pain, a closer look

toothSince pain is the companion right now, I’ve been taking a closer look. When I focus only on it–for example, when I’m lying in bed and the room is dark–the pain breaks down into discrete sensations: pulsing that feels deep and heavy, then a split second between the pulses that might be labeled relief. There is a mild ebb and flow that mimics breathing and makes the discomfort easier to be with.

If I put attention elsewhere–perhaps a meeting, or cooking, or writing, the pain runs together in the background, and becomes a solid, tiring entity. The thought comes, “Enough, already.” So I pause in my work, stand still, put full attention on the sensations again, and they return to the ebb and flow.

Forty minutes after taking Tylenol and Advil, boom! From one moment to the next, the pain drops 80%–for three hours, I can truly focus on other activities—real estate, tending to our home, sleep. But it creeps back, and eventually, if I’m sleeping, wakes me. I be with the discomfort until the five hour mark, eat a couple of bites of yogurt, and swallow more medication.

Wednesday at noon, the endodontist. Bless him for learning this specialty.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit

One thought on “pain, a closer look

  1. Basheera

    Hi, Amrita,
    When this happened to me, I, like you, sat with it and really observed what was happening. For some reason what worked for me was to repeat, “The pain is not me. I am not the pain.” or “I am here. The pain is there.” I know this isn’t dualistically correct in one sense, but for some reason it totally worked.”


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