I’m in the mood to write. It’s been a long and somewhat lonesome day, although I don’t usually mind that. Today, though, I did. Feeling a bit neglected, I guess, and that is also unusual for me. I don’t need to be surrounded by tons of people all the time. In fact, to recharge and stay sane, I NEED alone time. I think that technically makes me an introvert .
Anyway, the main thing on my mind today has been pain. Living with a lot of that lately; maybe if I write it I’ll be able to put it away.
I’ve read about people who have a condition called Congenital insensitivity to pain and anhydrosis (CIPA). They have no ability to feel pain. I used to think, well, if you have to have a “condition,” I’d like to have that one.
I wouldn’t. Neither would you. If you don’t feel pain, you don’t know you’re hurt, or cut, or burnt, or broken. You don’t know you need medical attention unless someone else notices that you’re in a lot of trouble. So be thankful for pain, says I to myself, because it’s better than losing all your teeth because you never had a toothache and didn’t know anything was wrong.
Still, pain is not fun. My husband took a fall seven years ago and crushed his left heel. Don’t ever do that. It has changed him. He’s in chronic pain every single day, and it’s wearing him out. It’s not easy to watch the changes. He’s always been so active and capable.
And then there’s my deteriorating back. I never realized, back when this all started in my 30’s, where it would eventually take me. That’s a good thing. I won’t bore you with the whole long history. Some of you already know what’s going on, because I’ve been pretty open about it here on this blog. It’s enough for my purposes tonight to say that it’s not going to get better. It won’t heal. There is no magical remedy that will repair the damage. It seems to run in the female branch of my family, although a couple of my sons have also had problems with back pain. The main thing we do is treat the pain, and so far that’s been working out fairly well.
What I really hate about it is that I feel so useless. I hate being useless. Terry does all “my” work now, while I sit here like a heffalump taking up space. Right now, walking is not even an option. He’s hurting too, yet he’s the one who makes me sit, rest, lie down, he’ll take care of it. . . .I used to think it would be nice to be pampered. It is, for about a day. After that, it’s just no fun.
Is there a spiritual application here? Of course there is. You knew I’d get there sooner or later 🙂
Did you know that the word excruciating is from the same root word as cross? Crucifix, cruciform. It means the pain that comes from crucifixion.
I don’t have that. But Jesus did, and He bore it willingly because the Father asked it of Him, and because He loved the souls of all mankind. He knew He was the only worthy sacrifice to cleanse our sin. He suffered unbearable pain because He was the perfect, sinless, pure, holy, blameless Son of God.
Pain both hurts and changes those who bear it. It can be a positive change. Jesus offered Himself to give us that positive change, and whenever I compare what He endured to what I am living with, I am both grateful and ashamed.
It has changed me. I think I’m more patient. I know I’m not willing to criticize anyone who has some kind of condition that no one can see. You may not be able to see the bones in my back deconstructing, but you can see if I’m limping, using a cane or a walker, and you know there’s pain.
Some folks have no outward symptoms, and it’s easy for us to think they’re just drama hogs and are looking for ways to avoid work. Maybe those folks do exist, but I have some friends who have a terrible time with, for instance, fibromyalgia. You can’t see it, but it’s there. All. The. Time. And it hurts.
I hope my pain is teaching me to be more empathetic with others who are enduring pain, whether it is emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical. Grief is painful. Never minimize anyone’s grief, which we all experience differently. Loss is painful. Unavoidable life changes can be painful. Trust me, if you live long enough, something is going to start hurting.
I try to take the position that every day my pain keeps me immobile is just one day closer to heaven. No pain there, no loss, no tears, no sin, no sorrow.
I want to be there, but not until God says so. I still have so much to enjoy here. I have a wonderful life, full of friends and family and people who care about me.
I think it’s time to stop, because I actually do feel better. Writing can be quite cathartic.
So I’m done. For now.