Blanquita. Rescued from a high-kill pound by my friend Maria, the little dynamite is a great example of one who has beat the odds, with a little help from providence and a very loving mum. The furball attacks life with spunk, gusto and derring-do, despite inherent handicaps of fear and anxiety. We have much to learn from our canine companions indeed. Lucy and Blanquita are amusing contrasts and juxtapositions of size (large and small), colour (black and white) and even personality. My girl is a strange combination of noble Samurai and stealthy Ninja, while little Blanquita reminds me of a Viking conquerer. Together, we set off to Lucy’s vet for Lucy’s monthly Zydax injection. The visit ended very pleasantly with both dogs receiving delicious treats from Dr. Ivor. We then meandered through the Paddington Markets, dropped by for more treats at Rupert&Dora, before heading home.

Today, amidst and despite swirling cloying tendrils of fever and pounding headache, I was treated to a sumptuous breakfast at Not Just Coffee by my long-suffering and kindly friend Rick. Of course, I ranted about my abject panic (a very logic-based alarm) about my current state of disrepair, mumbling about improbabilities juxtaposed with non-impossibilities. (Yes, you read it right – non-impossibilities.) Nosh was good. And I came home to that clean kitchen.

Intended to catch up with some work, but instead crashed into bed with the hound, utterly exhausted. Woken up by a text message from Rick – oups! I had forgotten about the bread! Kind Rick was charged with procuring a loaf of bread earlier in the day, and I was supposed to pick it up at 4.30pm. Rushed downstairs and to the ‘dog patch’ for the bread, and guess what? A little bite of luxury – fancy cheese! Us Aspies do not eschew all forms of surprise, in fact, some surprises are really very welcome indeed, especially when they involve good cheese!

I am now enjoying dinner and sharing a banana (also courtesy of Rick!) with my Attendant Attentive Angel, Miss Lucy. She lays in Sphinx position, eagerly awaiting each morsel of banana. The annoyance comes not from the neuropathic pain I am enduring, but a lone insistent and persistent buzzy fly that is wanting to partake of our feast. Nevertheless, it is good. I am blessed to have the little things.

Simple pleasures. Suspended moments. My mind takes little visual snapshots, and short mental video clips, sights, sounds, tastes, smells, of the scattered fragments. These are enchantments to me.


4 thoughts on “enchantments

  1. Dawn, you know how you said persevering with Lucy’s walks improved matters… can you say what kind of improvement occurred?
    I tell you I am so tired of the relentless muscle pain and exhaustion and it is constantly on my mind, this question of am I doing too little, as in longer walks.
    I am positive that tension (from a myriad of sources) plays the major role, but I don’t particularly want to escape it all; I just want to cope!! But honestly, I am tiring of the effort involved 🙂
    I am also sure that brief periods of escape will help, but that is not going to happen soon.
    SO, walking is the only option I am not exploring fully; I do not, however, have the urge to put in the effort, especially not in this heat, if the rewards are not forthcoming! You are the best person to ask for firsthand experience right now. xxx

    • Sorry to hear about your conundrum, Anne. Huggggs from afar! xoxoxo When Lucy first came to me, walking her four or five times a day was often difficult, because of the joint inflammation. But I just pushed myself to do it, because she depended on me. She was not demanding, though, and was ok when I began slowly, brief walks around the block. Being more focused on her helped me a great deal too. In the early days, I was unsure about the peculiarities of Greyhounds, and my detail oriented cognition became determined to discover more. I began with vigilance but soon that evolved into a curiosity and fascination. After a year, my joint flare ups subsided into very manageable bouts of stiffness but no more fierce huge red immobilizing swelling. These days, we walk about 2km a day, depending on weather and it is Lucy who is slower now. I also do the stairs two floors up and down four times a day too! I think what helped the physical was the mental refocusing, Lucy helped me take my mind off feeling sorry for myself, and walking with her became a study that evolved into a passion. I also enjoy the physical and mental space, just to breathe deeply, stretch my muscles, and be inspired in my mind. Hope this helps?


      • But still you suffer much – are you saying perhaps that the inflammation has eased a lot but there is a point where the walking doesn’t ease the inflamation further. I know there can be periods when stress causes flare ups.
        I am thinking that walking without the mental refocusing could be a problem here! Sigh. I have to figure out a way somehow! Thank you!! xx

      • Ah, well, there are many different kinds of inflammation. The arthritis has been mostly dormant. Good luck, I am sure you will figure out a way that is right for you. xo


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