I had an MRI today and the clanking of the machine triggered a migraine. I watched the visual aura of a vibrant violet color warp over the tube… like a clenching fist, open and closed, open and closed. The pain crackled in as the clanking beat into my sensitive ears. The aura persisted as it does, switching to both eyes and a cascade of multi-colored dots arching from one eye to the other. So it would arch over one vision completely then start in the other and arch over it complexly and repeat. I was transfixed because I literally had nothing else to stare at.
And I thought wouldn’t just be grand to have a migraine free day. Hell, a pain free day. Just no pain at all.
I literally have no idea what this would feel like I have been in chronic pain of one sort or another since I was young. I think of it as an absence. I think you would simply not be aware of your body. Like, I am aware right now of my neck pain, my migraine, my aching knees from how I sit, my shoulder pain, and the overall ache of FM. To have no pain is that lack of awareness. To simply be in your body without being aware of it, unless you are hungry or something or tune into your body during meditation. They, those people without pain, as Heidegger would say, Being-In-The-World, they are all Dasein. Whereas we are all being-in-the-world-in-pain. It is a totally different phenomenological and existential experience. Ask anyone with pain to describe their perception of their being and their perception of reality and you will soon tell… we see everything differently. And I think I lost what it is like to just Be in the World. I don’t think I have the physical memory of it. I have vague memories of Doing things that I can no longer do, but not what that felt like.
And so we are beings-in-the-world-in-pain. In other words we live the chronic pain lifestyle. We don’t know what it is like without that lifestyle because we have lived it for so long. Like the rules. Pace yourself… or you will regret it. That is like Rule 1.
And I pondered in my MRI that day what I would even do with one free day of pain.
The answer being simple enough to be honest. i would do the things I would normally do but at a faster speed. I would clean my house in a day instead of slowly over two weeks. And I would do it thoroughly. As long as this magical day of pain didn’t have pain Consequences. Because doing things always has consequences. But if it didn’t I would totally do that. After that I would go book shopping the Same day, like that would ever normally happen. But on magically pain free day it would. Then i would gather a bunch of friends and have them over for a BBQ. Because I wouldn’t be fatigued out of my mind from the pain and I wouldn’t have exceeded my pain limits by the end of the day. So why not get people together and have so fun! And i would have one or two too many beers and have a grand old time. And I would have no regrets. No pain consequences. It would be a Good day.
That is what I would do with a pain free day.