Playing the “Wheel of Pain” game….
October 21, 2012, 4:46 AM
I remember as a kid watching the game show “Wheel of Fortune”. A modified version of the “Hangman” word game we’ve all played as kids, the players spun a wheel, guessed letters, and either spun again, or had to guess the puzzle.
The wheel itself had 60 or so tiles. All but one or two were for trips, money amounts, or various other prizes. It was the one or two black ones players had to watch out for and try not to land on. When the Wheel stopped on one of those, they lost everything they had gained to that point. And their turn.
Why am I bringing up some trivial nonsense on a blog, that to be honest, is very often than not more than a little gloomy?
It has to do with the mental image I use to visualize my condition(s).
I am a very visually oriented type of person, so I have said visuals for both simple and complex issues. I find it makes explaining some of the more challenging, and complicated medical and mental issues I deal with to others a bit easier.
So, back to the game…
People with health issues, especially severe chronic pain, often have a difficult time with a similar situation as the players I mentioned earlier. We often are merely trying to get through each ‘round’ without hitting one of the black tiles that will end our activity for a turn, or several turns, all the while trying to figure out the puzzle that our lives have become.
But here’s the kicker… on *our* “Wheel”, the colors of the tiles are reversed… Slowly but surely, each of the colored ‘reward’ tiles are replaced with black ‘destruction/loss’ tiles.
Eventually, we reach the point at which *Most* of the tiles are *black*, with only a very few “free” or colored ‘reward’ tiles still mixed in haphazardly…
On top of whatever *major* source of soul-searing pain we try hard to survive each day, we must also deal with “The Wheel of Pain”, and what it brings our way…
In my own life, there seems to be a specific set of painfully disrupting conditions that come and go with distressing randomness. My personal and devastatingly difficult “Wheel of Pain”.
One day it is my hands hurting so bad and being so swollen I can barely hold a pen, or drive a car. Simple movements are impossible and complex ones even more so. This will come on without warning and last for several days to a few weeks. On those days, it is all I can do to hold a coffee cup, and then only with great pain.
And then, just when I adapt and become accustomed to my new/old pains, the Wheel turns…
Without warning, my hands are suddenly A-ok!
Then the Wheel lands on a different black tile and one or both of my feet start hurting so badly each step feels like setting them down into a bucket of broken shards of glass…
Feet are okay, hands okay, but suddenly I have such a blinding headache and am so light sensitive I must have the doors and windows shuttered and turn my monitor down by 70% Every sound is an agony, and repetitive noises make me instantly angry and nauseous…
Left knee swollen and filled with jagged bits of metal…
!!!!Hernia Flare!!! .. Hold your guts in and/or scream and cry for hours!
Isn’t this game fun and exciting?!
Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more… fun….
It decides to switch things up a bit and *combine* tortures!
(Normally at *just* the wrong moment, making you miss or be miserable at whatever family, vacation, work, or life event you have been looking forward to for months or weeks…*)
Feet *and* Head!
Feet and left knee!
Hands and Flare!
And, just when you think you can possibly adapt to *that*, the rules change once again…
Now, not only will you have the random and sometimes combined tortures to deal with, You find yourself suddenly and capriciously attracting weird, yet messy and gruesome illnesses just for kicks and giggles or something. Health conditions doctors rarely see or such severe cases of even such basic things as the common cold that they want to hospitalize you on a bi-monthly basis.
And through it all, you have to somehow continue to be a father, mother, friend, boss, employee, brother, sister, and all of the other roles we each play on a daily basis. Hopefully, a *good* one!…
People wonder why we no longer have that ready smile we once wore. Why we don’t seem to hang around or visit with them so much… Why we always seem to be so sick and somewhat gloomy. So they draw back, not wanting to intrude or have to watch the “fun” of the game…
Eventually, we find ourselves alone, in the dark, just listening to the sound of the spinning wheel, wondering if we are up to playing yet another losing round of the seemingly rigged game of life…
And the Wheel just keeps spinning…
Pray *you* never have to play….