Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year, a new song

Happy New Year!

In January, it is easy to find ourselves hoping that the new year will be kinder than the one that just closed. Sometimes we get our wish, our prayer, our desires. Other times things get worse before they get better, and all we do is continue to learn new ways to cope with pain.

When trigeminal neuralgia was at its worst, I decided to take piano lessons. I began during the warmer months, buying a piano and finding a teacher. There were some issues; sometimes I couldn't see the sheet music very well because my eye hurt. And sometimes I made the same mistake over and over and over. I couldn't blame it on the pain; it was part of the learning process.

Even though the music I made was elementary and riddled with errors, my dogs didn't mind. They followed me into the room and lay at my side while I played. It was as though they had deemed it a "no fight zone." And they never howled, no matter how sour my notes. It was a sweet time.

Best of all, playing reduced the pain.

In my opinion, everyone who has chronic pain needs some sort of distraction therapy, a creative avenue that helps an individual work through the pain. I am impressed with the ventures of my friends who have facial pain. They are accomplishing all kinds of feats, making beautiful jewelry, exercising, photographing, writing, quilting, drawing, and painting.

Several years ago, I read a Chinese study which claimed that people who have chronic pain experienced a degree of relief while they looked at fine art. Is it logical that beautiful things could help us feel a little better? I thought about Keats "Ode to a Grecian Urn:" Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Let's create something beautiful.

I don't play the piano too much these days. I was away from it quite a while, and now I've gotten involved in a fiction project. But I'll never forget how I played my piano even in the midnight hours. My husband, who should have been sleeping, encouraged me to play, forfeiting his rest to help me survive an unbearable night.

I'd love to hear about your distraction therapy or how someone helped you create a way to cope with trigeminal neuralgia, neuropathic or atypical facial pain, or TMJD. What you share may help someone else.

Have you visited my website?


  1. Happy New Year Kathy!!! Here's to all your dreams coming true this year. =) I'm so glad to know you!

  2. I love to play my piano! And, I find the gym and massage table there help my TN also! Louise M.

    1. Louise, thanks for stopping by. It's helpful to know things that can help individuals cope with pain.