Chronic pain: I Should Have Been a Mermaid

All of my life, I have loved the water. During my childhood, I grew up in Alameda, California, an island in the San Francisco Bay. Most days, I could be found near the seashore or in the nearby swimming pool. My mom put me in swimming lessons at a young age after she found me swimming in a child’s pool while wearing a long skirt. I was pretending that I was a mermaid. Some of my fondest memories have revolved around water and the beaches that I so desperately miss.

Now, many years later, often I have literally found myself in hot water as I now must continue physical therapy in the heated pool at the Y to help work out the kinks, especially since my back pain returned this summer. Funny how my life was forever changed because of a moment or two when out of nowhere a car crossed a path at the worst possible moment, or when riding a beloved horse, lightening flashed, and the horse reared, throwing me to the ground.  After the initial accidents, the damage created after those two events remained dormant for years until one day, pain became a daily occurrence.

Daily activities have been frustrating at times, for even simple chores such as washing dishes or vacuuming can cause pain and frustration. Since I have stopped my pain meds, the physical pain makes me so very tired. Although I have tried not to focus on my former activities, I sometimes really miss my old life when I could hike and camp, ride horses and my mountain bike and just do my normal every day activities.  And of course, I have wished that I could play with my grandchildren.

But I have more good days than bad days, and I have always loved the water.  Even my young grandson, Connor, reminded “that I could play good in the water.” This was a sweet reminder of all that I have to be thankful for in this life. Too bad, all activities couldn’t take in the place in the pool. Guess, it’s really true; I should have been a mermaid!





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