I have had a number of medical procedures done for testing or treatment that have been absolutely horrifying. The first that stand out in my mind is when I had my knee debrided and cleaned after and injury as a child. I remember screaming, but in my head I was in a completely different place. There was no pain, only the intense warmth of the sun.
The next time I really remember going to my happy place, I was having cortisone injected into my knee after a bad hyperextension and the pain could be described as “thrilling” or “amazing” and to my happy place I went as he filled my knee full of fluid and it hurt so bad.
The time that is most vivid however, is the time I went to pain management. I wanted to deal with my headaches but he felt dealing with the bulging discs in my neck was more important. He gave me 4 injections into the facets of C3 and C4 and for the first time, I cried at the doctor. Silently, of course, as they had me strapped down and needles in my neck, but I went to my happy place and the sun was blazing. Even my happy place couldn’t escape what my body was going through. I made it through that procedure with an imaginary sunburn, but my happy place intact. The experience made my happy place more impermeable to the bad times. Because after that was the whole brain surgery thing and my happy place got a lot of usage there.
There were some dark days after the surgery. I don’t remember a whole lot, but I have an overall understanding of how things went down and I have some nebulous emotions attached to this time. I know some days were really hard on me and my sister and love is probably the only thing that held it together. There were days, hours, minutes, and seconds of pain. Enormous pain. Epent in my happy place, where the sun shone bright and warm.
Even now, I will be struck with a headache and if I can’t bear the pain, I just zone out to my happy place. Where I’m ok. I am resting or running or picking apples. I am definitely not dealing with excruciating pain. We don’t have that here. Just good, sunny, fun times! It doesn’t cure the headache, or the nausea, or any accompanying symptoms, but it helps me get through the part of it that I take most personal which is the exorbitantly magnificent pain that soars through my neck and head like a flying ball of magma then comes to rest inside of my head, slowly melting my brain and burning down my spine into my limbs. If I can think about the blue skies or the grass on my toes instead, then I choose that, thank you!