I went for two more appointments to follow up on my SI joint pain. That even though I am at a one mostly with the pain level, I had committed to seeing myself through to be pain free. And this is what happened. I found out I was not a candidate for the traditional radio frequency ablation (intentional nerve damage to cease the ongoing pain) because the usual nerve branches were not the ones causing the pain. But the procedure I researched that would help? That’s being done at Hopkins. And by the way, my SI joint is malformed. That I already knew.

I had a doctor ask me what my pain level was several months ago and I said a one maybe a two. He asked, “Well that’s pretty good. Can you not live with that?” I told him that if it meant I felt I had to take Ibuprofen on a regular basis than no. But his question kept buzzing in my head. He’s an Eastern medicine practitioner. And my friend recently pointed out that our Western notion of having to be completely pain-free may be unrealistic.

Being OK With a One Pain Level

I am aware and wary, nay paranoid, that this pain will increase again. And this means that I will be getting shots to quell the pain several times a year until I do something else. But I agree that I have thought of this journey in medical treatment as an attempt to erase the pain, not make it livable. And this may also be the way I’ve thought about mental health as well.

None of us are without our quirks. But I think I have always thought of “normal” as a state of being without emotional pain and drama. And although occurrences of pain and drama vary, life is an unpredictable ride we very human humans have to go along with.

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.” -– Pema Chödrön –

Seems to me that the number one thing that we can always use to overhaul and edit is our expectations. And so, until my SI joint pain surpasses what it is now, I’ve decided to take the Summer off from worrying about it. The End. And The Beginning.

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