Bone Pain

Many readers already know that having a fracture isn't the only source of bone pain. I know that I'm very fortunate to not experience chronic bone pain, so for this entry I thought I'd do my best to describe the various kinds of aches & burns that I have difficulty explaining to my un-affected family, doctors, or friends... so, in other words.. I've never actually told anyone about this.

1. The Dull Ache That Spreads. It might start in my elbow or in my knee, an ache that just pops its head in the neighborhood because it was bored. After it settles in for a bit it'll take a little jaunt down the length of my arm or up my shoulder, or maybe it'll troop up my femur to check out the scene. Sometimes I wish I could just tell it to get lost or say something like, "nope, nothing's changed. Still 3ft tall and stillll not walking. Thanks for swinging by though, tell your mom I say hi!" This next bit is going to sound weird but if it happens in my arm, if I crack my knuckles it'll feel better. Or sometimes if I change sitting positions it'll fade a bit, I imagine when I do that the pain gets all discombobulated as I jostle it around - giving it a whirl before it regains its original pain in the ass mission again.

2. The Burn At The Peak. This happened nightly during the months and weeks when my tibias were at their worse. When I was younger both of my tibia bones was at near right angle degrees, it looked like I had two knees before they were finally rodded (several times). On the x-rays there was no visible fracture but my doctor would tell me that there are probably several tiny microscopic fractures at the peak of the tibia bone, and every night for awhile it would burn. Several times I would wake up and throw the covers off, touching the top of my shin making sure that the skin hadn't just burned off. I wanted to ask what the microscopic fractures were doing on top of that peak, having some kind of bonfire party before the big operation? Once I'd finally found a comfortable position to sleep in of course the burning would happen the next night, and then I'd try to sleep again in that position but it would never work. I had to cycle through various sleeping positions, constantly trying to find the next coldest spot in my bed for my leg.

3. The Ache Inside The Cast. You would think that once inside the cast the sharp pain and aches just stop. But somehow that isn't always true. Sometimes no amount of fiber glass and cotton can subdue the ache, and these can sometimes be the worst. And most of the time the aches aren't even in the same area where the fracture was! At first I'll think that it's just a muscle spasm, but then I realize it hasn't got that same edge; however, since there is only about 500 layers of cotton and fiber glass separating me from the ache I can't exactly go check on it like I usually do. Instead I'm resorting to wiggling inside the cast, and when I say wiggling I mean moving microscopic millimeters so as not to disturb the actual pain of the fracture. I might as well be trying to walk through a cave of sleeping lions!

4. The Sharp Ache That's Not Sharp Enough. It isn't the same sharp breath-stealing, heart-pumping, sweat-pouring pain that a fracture brings on, instead it's just a few steps below it. It's like the long lost cousin of the actual fracture that shows up at a family reunion, and no one knows how to react to him. He's kinda awkward - doesn't exactly have the best manners, has a shady history, and a weird mole on his eyelid. But he's there at the family reunion and absolutely insists on being in every single picture. Most of the time, this is the ache that happens in the same area where I will have my next fracture; it's like the foreshadowing of the hot mess events to come. Usually I just quietly stow it away in my head, smiling into the camera anyway and trying my best to keep this weird long lost cousin at arms length away.

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