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Pain. Blinding, searing pain. It courses through my knee. I can’t walk on it. I can’t move it. I can’t even touch it. Pain races down one nerve and up another. I grit my teeth and take another step. Pain. Pain is always there. It never leaves or relents. Crutches were helpful for a week or two, but after a swollen foot, several trips to the ER, and more than a dozen doctors, she took them from me. Why would she take them from me? I can’t walk. I limp down the sterile hallway, tears streaming down my face. Apparently the pain will help. My condition is pain. My cure is pain. That makes sense.


So no crutches. Instead, I get only PT. Technically it stands for Physical Therapy, but the true name is Pain and Torture. If a single step is painful, I must run a mile. If a single touch, is excruciating, it must be rubbed for nearly an hour. If I can’t do it, I must do it. If it hurts, it must be done more. Minutes on end. Hours on end. Days, weeks, months on end. Pain. Constant horrible pain.


Maybe you deserve a little explanation here. I have a condition known, among other things, as Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy. It is a condition mostly affecting teenage girls, in which the main symptom is pain. There is no injury involved; the nerves are simply convinced that everything hurts. The only way to stop this is to expose the painful area to normal sensations in the theory that the nerves will learn to not be in pain.


It didn’t work. Months. I spent months in that awful little room full of torture devices. Well over a year has passed. The pain remains. Slightly less so, but still it remains. I can deal with it. I have to deal with it. I have no other choice. I can walk in this classroom, looking and acting the same as any other student. But I am in pain.



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Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 1:16 am
I've never actually heard about this disease before, but it does sound painful. You describe it really well. the entire piece flowed amazingly. I'm sorry you have to go through this though!
 
JoPepper said...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm
I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
 
DaughterofEvil said...
Sept. 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm
I have to say, this pain of yours seems rather intense. To be honest though, I felt as if you wanted pity from others who read this piece. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but that's just what I sense. Still, a 4/5. I wonder when you first had the disease. How did your parents feel? How about everyone at school? Did they ever notice you were in pain every day? Anyway, keep up the writing. ^^
 
paige14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm
This piece was a school assignment about difficulties in our lives so I did tend to focus on the pain not the reactions, but everything I wrote was true. And it started May 5 2010. People noticed for the rest of that year because I was on crutches then I limped, but after that summer I could hide it well. And ny parents are still frustrated by this, I am as well. No one wants themself or their child to be in pain. But we've all adjusted our daily lives to deal with it. And thanks for the review
 
CarrieAnn13 said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm
I really have no criticism for this piece.  It was well-written and I could definitely feel your frustration behind it.  Excellent work!  But I'm sorry you have to go through this; I know what it's like to be in severe pain for extended periods of time.
 
Steph0804 replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 7:51 am
The pain is so well described, every time the character takes a step, I wince at the same time! I think this was awesome! It should be published!
 
Steph0804 replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 7:55 am
OH MY GOD, I'M SO SORRY, I FEEL LIKE SUCH AN IDIOT. I COMPLETELY FAILED TO REALIZE THIS WAS IN THE NONFICTION SECTION. I'M SO SO SORRY. But the way you describe the pain makes it all so real... I think this should be published. Again, I'm sorry for acting like an airhead in my last comment.
 
Steph0804 replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 7:56 am
I'm so, so, so, so, so sorry.
 
Steph0804 replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

I hope that you'll get better one day. It probably seems impossible, but I really hope that one day the pain will stop. 

Again, I'm sorry.

 
Steph0804 replied...
Sept. 15, 2011 at 8:00 am

I've never been through something like this, so I honestly don't know if I can say anything to make you feel better...

I'm sorry.

 
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