Flow with Change and Stay Out of Pain

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 16th, 2009 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

Ever since my life turned upside down — not so significantly from a particular incident, but mostly from the lack of timely and effective medical response to it — I’ve been fascinated by how time and response method can change everything.

(Thwarted breakfast plans)

(Thwarted omelette breakfast plans)

If I accidentally pour colored liquid onto my tan carpet and fail to clean it up right away, for example, my carpet will be stained. And it will be a pain in the ass, if at all possible, to get that stain out.

If, however, I respond immediately — pouring salt on it, putting books on top, whatever that method is that works — then the liquid will be absorbed from the rug, and the stain will never happen in the first place.

Pretty drastic difference, as a result of something so simple.

That’s why it’s critical for health care teams to immediately believe us and respond to us when we complain of pain. Becuase the sooner the condition is caught, the less chance it has of becoming exacerbated and causing unnecessary damage to our bodies, and by extension, our lives.

On a related note, once we have pain, I think that we have to develop a quick response to incidents that trigger our pain, as well as develop keen awareness of how to avoid pain situations in the first place.

(The Cleanup Crew)

(Cleanup Crew)

For example, my plan may be to go on a hike. But if something triggers ankle pain, I have to completely rearrange my plans and my day. Boom! It’s setback mode: Lay low, ice the foot, dance from a chair or on the floor, send healing energy to the place of pain, etc.

I’ve gotten really good at that. While I do still feel a certain level of disappointment and frustration, I quickly switch modes. I don’t argue with the situation, with my body, none of it. I hunker down and take care of business.

And I take it one step further: Anyone expecting anything from me has just got to deal with changing their expectations. I’m not going to exceed my limits, period, end of issue, thank you very much, so get over it.

(Breakfast Take II)

(Breakfast Take II)

I thought about all this today, as I lovingly made myself a yummy delicious nutritious breakfast: I chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms, then sauteed them in a pan. I added fresh spinach, and when ready, liquid egg whites.

While making the omelette, I toasted a slice of a delicious loaf of whole grain bread; I sliced several pieces of feta cheese; I made an Israeli salad; and I scooped out some tehina.

I was going to have an awesome breakfast. Then the salt was stuck in the shaker. So I tapped it on the counter, at which point the shaker shattered, and glass and salt got all over the counter. And possibly on my food.

Admittedly, I did spend the first two minutes contemplating whether the glass actually did get on my plate, and if so, how much and where. But then I thought, Loolwa, it’s just not worth it. I cleaned up the glass, ditched the breakfast (except the salad and toast, which were on another counter), and started over.

I wasn’t about to take the time to cook up a whole new omelette, so I came up with Plan B: Tehina, feta cheese, the tiny bit of omelette that was left in the pan and away from the glass, one dolma, some smoked salmon, and my toast and Israeli sald. Not exactly the breakfast I planned, but yummy delish nonetheless. And pain free: As in, “Look Ma, no glass in my lip!”

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