Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Pain’

A New Normal

Over the last couple of months I have been aware of something odd.  I have not been able to bite down normally – molar touching molar.  I have had to move my jaw in a backward motion first – then bite down.  I had braces for about a year, almost 5 years ago and somehow – I think this “positioning” for my jaw just seemed normal to me.  When I say I became aware of it just in the last couple of months  – this has to be just coincidence, because nothing in my mouth was bothering me.  It was normal.

A third molar.

A third molar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, the last couple of days a crown in my mouth has been bothering me.  I am not sure just what exactly was bothering me – only that it was quite sensitive.  Especially when I swallowed.  It was great timing too – because this morning I had an appointment for a teeth cleaning.  If something should go wrong in your mouth – it works great when it coincides with a regular appointment.

I need to add to this story that in packing boxes and doing extra “stuff” I somehow managed to tweak my back in the process.  And by tweak – I mean muscle spasms and the works.  This pain made it difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping last night – and so there I was with ice on my back my feet elevated and a sore crown in my mouth.

So this morning with a back wrap around my waist secured tight, and with a little difficulty getting in and out of the vehicle for my cleaning appointment – I went inside to a friendly and accommodating dental staff.  Every person helpful and  intent on helping me find the cause of my sensitive tooth and careful about my sore back.  (Just a side note – if you need a great dentist and live in the Renton area – look up Steve C. Yang, DDS.  He and his staff are amazing.)  Dr. Yang wiggled and probed and no matter what he did he could not find anything wrong with the crown.  I was definitely feeling it when he wiggled the crown – but there was nothing visibly wrong.  I was starting to think the pain was all in my head (or back) and even told him!  But he laughed and said, “No – I think maybe your bite is a little off” And with that  he set about to adjust it.  As he was doing so, I told him about the curious normal way that I had to bite down (or not bite down as the case was).  He said that was not normal and began a series of biting down tests to mark where my teeth were abnormally hitting.  This took careful evaluation and then the area was marked and expertly polished down.  Within a couple of minutes my “locked” jaw was released – and a new normal took effect.  I was actually able to rock my bite from side to side – something I had never been able to do!  And there is no odd “popping” sound.  Amazingly enough – it is in that simple little adjustment – where pain or a pain-free existence can take place.

I pondered these things while having my teeth cleaned – and then again while I went in search of a chiropractor to help me with my icky back.  I learned that many a chiropractor office (including my own) are closed on Tuesday!

The nice man we found to help me was able to bring my back to a new normal – at least it should be after much ibuprofen and ice!  I will tell you that it gives me much empathy for those who live with chronic back pain as their normal!  

Back pain – at least the lower back, has never been an issue for me.  But it becoming more that way as I become older.  The tiniest things can set it off – a mere twisting wrong, or even turning over wrong in bed!  I must keep this area strong so that the new normal for me is NOT lower back pain!!  No more tooth pain – and soon NO MORE BACK PAIN!

What about you?  Have you even had a minor adjustment that shook your world and gave you a new normal?  I pray that your adjustment is relatively painless – and does not include a crown or your lower back 🙂

God Bless

That’s The Way Love Goes

English: Lindsey Buckingham With Fleetwood Mac...

English: Lindsey Buckingham With Fleetwood Mac on March 3, 2009 in St. Paul, MN at the Xcel Energy Center. Photo by Matt Becker, Use without citation is prohibited by law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of you who have an appreciation of 70’s music will remember Fleetwood Mac.  One of the members, Lindsey Buckingham is still making music today.  I was listening to this little gem on Spotify while doing some writing yesterday and wanted to share it with you.

Enjoy and God Bless

“That’s The Way Love Goes”

By Lindsey Buckingham

I’d like to take your pain away
Away, away, away
I’d like to take your shame away
Away, away, away

I lie alone and watch you sleep
I’d reach for you but I might weep
If you should tell me I must keep
Away, away, away

In the dungeon couldn’t believe it no
Took a look and then saw your secret
Oh, oh, oh
That’s the way that love goes
It goes, it goes.
In the dungeon couldn’t believe it no
I took a look and then I saw your secret
Oh, oh, oh
That’s the way that love goes
It goes, it goes.

I’d like to take your pain away
Away, away, away
Behind your shade the color’s fade
Away, away, away

The diamond falls, the hand is dealt
Upon the shrine where we once knelt
Oh how I wish this veil could melt
Away away away

In the dungeon couldn’t believe it no
Took a look and then I saw your secret
Oh, oh, oh
That’s the way that love goes
It goes, it goes,
In the dungeon couldn’t believe it no
I took a look and then I saw your secret
Well, oh, oh, oh
That’s the way that love goes
It goes it goes

In the dungeon couldn’t believe it no
I took a look and then I saw your secret
Well, oh, oh, oh
That’s the way that love goes
It goes, it goes.

It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes
It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes
It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes
It goes, it goes, it goes

I’d like to take your pain away
Away, away, away
I’d like to take your shame away
Away, away, away

Stretches That HURT!

Massage in Frankfurt, Germany

Massage in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several months ago, I noticed a sharp pain when trying to lift my left arm.  The pain was down my arm and not in my shoulder – and hard to explain.  It only hurt when trying to put my arm above my head – and so my obvious conclusion to this irritating and painful problem was not to do that.  Ever. I found another way to get undressed and remove clothing attached and around my arms with my arm in a down position – I’m pretty creative like that 🙂

I told my massage therapist and she smiled and said knowingly, “this just happens as we get older”.  Great.  That’s what I was afraid of.  And because of my repetitious movement at the computer and playing piano for a few hours each day – the problem has increased in recent years.  That day and every time since, she has worked on that arm and attached ligaments and helped me to get increased mobility.  The pain was only so-so – UNTIL the last time I was in to see her.  By this time I noticed that I had the same pesky pain in BOTH arms when trying to raise them above my head.  She worked on one side and it honestly took my breath away it hurt SO BAD.

She suggested some stretches and a heating pad to loosen up the locked up area – and Greg decided to get in on the action by “suggesting” some stretches.  He has me get down on the floor flat on my back and raise my arms above my head.  It sounds so easy – anyone should be able to do it, right?   But for me – it’s very difficult.  Because I’m a good sport (and to humor him) I am trying this – lifting my arms as far as I can and letting gravity pull them down on my floor.  It is very hard NOT to arch my lower back – but I am at least trying.  Not an easy task while our puppy is all excited that we’re down on the floor with her – she thinks we’re down there to play with her and keeps jumping on my sore arms – OUCH!

And although these stretches, plus the other ones suggested to me are good for me – I do not like them.  I’m not a fan of pain, physical, emotion or any other kind.  But I have come to terms with pain – have made friends with it and am trying to let it teach me the lesson that it needs to.  Pain will have its way – teach its lesson and hopefully move on.  At least in other aspects of my life – this has been the case.

Ah – pain!  The great teacher.  That moment making us change and do something different.  Making us take great efforts to avoid, get fixed up and obliterate forever.

Like those awful stretches.  I will do them because I do not like the alternative.

How about you?  Do you have some painful stretches in your life?  Are they worth it?  Is it better than the alternative?


God Bless

My Pain In The Neck

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

Image via Wikipedia

I woke up with a headache.  These days it is somewhat unusual – and only happens if I sleep on my neck wrong – or something is out of alignment.  I’ve had sinus pressure, stress related and even bad migraines headaches – but this pain in the neck is different.  It takes the skilled hands of my chiropractor to “fix it” and adjust my neck and spine back into position before I feel better.

It’s funny how a pain in the neck colors everything about the day.  Things are just a little bit more gloomy – situations seem bigger than they really are, food and even coffee doesn’t help.  The little tasks seem more difficult and take longer.  And it gives me true empathy for the chronic pain sufferers out there – who live with some kind of pain every day of their life.  “How do others do it”?  I think to myself.

Some things are not so easily “adjusted” away – like my temporary pain in the neck.  Things like bad circumstances and unexpected events happen to us whether or not we want them to – or are ready for them.  And negative and bad attitudes seem to be on the rise – those that throw their weight around in very ugly ways.  It’s all around us.  Sometimes I’d like to give those people an “attitude adjustment” – but that isn’t possible.

I’m thinking that God would like to shake us up a bit once in a while and give us a reminder that we need His adjustment in our lives to deal with those around us – and mostly to deal with our own bad attitudes of selfishness and complaining.

“Lord, adjust my heart and my mind today.  With your hand on my life, I know I will begin to look at myself and others differently – with much grace and thankfulness.  I know that I will see every day pain and frustration as an opportunity to find grace and share it with others.”


When was the last time you had to have a personal “attitude adjustment”?  What did God teach you?


God Bless


I was introduced to this song yesterday by one of my voice students, Taylor Smith.  Laura Story is the writer and singer in this video – and she reminds me very much of  the way Cindy Morgan writes and expresses herself in her lyrics.

I found the story behind this song here.  She wrote this song because early in her marriage her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  And since then – together they have had quite a journey of healing and understanding of God’s grace and purpose through the pain.

I was encouraged by what she had to say about challenges and set-backs.  Sometimes the answer in our life in “No” – and sometimes God leaves us broken so His will can be accomplished in us.  Powerful words.

How do you deal with set-backs?

Can you see the “Blessings” through the pain in your own life?

When was the last time God said “No” to you – and left you broken to accomplish something through you?


Enjoy and God Bless

The Value of Past Experience


Image via Wikipedia

We go through something.  Sometimes it’s REALLY BAD.  And we think, “Why is this happening to me?” – or sometimes we don’t think that – we just blindly accept it as our lot in life.

But I truly believe there is much more.  There IS a reason.  Sometimes we don’t see it until months or even years later.  Sometimes we never really know the reason – but I’d like to think that we always have a choice when hit with adverse situations.  Give in to the negative voices in our head that say, “just give up – it isn’t worth fighting” OR learn from it – change our course – go another direction away from the pain, humiliation or gut wrenching yuck.

I’ve had so many of these situations – that at the time I thought were the end of the world.  But later turned out to be – well – valuable, insightful, great information for someone else going through exactly the same thing.

I have some friends, Ray and Allison Carroll – who recently went through a touchy situation – very painful to say the least and they have shown great courage in telling their story through their blog articles.  They have found God’s grace and mercy in living and telling their story of failure and of redemption – so that others can be encouraged and learn from them – to show people who fail, sin, miss the mark entirely that God has not given up on them – that there is enough of God’s grace, mercy and love to take a dead and broken life, clean it up and give a new start.  Our Savior – the God of second chances – working through people in our ordinary lives – who make mistakes and are truly not worthy to be called righteous.  He uses those past experiences to bring clarification – reveal who He is – and give purpose and understanding.  As long as we are willing to change our heart, to share our story and to be an encouragement to others.

Case and point:  The other day my 19-year-old son came home from work feeling really weird.  His mouth was numb and so were his fingers – he was talking strangely too.  He said, “Mom, I’m freaking out right now – what’s wrong with me”?  I tried to be calm and think rationally, knowing of course he was too young and in shape to be having a stroke or a heart attack.  All I could think of was that he needed food and water – and I asked him how long had it been since he had anything to eat or drink.  I wondered, could severe hydration cause this?  While he was eating and drinking – and eating a banana too – just in case – I googled it.  Greg is ALWAYS gone when any and all domestic emergencies come up and I was mumbling under my breath – ‘where IS your father?‘  Let’s see… what causes numbing?  I was not finding anything conclusive.  I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER if something didn’t change soon.  But he did feel a little better after eating and drinking – said he was really tired and went to bed.

Not 30 minutes later – he came out of his bedroom saying he had the WORST HEADACHE in the world!  Then it dawned on me!  I know what this is!  And although I had not had these exact symptoms before – I knew about them and it was clearly a Migraine Headache.  The really bad kind.  I knew because of my past experience with them.  I get them so bad that I’m vomiting and lose a whole day.  Pretty soon – he was doing the same thing in the bathroom – but at least now I had a fresh perspective.  I gave him ice for his head and a bucket for beside his bed – just in case.  I could tell him there was no need to go anywhere – he was not going to die – he would just feel like it!  It was too late for pain pills – he would just throw them up anyway.  And even though the pain was bad and it’s never fun to up-chuck – at least I was able to reassure him – because I knew too well what was happening to him.

Now, am I glad I have had REALLY PAINFUL Migraine headaches?  Are you kidding me?  But did it help to diffuse a panic in my home?  Yes.  Would I have known otherwise?  No way.  I would have thought he was having a stroke or worse – maybe a tumor pressing on his cornea that was making his eyes not see clearly.  Oh the carnage that would have ensued – the money that would have been spent – only to find out – it was only a migraine.

I will take painful situations if they will help me or someone I love in the future.  I will not like them.  In fact I will HATE them.  But I will learn from them and ask myself – who can benefit from my pain?

How about you?  Who can benefit from your pain today?

God Bless

Let It Go

I saw the above quote yesterday while helping my daughter and son-in-law move into their new home.  We had to pick up some furniture at The Cannery – and I saw this sign sitting on one of the coffee tables inside.

I was talking with an old friend today about the things we go through in life – making us more compassionate to those around us – and was even talking to my friend and pastor, Stephen about his recent back trouble with a herniated disc.  It seems as though our experiences in life – even some of the bad or painful ones – have a way of teaching us perspective, empathy and most of all awareness of those around us.  Often times ( okay most of the time) we don’t see the benefit to our own lives while these things are happening to us.  I know I haven’t.  I would rather NOT go through it at all.  I would rather hang on to comfort, peace, understanding and validation – you know.  The things that make us strong.  But it seems that is not in the plan for me.  I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me a few times – and rather than hang on to my comfort and things familiar – I found myself having to abandon those simple comforts and exchange them for painful, humiliating times of discomfort.  Let’s see…Strong and comfortable – or…Weak and miserable.  Hmmm.

So this leads us to the statement in the above quote.  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?  When I read it – it struck a chord with me – it really did.  It’s true.  We are taught to “hang in there” – “not give up” or “give in” – but I think we may have it wrong. Sometimes you need to let it go – in order to gain perspective and find your inner strength again.  Sometimes losing is really winning.  Sometimes the things that you think will make you strong – really make you unhealthily dependent on those you shouldn’t be.  And sometimes the real test of our faith is to let something go – maybe something that we thought we couldn’t ever live without and gaining something much more in the process.  Gaining ourselves back.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Painful things bring perspective, understanding and clarity.

Real strength comes from letting go

Losing sometimes is really winning

Finding one person who understands your journey makes it all worthwhile

Holding on means dependence on God and God alone

Sharing our discoveries and lessons in life with others to help them is the only way to live

There’s freedom in living an authentic life

So – I guess I’ve learned and I’m still learning to – Let it go

All of it.  And I’ve discovered something.  It’s okay NOT to be perfect and be far from “arriving”.  If people expect this from you – they have probably not been through any pain themselves – or anything that would “rock their world”.  This can make them appear judgmental and hard.  I don’t believe that Jesus was either of those things – and we should not be either.

I choose to be around people who have been through a little of life – and have gained the knowledge and perspective from a well stumbled journey.  Those people who have learned how to really live – after truly letting go.  Who are NOT judgmental and critical of others – but who embrace and love.

Let It Go.  Do it today.

God Bless

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