By the time I post this, chances are good that the weather will clear up and the conditions I'm describing will have improved greatly. Today has been gray, dark, rainy and in the sixties for temperatures. We've experienced several storms today. As I type this, our house sounds like it's being driven through a high-power car wash. I'm not close enough to a window to see how dark it is, but what I saw while relieving Julio tells me it's probably dark. Lightning flashes and the thunder rumbles frequently. This is all making me think about my previous reflections on storms and giving me a new perspective.
Storms really freak me out. I don't like the lack of control I have over them. I hate knowing that they can cause hardships, whether that be in damage to propperty or an increase in pain levels. My usual response is to flip out. But, as I've been trying to teach myself this summer, that isn't always the best response to the storm.
The increase in pain levels is going to come, no matter how much I plead for it to be otherwise. The whimpering can be therapeutic, or not. I have discovered that the best way to respond to the storm is to acknowledge that it can increase my pain, then deal with it. I started out the morning with a lot less swelling than I have now, and the temperature difference was small. Now, in the heart of the storm, the difference is bigger and so is the swelling. I knew that this pain increase would come, so I responded in advance. I've been aware of this possibility. Now that it's here, I'm dealing with it by trying to write about it in a more helpful way, propping up my foot and putting ice behind my knee (hey, it works.) I did my physical therapy now, so I can put on my lidoderm patches when I'm ready, and before the pain may increase and make it more difficult to do the exercises. I'm keeping my breathing as even and calm as I can. And most importantly, I am reminding myself that we need the rain and the storm will end so things will get better.
These methods work for the personal storms too. When possible, I anticipate the storms. If I know that something will happen, I try to emotionally prepare for it. I allow myself to react. To be blunt, if it sucks, I acknowledge that. Then, I do what I can, implementing good self care measures, praying, talking about it, writing about it or whatever I need to do. It doesn't change the storm, but it means I get through the storm. And when I react first, then calm down, the storms don't always hurt so much.
Look, the thunder and rain are gone, for now.