Of all the things that we have to deal with in life I think physical pain is the most difficult for me. Not low-grade pain, but the kind that makes you wince and groan involuntarily. Of late my Parkinson’s seems to be getting worse, and I have been having increasing pain in my muscles when I move. The pain ranges from feeling like an electric shock, to being stabbed with a knife, to a cramp. It moves around but so far nothing below the knee or below my elbow. I have really never had real intense pain before, at least not that I remember, so I am learning how to manage it without turning into a whining wimp.
A major blessing is that I have zero pain while riding my stationary bicycle or when sitting in my hot tub. My hot tub is my go-to therapy when I wake up in the middle of the night with pain in my legs or arms. I am looking forward to my two month, 4,000 mile bicycle trip that we start in just over a week because when I ride my real bicycle for ten hours a day my Parkinson’s doesn’t bother me at all.
Pain has a way of wearing me out, and making me tired even though I may not have done anything. But it is mostly mental fatigue so a key to managing the consequences of the disease is to manage my thoughts. I do this by setting my mind on some physical activity that I am involved with and doing it in my imagination. It doesn’t produce the results of actually doing the activity, but close.