Saturday, April 16, 2011

N="New" Normal

"New Normal" is a phrase my husband created whenever I had changes (good or bad) in my pain. It is a recognition that there are things that I won't be able to do right now (later in April, Y=Yet). This time of chronic pain required me to deal with limitations sooner than I expected; sometimes I felt like I had already reached "old age" and would never feel "my age" again. I needed to recognize where I am and work with that.

This phrase became my touchstone for living with my current situation. When I had to quit my job, I had to adjust to that "new normal." After a while, not-working began to feel normal. When the pain management clinic prescribed heavy painkillers, I had to adjust to the daily routine and the change in my body (glad for the pain relief, but I was more tired, fuzzy-brained, and lethargic). That became the "new normal." When I could only spend 3-4 hours per day "vertical" (i.e. out of bed or off the couch), I had to adjust my schedule and my thoughts to that "new normal."

Later, after I started the supplement and physical therapy regimen, I began to feel better. I adjusted to that "new normal" much more easily than the downward spiral I had been living in. Then, in January of this year, my physical therapist discovered the inflammed bursas in the sacro-iliac joint. My pain management doctor shot cortisone into those places, and the majority of my pain went away within days! That was an excellent "new normal!"

My current "new normal" is very low pain (0-2, woohoo!). Now, I'm working on building my stamina, my strength, and my positive outlook. There are days when I do too much, and my pain/tired levels go up; there are days when I rest, and my pain/tired levels go back to the "current normal." I am looking forward to the next "new normal" that will look much more like the "very old normal" (circa 4 years ago).

I never knew whether I would recover from this pain. Using the phrase "New Normal" helped me adjust to where I was then. I cannot live in the past, nor in the future. I have to live life where I am now.

Even if things are not normal right now, I want to accept it as the NEW NORMAL so that I can still live my life.

P.S. My precious sister-in-law/love fell down the stairs, fracturing her leg and ripping her ACL. Fortunately she is not in great pain, and she has found a good doctor. I'm hoping that she will adjust to her "new normal," and praying that it will not last very long...


  1. You are so sweet! I am indeed adjusting to my "new normal". Last night I even consented to use one of those electric carts at the store (it was the only way Ivan would let me go to Target).

    I'm so happy for you that your new "normals" are on the upward swing!

  2. I have yet adjusted to my "new" normal. I still struggle with the fact that my life is not the same and that I cannot do what I used to. I am trying but it is a hard adjustment when you want to do and cannot.

    Good luck to ya!