I went home for lunch today, and there is one bit of the way that is very uneven and I am usually somehow rushing at that point and I was rushing today and I turned my ankle. It hurt quite a lot for about five minutes, and then it seemed okay, so I did not think much more about it. I had my lunch, I walked briskly back to school, I stood and taught for three more periods.

Then I went back to my desk. And it hurt like some very, very bad words. I took ibuprofen and it still hurt like some really bad words.

Afterwards, I went with a friend to a bonesetter’s house—for lack of a better term. He deals in sprains and broken bones. My friend took me there. He is an old man and spends his days herding cows and although we don’t speak, I always like seeing him. We nod and usually he removes his cap if he’s wearing one, which I find completely endearing. Anyway, he massaged it and wiggled it around and wrapped it up in a filthy strip of cloth and said it wasn’t very serious and I paid him some money and went away again.

It still hurt like some very bad words.

I got home and found it impossible to find any position in which it did not hurt like some very bad words, so I finally took another 400 mg of ibuprofen, which is probably not advised, but it hurt. Ruthie was crying and begging me to do something and it was just generally quite a bad scene.

It eventually began to not hurt if I were lying down in the right position with that foot elevated. Which was great and we were all really happy with this as an outcome.

But it really made me think. This is life in a less-dissociated state. I am sure the pain has to do with less dissociation, because I did something similar once before, but probably more severely. I was in high school, and I did go to the doctor, and he did give instructions to wrap it and to use crutches for six weeks. Which I ignored, because the wrapping wouldn’t fit in my shoes and I didn’t want to bother my parents to get crutches.

I believe I walked with a limp. But I walked, and the limp was nothing like what I have going today.

That is dissociation. I thought I had a high tolerance for pain, but actually I just wasn’t feeling the pain. And it’s a completely different world with pain. It’s such a promising change that I feel it now—it is absolute, almost measurable change—and yet I have to get used to it also. What is life like with pain? It’s a shock, I’ll tell you that. It makes me use some very, very bad words.

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