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Is Pain Limiting You?

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

The doctor wanted to know if I needed narcotics after my knee surgery and my answer was no...

He was amazed about my answer and gave me some in case I needed them. That was my third knee surgery. I never had surgery of any kind until I injured my


Doctor writing a prescription
Pills are not always the best solution

I was playing with my friends “horsing around” in Mexico City when my tibia was completely dislocated from my knee. Three main ligaments (ACL, PCL, and MCL) sprained completely off the bone. I was bending over with two of my friends on top of my back, when I could not hold my position anymore because of the dislocation of my knee (I was standing in the wrong position). When I looked to see my knee, I could see a deformation to the interior side of my left leg. I start yielding to my friends to stop and pull my knee back in place. One of my friends pulled my foot and the knee went back in place. I was in the ground sitting and I could not hold my foot and the tibia extended when my friend let go of my foot.

That night it was too late to go to a doctor, so we went to the emergency room thinking that my knee was an emergency. However, once I arrived, I noticed real emergencies. A guy was stabbed in the stomach. Another guy half of his cranium was missing. Other person was excessively bleeding and more. So I decided to just wait.

I went back to the apartment that I was renting and I started meditating on the situation. I started to cry. The reason was because I thought I would be limited in my physical life. I did not want to see myself limping and not lifting weights.

Recalling the event, I started to feel physical pain around 5 to 10 minutes after my accident...

I did not take any painkillers and I just let it be.

When I had my first knee surgery I tried a narcotic for the first time…

It did not work. I had a headache and felt nauseated. I thought that that pain was more painful than just not taking pain killers and letting the pain of the surgery just be. Since then I decided not to take painkillers on that surgery and the next following two.

I went tubing on the river with my wife...

The river current was very strong, a storm was coming in and the water was very cold. We thought that if we only stayed on the tube and not fall into the river, it would be fine. Other people were doing the same and seemed safe.

Colorado River
Colorado River

The current and waves took me down the tube at least four times. I spent most of the trip in the water. My jaw locked, my body was shaking and I could not speak clearly because my body was in shock when I could finally get back to the tube. My wife said that my words did not make sense and when we got out of the river, she said I looked like I was being captive and tortured and just being released from it. She also mentioned that I looked disoriented.

We walked home for ten minutes. I felt like I was there and I could recognized everything, but I was so focus in getting into the house that I could not pay attention to anything else, even a biker wanted to passed me and I could not eared him yelling until he was very close to me and ask me many times to move to the side. Once we got home, I removed my clothes, got under the covers with my four dogs (Three hot Xoloitzcuintle) and I could not warm up until twenty minutes later. My wife made me two hot teas which they felt warm instead of hot and finally I started to warm up.

That day I concluded that the body starts getting cold from the outside to the inside and starts getting warm from the outside to the inside as well. The last thing to cold down and warm up are the organs.

I did not notice how much pain I was in my knee dislocation, surgeries and my hypothermia...

I have trained my body to deal with pain with exercise.

I had every single acute injury that can happen when exercising. I had intense lower back pain from muscle spasm and disc issues, knee pain from surgery and tightness, shoulder pain and rotator cuff, forearm pain and elbow tennis, feet tightness and shin splint. The only treatments I had to alleviate such pains are massages, adjustments and stretching. Other than that, I let the pain be there until it goes away and continues exercising and moving my body. The pain will be there anyway, why stop? Many times it takes a couple of weeks other times and takes close to a year before it is gone. Nevertheless, I know these pains are nothing else than discomforts that the body can heal. With this in mind, I know that the body heals despite others' opinion because these types of muscle pain are muscle spasms and tightness.

Physical therapist helping her client
Lower back many times is caused by muscles spasm.

Also I keep in mind how the body works. For example, a broken bone needs at least 6 weeks of recovery before you can start moving the body. You need to make sure the bone has completely healed before any intense exercise.

There are many professional opinions about pain. Many doctors limit people’s ability to exercise, others want the person to do surgery, others put people in medication, yet others want the person to go to physical therapy.

We all professionals give an opinion according to our beliefs. I have study anatomy, psychology and I have being raise in a tough environment. I have my own opinion which will be different from a doctor who learned anatomy and has been raised by the belief that painkillers are good to get rid of pain and that exercise would aggravate the pain.

My point here is not that my opinion is better than the doctor’s with different beliefs or that his opinion is better than mine.

My point here is that we all make decisions according to our beliefs and the capacity of dealing with pain...

Many people stop exercising because they are afraid of getting injured or aggravating the current injury. Other people simply can’t handle a minimum level of pain. They have not trained their body to do it.

I have been exercising for twenty years now and I can honestly tell you that I have become mentally strong and handle pain reasonably because of the intense training I put my body into.

Is pain limiting you...?

Pain only has been an ally. It has helped me to keep my physical and mental health. Thanks to that I don’t have to take any hurtful medication that messes up my body and when I feel pain, my mind knows that it is temporary and at one point it will be gone.

What about you? Does pain have limited you to reach your goals? What do you do when you are in pain with an acute injury? What is your belief system?

And just to make it clear how your beliefs limit you or make you transcend, here I am sharing the story of these guys who ran more than a marathon with his ankles broken and he is just fine with no injuries anymore---->



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