My Four Letter Word...

P - A - I - N
   Of all the four letter words I know and occasionally - okay, often - use, this is the one that hurts me the most.  (pun intended)  It is also one I either say out loud or in my head several times in the course of the day.  The reason, this is a good word that describes my life.  HIV and AIDS have made a mess of my body and one result is pain.
   I live with physical pain to some degree each and every day.  All over body pain, leg pain, muscle pain, pain from neuropathy, deep aching pain, pain in my lymph nodes, occasional stabbing pain in my extremities , headaches (both migraine and tension) and lately severe pain from yet another outbreak of shingles (# six in the past eight months).  It can hurt to sit, it can hurt to stand, to walk, to sleep, etcetera...   
   How do I make it through the day with all this pain?  Sometimes even I wonder about that.  I do have pills I can take that will numb the pain.  And I do some guided meditations that can help to relieve some pain.  I take hot showers.  I have wonderful caretakers, my husband Jim and our "nurse cat" Rudi.  And since last February, I have seen an acupuncturist that to help with the pain and other issues.  But mostly, I have learned to live with it.  You see, (and some of you may already know) I am a Taurus born in the year of the Ox.  I am determined and stubborn.  I am bull-headed and unmoving.  I will achieve my goals no matter what.  And my ultimate goal, to remain strong and carry on!
   People often have no idea how much pain I do live with, mainly because I try hard not to complain about it and also because I try hard not to look like I am in pain.  When I attempt to describe my aches and pains, I tend to minimize by saying things like, "It's not too bad" or "It's only aches a little, like when you have a cold or flu".  And I really hate to burden anyone with my troubles.  Besides, other than suggestions and perhaps sympathy, there really is nothing anyone can do to relieve my pain.
   So, I hold my head up, I stand tall and try not to complain.  I patiently wait for medical marijuana to become available.  Plus I use a few choice four letter words to help get me through the day!   

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