Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bone Spurs

Pain is interesting.  It can come and go for no apparent reason.  Take the pain of a bone spur on your heel.  You can wake up one morning and not be able to put weight on your heel without feeling like a dagger is trying to slice it off.  So what do you do?  You walk on the ball of your foot to avoid putting pressure on your heel.  After a couple hours or a day, the pain will subside by itself – maybe.

There are 3 solutions to the problem of the bone spur.
  1. Surgery to eliminate the bone spur.
  2. Bed rest or at least staying off of your foot and elevating the heel for a period of time. 
  3.  Do nothing and ignore it.  Put on a cushy shoe and get on with life.  Just work through the pain.
Which one would you select; surgery to cut out the offending bone spur?  In life, you always have the choice of responding to painful events in this way.  You take some anesthesia, alcohol or drugs, and hope someone will remove the source of the pain.  Rarely does this result in a real solution to the problem and the use of the anesthesia only complicates the issue.

The second option is to do nothing and elevate the foot, relax on bed rest.  This one is often coupled with the use of anesthesia to stop the throbbing pain.  While in bed, you read, watch TV, play computer games and such to divert your attention from what is really going on.  Yes, eventually this solution will work, but it is only a temporary fix and will come back to haunt you over and over until you address the problem in earnest.

The third option is to continue walking on it and work through the pain.  This solution is the most difficult but the results are better.  You don’t rely on someone else to fix it for you and you don’t avoid it.  You deal with the issue head on and work through it.  The solution typically takes longer to obtain results.  When you select it and actively work it, other issues may also crop up along the way.  But once you understand the problem and release it, the pain is either completely eliminated or dramatically reduced.  The next time it occurs it becomes easier to deal with.

Virtually all of the pain we face in life comes with these three potential solutions.  The one we select is often based on the amount of strength and courage we have at that particular moment in time.  We will only select the third option after repeatedly being presented with the problem and it appears that if we don’t, it will just keep coming back.  

So why do we subject ourselves to the endless cycle of pain?  Clearly, it is much better in the long run to just deal with problems as they arise for the first time.  Work it out and move on.  Draw on your inner strength.  Stand before a mirror so that you can get the full image of the problem.  If you need some help, instead of a surgeon, see a counselor to help you to understand the root of the problem.  Don’t waste time, money and false hope that someone else can fix you.  Only you can fix yourself but a shoulder to support you along the way can help you to make better choices in your own care.
You may also need a period of bed rest but do not use diversionary tactics.  Instead, use the time to regroup and to reflect, to gain personal strength, then attack the problem with a renewed sense of purpose, all will be revealed.

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