This is a subject i wanted to write for a long time, but I have been busy with work,
training and a whole bunch of stuff, so here it goes.
One of the most frequent questions i get for the last 21 years is: Do you have pain?
Well it’s a complex answer that I will try to answer, in hopes that it will help someone like me and let those that we love and care know the truth.
As you know on that cold February 1995, I was shot and almost died, made it out and continued my journey,not long after that i was diagnosed with Syringomyelia, this is a condition characterized by a fluid-filled cavity or cyst known as a syrinx that forms within the spinal cord. Syringomyelia is a chronic condition and a syrinx can expand over time compressing or destroying the surrounding nerve tissue, at that time I started losing the felling on my left hand also.
Around Christmas of 1995 it got so bad that i was rushed into the hospital and operated, it was an 4.5 hr operation, not to get into details but it was the worst Christmas ever, I am a bit hard headed as some of you know, so i was operated on Dec 21 and checked out on Dec 24 against my doctors wishes and everyone else.
At the time i could not move at all, the operation was on my neck so i was stiff and hurting and now that i think the pain did not stop ever since, in the years that came i learned to deal with it and show a totally different face, most people see me as a happy smiling man, that is far from the truth, when i was at the hospital i made a pact with myself that i will never tell anyone how I really feel.
I kept that until now 20 some years have gone and most people forgot or they never knew how I really felt, most people have some kind of pain, some smaller, some bigger,
when the pain comes you should embrace it and not let it drive you crazy, some of us that deal with this for decades or longer can actually write books about it, i am going to let you know how i deal with it, for some people this is probably not the right way but it works for me and what works for me probably doesn’t work for you.
Sometimes in October 1995 I started having pains and loss of feeling on my left side I did not understand it at the time, this was not a headache or toothache this was pains so great that it would double me up, and I am not a small dude, 220 lbs, 6’1” (1.85 cm) I would see stars and as I say: I would see red.
I hid this from most people and didn’t go out to much, but as the life goes, I had to go out sometimes, one day with my brother John and my friend Izzy, we had to go to Manhattan, so as the life has it, I had a pain overload that twisted my body into a pretzel,
My brother decided to take me to hospital and the nearest was Lenox hill hospital in 100 E 77th St, New York, this is where they will find out that I have Syringomyelia, I had the surgery in Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, The surgery went well but the the pain did not stop, but intensified and to this day it’s just there nonstop 24 hrs, but the loss of hand feeling stopped.
Well right after the operation, I went to a special pain clinic, had a good talk with a doctor there, who told me, Ambroz you have two options: first take medicine and be like a zombie,
or learn to deal with the pain and have a fairly common life.
I was like how the hell do I learn to cope with this pain cause trust me it’s a hell of a pain, as some of you know I been mediating for a long time, and my question was how do I still my mind with all this pain, I believe that every person can deal with it, it just takes some discipline, will and time, in time you will learn how to deal with pretty much anything, the concept “ To Be” comes in play , most of the time I would get pissed off, but in time I would learn that, anger just made the pain worst, and the pain would be least when I was relaxed and in peace with myself, so I learned that I need to stay calm in order to minimize the pain.
This is where the learning began, I started to think more and act less, I began reciting mantras and listening to relaxing music, I found that Hindu and Buddhist music was really relaxing one song from Krishna Das “ Om namah Shivaya” helped me through some of the hardest time in my life, I am Not Buddhist or Hindu or any religion for that matter, I believe in a Supreme being or better said supreme consciousness, that is bigger than us, we yet don’t understand it, we call it god, Buddha, Shiva, Odin or many other names .
I have studied religion for a long time and believe that we are in reality all god like beings with unlimited potential and abilities, I surprise myself every day of all the things I can do, and all the things my body can do and take, so pain is a minimal thing that has no place in my priorities.
Ooo it’s there believe me, I just chose to not let it run my life, I run my life, if you are wondering how? Its quiet simple, I wake up and think of what good can I do today, can I help anyone? Can I be of service to some one? What positive thing I can do for myself? Like training, eating healthy, watching my thoughts and controlling them and my emotions, I ask myself am I addicted to anything and is that improving my well being or harming me, if its good I will work on it if it’s bad I will work one eliminating it, I am not the best person but I am not the worst, I always keep that in mind and when the pain shows its ugly face during my busy life, I tell it to go away.
I know it’s there but it doesn’t bother me as much as all other things that I have to deal with and see every day, my pain is nothing in comparison to all the evil and bad stuff happening every day, I cannot change the evil doers as much as I cannot stop my pain so I observe and give more time to the hurt that is in this world then my personal pain.
sometimes the pain surprises me and comes with a vengeance it actually makes me jump and close my eyes, this is when I laugh and say to myself this is nothing it cannot do nothing to you, (so if you see me laugh for no apparent reason it is for that) if it could it would have for the last 20 or so years, then as the pain knows it cannot harm me, it stops but sometimes it comes back again and again, those are the days I like to be by myself and fight my battles alone.
Most people dealing with chronic pain know this, you are probably thinking there must be some medicine that can help, there is and I tried many, the ones that work are highly addictive, as I said earlier I question myself every day is this doing me good or bad, if its good I will further study it, if it’s bad, I will work on eliminating it, so the med’s that can dull the pain actually crate more harm, I don’t feel good, I become a zombie and that is in no way good I chose not to take them, I am told that Cannabis is good for pain, I don’t like smoking it so in the future when my strength gives, I will try the tincture, if it works I will let you know.
All in all Pain is with us always I joke with my mom sometimes, she is 90
and has pains here and there so I tell her when we stop having pain that would mean we are dead, hence one more good thing about pain, as long as I feel it, I know I am alive and alive I will be for many more years, cheers to you my dear reader and know that there is always someone that has it worst then you and if that is not the case, I pray that your pain is transferred to me so that you can have a easier day.