Dem Bones

pink bones by jujuridl
pink bones, a photo by jujuridl on Flickr.

So the assignment was to paint the old skeleton that lives in a closet in the Art Department. I studied it from all angles, thought about it, and noted that the pelvis was wired together rather inelegantly. The way my pelvis feels most days.

These days the worst of my pain is in my hips and the iliac crests and S.I. joints and thigh bones, the knees, ankles and feet. It’s a kind of neural pain that hits full speed around 5p.m. and is really very distracting by bedtime. I’m experimenting with higher and higher doses of gabapentin to try to get it under control enough to sleep without being a disconnected, staring blob when I wake up.

So I focused on the part of the bones that hurt, thinking I could work some voodoo cure by virtue of sheer focus…

Okay, that didn’t work. But I did think of a reason for the fractured pelvis. That nasty pea. That’s the culprit. Not unlike a practically invisible pathogen — hard to imagine something so small could destroy my beautiful wickedness.

Daddy always said I was a princess.


13 thoughts on “Dem Bones

    • Thanks, Raven. Got the D levels up, and keeping them in a good spot. Got turmeric on board. Some days are pretty good, and this is looking like one of them. Hope you’re feeling well today.

  1. I love it Julie. I admire your positive approach to your pain, channeling it through your drawing. Wouldn’t it be great if it worked to draw your pain and illnesses away – like some ind of modern day voodoo. Failing that though, I think this kind of visualisation is a great alternative to deal with it. Must try that on my chronic fatigue πŸ™‚

    • Pain is not something anyone would choose, that’s for sure, but this pain is so much easier to deal with than the head pain I started out with. I get a lot of help dealing with it by listening over and over and over again to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness for Pain relief and the audio-book version of Full Catastrophe Living. Can’t stop recommending those resources to people living with chronic pain. Seems screwy at first, but if you stick with the homework, it really does help. I am in no way connected to that organization, by the way. Just a big fan.

  2. Since I cannot take pain killers, after surgeries several years ago, I did art. When painting and drawing pain can go away while my mind is being involved. I am glad that you can find some relief.

  3. wow, great drawing, great post! My remaining pain is just about exactly what you describe. Tramadol helps, and rolling on a foam roller seems to help. I can totally tolerate this pain. I think because, as you said, this pain is much easier to deal with than the other pains I used to have (massive headaches among other things). It just doesn’t seem as debilitating even on the days I can barely walk. odd, I sometimes think. And, of course, distraction seems to really help me through the days.
    Here’s to squashing those peas!!!

  4. Thanks! πŸ™‚
    I didn’t mean to sound so enthusiastic about this pain (or minimize yours in any way)! I hate it, it can be pretty brutal, especially when nothing seems to help. But given the choice I would take this pain over some of the other symptoms we all deal with. It’s a wild ride for sure!

    • No worries. I completely agree. The headaches were so bad and so frequent, I spent half of every month in bed, thinking sometimes that I might be dying and sometimes wishing I would. I don’t like the stabbing pain in my legs, but at least I am out of bed every day, with people, able to enjoy sunlight. That is a big improvement.

  5. Brillant! I think Frieda Kahlo must have derived pain relief while painting too. (given that she continued to paint when confined to bed.) Truly beautiful and wickedly humorous!

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