Monday, March 31, 2008

Pain class--week 2.

Note to long-suffering hubby who patiently skims my blogs: Just skip this one, honey. You've heard it all already, and besides this way i can talk about you. HAH!

Well, Monday has come and is nearly gone, and poor Dynamo dog is still in residence at the local Veterinary Inn. Every day that goes by i repeat to myself "He'll be better than ever! He'll be better than ever!" and try not to think about the peanut butter sandwiches and beans in our future...and if one more person says innocently to me, "Well surely you have health insurance for the dogs," i'm not sure what will come out of my mouth.

Today was a fun day at Chronic Pain 101.

First i learned that if this class were kindergarten, i'd have gotten a gold star for sure.

Second, i learned that what i thought was a bad job of following the meditation/relaxation exercise was actually a good job.

Third, i was told i was analytical--which i totally thought was a good thing--but then they all smiled wisely at each other while nodding their heads. i proved i was analytical by coming home and looking up the definition of analytical on 6 different online dictionaries to see what could be wrong about that.

OH--and fourth, i seem to be the only junior higher in the bunch.

So, gold star--great way to start my day. i had my session with the nurse where she asked me questions and looked at my pain journal. We chatted and did the questions, and she praised my pain journal saying it was probably the best one she'd seen for a "week one" person. i said, "Well, i do like to write." i actually enjoyed trying to figure out my pain number on a scale of 1 to 10 and then write what i was doing at the time. Partly i was thinking it would help me connect what causes the pain to fluctuate. So that was cool.

Regarding the meditation/relaxation--it was a great exercise where we were to follow our breath and focus on our breath in order to clear our worries and such out of our minds. We were to count each breath, and if we got distracted by a sound or thought we were to start over at one. After, i agreed that was really helpful. i liked it. But i mentioned that for me it seemed like i was saying in my head, "One..." (i wonder how Dyno's doing? OH SHOOT.) "One..." (i really like her hair today. DANG) "One..." .........and so on. Anya the nurse said, "But that's good! That means you were really staying with it! You didn't start to count then go off in your head for 20 minutes then remember to count, you were really bringing yourself back--that's great!" So for the second time i was all proud of myself.

Then, the analytical thing--we were in our half hour group session with the cute little young psychologist. Tomorrow the newbies will come with the looks of confusion the rest of us had the first day. But for today we were only 2 men, 2 other women, me, and the psychologist.

Like i said before, i talk. Often, i talk more than others. Not to make excuses, these others are really quiet. But i feel if i ask questions i understand more, therefore learning more. And i want to get the most out of these 5 weeks. At one point as i was picking their brains, one looked at me and said with a smile, "You're analytical." Then the psychologist and the 2 others who've been there longest looked at each other and nodded sagely and said, "She's analytical." i'm sure i looked confused, as the word "analytical" to me matches up with smart, logical people. But the group wasn't saying it in that way.

*editing here--i realized i left this out: "And how am i being analytical?" "Because you want to know how it all fits together NOW," one of the longer members said.

i said, "And?" She turned to me with a wise smile and said, "You can't know." Whuh?

i remain confused. i of course, in good people-pleaser fashion, laughed and played it off. But when i looked up "analytical," the Cambridge Dictionary Online said:
"analytical: adjective. Examining or tending to examine things very carefully."
To me, this sounds like a good thing. For example, one should always examine restaurant salads very carefully. i have found bugs.

Perhaps i am to simply Let It Go and Let It Show Up Unannounced. Whatever "It" is. i still don't know what the hell they meant. Perhaps i shall risk another question and ask.

Oh--and my forth and final lesson of the day, that i am the only junior higher in the group: i was asking about relaxation cds, as i had liked the one we used this afternoon and was relaxing quite well until they said to "relax your genitals." They suggested i could just overlook it the next time now that i had heard it, and i said, "i'm sorry, but i will always laugh when they say 'sphincter,'" which was the next thing we were to "relax." The psychologist said my laughter meant i was uncomfortable. i agreed, yup, and asked, "Seriously? None of the rest of you had trouble with that?" Only one girl laughed and said she'd also been caught off guard. The rest of them all pulled solemn expressions onto their faces and shook their heads saying, "No, no..." So i can only surmise i am either the only junior higher, or the only honest person in the bunch.

So, all in all, it was a day. A full day. (Apparently full of people capable of being told to relax their sphincters, without even cracking a smile.)


MsCatMinder said...

I'm laughing out loud here , I cant imagine an English relaxation CD would ever have relax your sphincter on it ....I just cant imagine it .And I cant imagine anyone not laughing. But then my sister and me used to get trouble in our adult yoga class wetting ourselves at the " gas ejector " exercise . And we were old enough to know better according to the looks of some of our classmates . Such is life .

Lea Ann said...

So they think y'all are just a bunch of tight asses??? Lol - could not help myself. In my former life I taught prepared childbirth classes and actually taught the type of relaxation exercises you are learning. The most I found necessary to mention in that (clearing of throat) area was buttocks. Like I said - they have a bit too much concern for the tight asses!

After you are relaxed do you do any of the imagery of going down an escalator that takes you to deeper and deeper relaxation? Do you get that "all the weight of my body is sinking into the ground and I feel all floaty" feeling?

I'm with you - being analytical is a good thing. You'll get way more out of the classes than the nodding ones who seem to think that it is the opposite of spontaneous which it is not..

A comment on this part...

*editing here--i realized i left this out: "And how am i being analytical?" "Because you want to know how it all fits together NOW," one of the longer members said....

I am right there with you on this one. At some point my boss realized that I could not focus on a new project unless he began the explaination with how the results of the project would be used and how that fit into the overall mission of the group - and if it was a group I was not familar with, well then I wanted to know a bit about that group!!! My brain will just not process stuff in any meaningful way unless it can attach the info to a bigger picture. The medical community has a problem with this. They feel that patients can process info better if they just have the next little bit to deal with. That whole deal is awful for me because it gives me license to imagine the very worst thing I can think of. So I ask lots of questions that they aren't quite comfortable with answering just yet. Their problem, not ours. So ask those questions girl - let them see that some folks do better if they DO know the next several bits - that the way they learned it in school does not fit every brain!!!! They are pushing you to think in new ways - sounds like you may just return the favor! (Hee hee).

Dynamo has the most beatiful face - hope he's better soon!

Lea Ann said...

i said, "And?" She turned to me with a wise smile and said, "You can't know." Whuh?

Forgot to include a comment on this part. Actually I find this statement snotty. Well hello - you're a paying customer and if it's helpful for you to know the big picture now then why the hell can't you know? SHE sounds like a controlling tight ass to me. lol.

Silliyak said...

I shouldn't say this because now you'll do it too, but sphincter would remind me of Blazing Saddles where Hedley Lamar announces "Gentlemen, relax your sphincters!"
Analytical, is there any other way to be? When you grow up trying to figure out the rules which seem to constantly change, how else ya gonna be?

julia said...

THANK YOU, thank you all--i must admit to losing some sleep over that whole thing. "So now do i need to just shut the heck up and sit there like the rest of them staring blankly at their laps?

MsCat: Thank you for laughing!! i didn't think i could be the ONLY one to find that a giggler! "Gas ejector exercise"??? OH DEAR. i woulda been right there with you, getting the "you are so juvenile" looks. Glad to know there are other juveniles besides me! i'd want to be in YOUR class!

Lea Ann: bwAHHAHHAH!!! TIGHT ASSES! Oh crap--guess what I'LL be thinking next time my sphincter comes up! And how cool, teaching childbirth preparation classes-- Up till we got to our genitals, i was getting a lovely sinking/warm/buzzing feeling, but sorry to say, my juvenile brain kind of lost concentration at that point--i like the elevator image, though, hadn't heard that one. And SEE, another reason we get along so well--need for the big picture! i'm guessing i will ask one of the powers that be if i'm getting the right picture from the psych that i should not ask questions, since the nurse was supportive of that.And i LIKE the idea that i may teach someone to think in a new way. ;-)

Silliyak, i have the feeling we understand a lot of the same dynamics--you're right, when you spend your entire childhood scoping out the situation, trying to stay out of trouble, that could just lead to picking everything apart! OR, it could just lead to insanity... And OH DEAR, i haven't seen that movie! and now i'd better wait till after this 5 weeks is over!

Thanks so much, all of you, for responding--i was feeling pretty unsure about going back after that, once again overthinking it: "so, should i just be quiet? should i only smile and be polite and keep my thoughts to myself? And how can i possibly DO that??" Surely i can't be the only analytical person they've ever had, i mean, the program has been around for 28 years! Or maybe they rode all of THEM out of town on a rail...

Thanks, my friends, for the free therapy. you've helped me a LOT this morning. Blessings on you all!!!

equichick8 said...

Hey! I'm laughing out loud too. (And Lawton snickered as I read it to him..) Man, you gotta keep going to these classes, they are rich food for comedy!

Actually I'm laughing out loud reading the comments here too. You guys are so funny.

Analyze away, my friend! You are not wrong in thinking you learn more if you ask.

miss ya

Unknown said...

I just going on a hunch here, but I would say that "you, My Dear Sis are the only one being honest." I know I would have given them a hearty laugh with that one. You should hear me howl when we watch "Two 1/2 men".

I was beginning to think you weren't going to let us in on the definition of analytical. For crying out loud, I always thought that was a good thing... I have been that all of my life. It sort of comes with the territory when you have a father that is a whacko alcoholic.... You sort of learn to stand back and analize each situation before you in some cases even breath.

You tell those people that your Sissy Jo says, "You Be Analytical Because You Be Doin It All Your Life And It Is A Good Thing!!" Silly People!

Loves you Sister Queeni!

julia said...

Hey, Chicky! i know the first thing i thought of when they said "analytical" was "cool! like a rocket scientist!" Yes, what will i do for comic relief when the classes are done?

Sissy Jo,i sense an analytical pattern here with these chaotic childhoods...but i never thought analytical, i just say "overthinker." Whatever the deal, i guess i need to continue being my crazy self!

Thanks, all... ;-)