CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Type 1), is a change in the nervous system that's usually triggered by a very painful episode. The bad kinds affect the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, metabolism, circulation, and fight-or-flight response. Lucky me; that's what I've got. ... But life is still inherently good (or I don't know when to quit; either way) and, good or not, life still goes on.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pain Manifesto

This came out of cold chronic CRPS type 1, a debilitating condition of intractable chronic pain, nervous system disruption, and multi-system dysregulation -- destroying the body's ability to manage heat/cold, blood sugar, immune defense, circulation, sensation, bone density, movement, vision, digestion, heart function, and ultimately survival.

"Standard" treatments don't work well for me; moreover, they involve invasive procedures too brutal to tolerate and medications I'm either outright allergic to, or that impair me so profoundly I can no longer function. At all.

So I took myself off my meds, thought things over, and came to the following conclusions.


Yes, it hurts.
It's going to anyway.

So should I hoard my days
And fast from life?
Comfort myself with poisons,
Blister-packed and FDA approved?

Some think it would be best all 'round.
I'd cure them if I could (heh!)
But I'm too tired for
Yet another pointless struggle.

The sunlight pours through trees like prosecco
And reminds me what it means to live:

Voices warm with love, the
Mouth-smack of good food,
The hug of hills and the
Rough snuggles of the sea.

Hoard my days? I'll spend each one
Like it's stuffed with jewels
Pouring through my hands like a miser's dream.

Feast on this:
The cost of life is much the same.
The difference lies in how you spend it.


  1. I was remiss not to link to James Croft's excellent article, a much-needed word at the right time. Our views of inner life are quite different, but our views on living life are much the same:

    "Every person, like a firework, shines in unique constellation before they are gone forever, never to be recaptured. Thus it is critical that we make our own explosion as beautiful and as light-giving as possible, as we seek to illumine the world with our brilliance."

    These words crystalized my determination to find a way to make bearable this hand I'd been dealt. The poem you read above is the outcome.

  2. Thank you for this. Followed a link here from Oxford Astrologer. I'm recovering from a very painful back condition and your blog is a great source of encouragement.

    Wishing you well.

  3. Once more unto the breach dear friend!
    That's what I heard in my brain after reading your manifesto. I love you, old friend, and I will be right there by your side eating, laughing, loving and living!!

    1. And I look forward to sharing it with you!

  4. its really nice and beautiful

  5. Bless you this is truly beautiful. Feel very blessed to have found you and - if you're happy for me to - I'd love to share your work on my facebook page from time to time. Really enjoying this site! All flared-up and tapping a phone and it sure is nice to have your company ;-) x x x

    1. I'd be delighted for you to share :) Very glad to help you while away the tedious time of a flare!


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