Monday, February 27, 2006

The color of pain

What color is pain? I wondered this when I stubbed my bare toe on the shower door today. After I finished hopping and cussing, that is. Dang, that hurts like a mutha!

White, I think. Stubbed toe pain is white. Like a lightning bolt. It should be called "stabbed" toe, given how it feels. A spike of white jabbing fire, followed by a roll of thunder up the foot and leg, all the way to the brain, which shorts out from the storm, temporarily.

Ow, ow, ow! (hop, hop, hop)

As I adjust my position in the chair, I feel the pain of overworked muscles. Orange. Orange and stringy, grabbing my attempts to move and pulling me up short with a smirk.

"Silly woman. Serves you right."

Childbirth. Maroon. The color of blood, of course, but more than that. A deep, rich, steady color. Earthy, like life itself, like the gooey wiggly thing you're squeezing out. Deeper, more profound than any pain you've ever felt. It takes hold all the way to your roots. Pressure at the molecular level.

There are streaks of gold there too.

February 26, 2006

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2 comments:

Web Teacher said...

My morning alarm is the tight pain in my jaw. All the muscles up and down the side of my head get together during my sleep and play a game called "squeeze till it aches."

My hips ache every morning as well. This pain is more like heat, burning. At times, when I've been walking several hours, my hips feel like I'm stabbing them with a knife that was held in a forge for a while. But the morning pain is merely annoying, a reminder to get up and move.

When the knobby, arthritic joints in my hands start to hurt the pain is a sharp breaking sensation when I force the joint to bend.

I haven't had many episodes of overwhelming pain, the kind that stops you in your tracks and brings you to your knees. A wonderful realization that makes me give thanks for minor pain.

anafaran said...

I remember a limited number of pains, TBTG:
The pain in my leg when my fibula broke in a couple of places while skimboarding at the seashore, the pain in my wrist when it broke on a tennis court while protecting my fall, a sprain in an ankle flying down a set of steps and missing the last two, the follow-through of a mighty powerful left-handed batter swinging with all his might into my gut while I stood expecting a right handed batter up at the plate, a surgeon reaching into my infected incision after a C-secion, an untreated infection behind the eardrum as a child and last but not the least painful, a needle localization that was prescribed to identify cancer in the breast and that's about it. Those are the physical pains I've experienced.
The metaphorical ones were longer lasting and noticeably more intense. I'd have to say the more damaging ones are the self-inflicted ones. They're the ones that the emergency room staff and the rest of the medical professionals can't identify and fix.

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