Lynne Greenberg has done an amazing job writing about her relationship with chronic pain! My words can not do it justice. Lynne uses poetry to convey the emotion and the metaphors connected to her life with pain. Milton’s Paradise Lost is apt.
Her paradise lost was a promising career as a professor of English (17th century poetry is her passion) at Hunter College, a devoted husband and two children, and a host of friends. Then one day in August 2006 the Headache appeared and has not left. I was hoping for a resolution, some treatment that would remove her pain, or at least relieve it. Now, this is not to be, but she has learned to live with pain and re-enter life.
One lesson she learned is pacing. No, not the frenetic movements accompanying my trying to outrun a Migraine. Instead, it is slowing down enough to manage it. Poet T. S. Eliot describes it as”measuring out my life with coffee spoons” (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock). What seems like a particularly dull life contains a lesson. Pace myself. I only have so many coffee spoons. Learn to say, no; take a break; slow down. All these can seem so simple to a healthy person, but to one coping with chronic pain, they represent tough choices and sacrifices. It is a necessity, not an option.
The book is an easy read, which may tempt readers to rush through it. I caution you to resist that temptation. Take it slowly; savor each chapter; let the lessons pain teaches become part of your life.