Dear Pain,

The problem with you, Pain, is that you are a sneaky bitch. I never know exactly when you’re going to come slipping in the door and kick me in the head.

No. 7 is when you start to beg your loved ones to shoot you. Conversations go like this. Me: If I was a dog in this much pain, all the time, you’d put me down. Loved One: Probably. Me: So you’re just being selfish. Loved One: Probably. Me: So get the shotgun. Loved One: I looked. I can’t find it. Will hot tea help. Me. Damnit. Yes.

I’ve had a few good days in a row; this is an extreme rarity. I’ve gotten things scratched off my to-do list that have resided there for YEARS. I’ve cleared more than 500 books off my bookshelves and dusted five years of dust off those bastards as well. I did six loads of laundry. I shaved my legs. I started this writing project. I finished editing my mother’s will, which includes a Special Needs Trust to keep me out of the poorhouse when she dies and I’m still … well, this. But the moment Pain opens that door, I’m reduced to this.

This lump of screaming pain. I’m laying on the couch right now, counting down 20 minutes. That’s the magical amount of time I have to wait to see if the last handful of Dilaudad and Xanax and Tramadol and muscle relaxers have done anything to take the edge off this horrible mass of lightning strikes exploding across my skull. The pain is crashing, and smashing, and awful. I’m being banged about by pots and pans, they slam against the outside of my skull.

What was that, doctor? You’d like me to enumerate my pain on your convenient, oh-so-sterile pain scale? Where 0 is no pain, and 10 is being eaten alive by angry sharks with acidic saliva?

It’s about a Fuck-You-point-five. Did you hear the part about the lightning and the pots? Jeezus.

Top is a scan of a “normal” brain. Bottom is a migraine brain. Both are then exposed to a migraine trigger — light: low, medium and high. The migraine brain overreacts enormously, unable to manage the stimuli.

There have been billions of dollars poured into fighting breast cancer. We can give old men a pill and they can have an erection that lasts all day. Are your eyes too dry? It’s now a disease, with a prescription. Heaven forfend you have wrinkles, but we’ll shoot you up with bovine toxins until your face freezes into a caricature, and then don’t you feel pretty.

But no one seems to be studying pain. No one seems to be inventing better drugs for pain. Every illness brings pain. Every injury brings pain. The consequences of long-term, chronic pain are enormous and devastating. Why aren’t we doing something about it?

That’s 20 minutes, boys and girls.

You’ll find me back in the pill bottle, but always,



11 thoughts on “Dear Pain,

  1. I wish my brother could have seen your pain chart. And read this post. He died in 2007. He had a migraine approximately every day for the last 5 years of his life. Chronic pain and autoimmune diseases are evil soulsuckers from hell and writing like yours is one of the only true remedies that exists. Thank you. Keep blogging. Here’s to you and a good night’s sleep!


    • paynepills says:

      I’m so sorry about your brother. I cannot imagine losing my sister. I’m so glad my writing did something for you; I’ll keep it up just in case it helps. Your message was a lovely gift.

      Liked by 1 person

      • YOUR writing is the gift! And WordPress is also a gift because it helps people with similar thoughts and experiences find each other. Again, love your blog and I’m also flattered by and appreciative of you following my blog.


    • paynepills says:

      I wish I could take credit for the pain scale, but it’s not mine. God bless the mighty internet, where a good search string can find anything.


  2. mrs hulbert says:

    yes yes yes yes. i’ve just come across your blog, and it’s bloody wonderful. you made me laugh through my heavy tears this morning. a blessing.


    • paynepills says:

      Thanks! I wondered if anyone would ever see it. There so many blogs out there, I figured I should just write things for me, and if anyone ran across it, well, that would be nice. I’m sorry your tears were so heavy this morning; anyone in chronic pain or who care about someone in chronid pain has those days. I wish I had magical words to make it better, something better than a crappy “hang in there, kitten!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • smashingthanku says:

        i am not quite ready to go live with my personal blog just yet, but yours will be the first invitation i accept. 🙂 in the meantime, i’m an author on a you-don’t-have-to-read-the-book bookclub blog. that’s just gotten started as well, but you’re welcome to follow,


      • paynepills says:

        Let me know when you’re ready for prime time and I’ll follow you. Meanwhile, I checked out your book blog, and it looks interesting. I’ll be following you there!

        Liked by 1 person

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