77. Teeth of Wisdom

The injections were so painful that I claimed that I felt nothing, and the tooth was pulled with my full awareness, and relief. Why do the shots hurt like an amputation?

I had my wisdom teeth removed back in the ’80’s.  They didn’t knock you out back then.  It was laughing gas and numbing.  My lower teeth were impacted, and my lower right is never numb, not really.  They did four injections.  The injections were so painful that I claimed that I felt nothing, and the tooth was pulled with my full awareness, and relief.  Why do the shots hurt like an amputation?

In my kids’ era, Max, Maia’s brother, was anesthetized for his teeth.  His brain works differently than the norm.  His body was out of the game.  But his awareness was not.  He heard and felt everything, and was unable to scream out, react, or give notice that he was experiencing it all.  Horrifying!

In the colon surgery, my anesthesia played the game the way of expectation.  I do not have memories of the surgery.  I was out.  But there is something that watched, some part of me that is very aware, that has memory of losing organs, of the words of the surgeon, of the drama of cocreating with a team of medical miracle makers in order to remain in this consciousness.  

The mind has to heal.  The heart has to heal.  There awareness must be acknowledged and tenderly assisted through its own pain. 

Wisdom teeth, they share the wisdom that will be valuable for a lifetime.

30. Pain

A Palliative Care Team is a doctor, nurse, and social worker who follow the overall medical case of a patient.  They offer support.  Pain medication adjustment (I currently have no pain beyond the Tylenol level).  Listening.  Direction toward people or programs (we spoke of programs like Death with Dignity and Hospice, and the team directs the right specialists to call me).  They are advocates, a cheer squad.

Yesterday Helen, the nurse in Palliative care, and I were speaking of neuropathy and pain.  I explained my experience.  There is a difference between noting an experience in the body and perceiving it as pain. I looked closely to figure out how to explain it.

We have an incredible, intricate body system.  It sends sensations and messages constantly.  If I tell you to speak to me about what is occurring in your foot, you can focus there.  In my foot, I can feel pressure from where it touches the bar stool.  I can actually hear a thrum sound, weird.  The inside of the heal is cold.

Other people describe neuropathy as pain.  When I described it to Helen, I saw different levels of sensations.  There can be numbness, or tingling.  It can come as energy that is like needles sticking out from the body, going beyond the edges.  To me, that is not pain.

In the example of neuropathy, pain appears when there is an excess or a shock.  If I accidently grab something that is frozen, the body screams in pain.  Or really, the sensations that I can usually interpret, come in such a rapid and abundant way that I am overwhelmed.  Pain.  Pain is physical urgency.  Run from the tiger.  Pull your hand off of that stove!

Slow it down.  Shift the focus.  Or, look deeply into the pain.  All of these move me to awareness and perception.

29. Echo

Gurgling intestines.  Movement in the lower abdomen. Energy focusing to the area of the liver, the area of the masses… Fear?

A photo of a child full of fear describes how the author feels about her pain.
Fear from the pain of cancer is like a child full of fear

In the last day, a reminder, an echo, is passing through my body.  The mind sees the similarities between the current body and the moments or days before I went to the hospital.  It is not classic pain.  I do not perceive most of the body interpretations as pain, not how people would think of it.

But it is a noticing.  Our bodies are designed to react like this.  If I put my hand on the hot stove one time, and suffered a burn, the body sends out a warning plea whenever I am near a hot stove.  It means nothing.  But there is a perception, a fear.  

Fear is a child.  It needs love.  It needs comfort.  It needs to be acknowledged and reminded that all is well in God’s Eternal realm.  The journey is unfolding.  All is well.