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The Funny Little Phrase I Use to Describe the Days When Everything Hurts

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My trons hurt.

I did too much for this chronically ill, disabled, always-struggling body of mine. Thus, I ache everywhere, from my scalp to my toes.

Saying my “trons” (electrons) hurt has become one of the many ways I communicate to my husband that I will be, quite reluctantly, spending the day on the couch, could lose the ability to speak at any moment and will most likely need help getting up the stairs and into bed later.

My hair hurts. The space between my toes is irritating me. My bones, joints, muscles, digestive system and everything else aches. My skin is alive and everything touching it is registered. The seams in my clothes are painful. The strands of hair touching my face tickle and can only be relieved by scratching my skin where they’ve touched. I’m nauseous, my eyes are burning and my head feels slightly like I’m under water.

The best way to deal with this is to rest — I hate resting and I’m not very good at it. I’m a person of activity, movement, drive, persistence, determination — stuck in a body that bends in ways it shouldn’t, shuts down to the point that taking a breath is exhausting and fails me in more ways than it’s socially acceptable to speak about.

The other best ways to deal with this silly body is to have a good sense of humor (thus the “trons”) and to live thankfully.

For instance, I’m thankful I have this computer to speak into, a cuddly puppy on the couch next to me, my dear friend Harry Potter keeping me company on the tele and a large supply of coffee always at the ready. I’m thankful that I have a loving husband who will laugh along with me, will help me up the stairs later today and who understands I’m doing the best I can with what energy I can muster. I’m thankful to have family and friends I can call, when I’m able to talk, who love me in spite of the fact that I may not be able to communicate with them for weeks on end. I’m thankful that on my good days my legs and arms and ability to swallow function decently well. I’m thankful that my mom taught me at an early age the hard truth about life not being fair and that it pays to have a good sense of humor.

So, what did I do yesterday that is now consigning me to this couch? I did a bit of laundry, cooked one meal and emptied the dishwasher. And today I did myself in by daring to take a shower — where I skipped the unnecessary steps of conditioning my hair or shaving my legs. (Confession — I’ve given up shaving my legs because taking a shower, even with a shower chair, is so exhausting that I frequently need a nap afterward.)

So… be thankful when your trons don’t hurt, when your legs work, when your eyes aren’t going wonky, when your skin isn’t crying out, when you have the ability to speak, when the skin between your toes isn’t a conscious thought, when your scalp isn’t in pain, when your body isn’t failing you in socially-unacceptable ways. Be thankful for the little things, the things you take for granted, the things you don’t think to be thankful for.

I used to be able — able to do so many things I’m no longer able to do. My life has become very small, very uncluttered, very… different from what I expected, dreamed of, hoped for and from what it used to be.

But… that’s not a terrible thing. There’s much I’ve learned because my body fails in a number of ways.

However, as my trons hurt and I’m incredibly fatigued, that will have to be a topic for another day.

With that said, thanks for reading this far. I hope you are able to find something to laugh about today, something to be thankful for in spite of whatever trials you are facing, and something that makes you reflect on what you may be learning because of what you’re going through.

May you find joy in the midst of pain.

Till next time.

Follow this journey on The Lici Joy Project.

Getty image via Big_and_serious

Originally published: April 22, 2019
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