Posted 8/20/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -6)
This is sort of a follow up question... Scarred asked "How do you go on after your entire life has been turned upside down and you have no control over the maddening pain?". It sort of got me thinking about some stuff. I know that with our pain it's easy to get lost in how it effects us, the pain we suffer, and the lengths that we go through to attempt to be normal, and lead a normal life.
How many of you have sat and thought about how you've changed those around you?
I'm willing to bet that each of you has touched other peoples lives in ways you never could have thought of.
When I had my stomach surgery in December I was in a ton of pain. There is nothing like having your stomach rearranged, and dealing with back pain. The back pain was so bad I couldn't even feel the stomach pain. There was a patient down the hall that you could hear being very very rude to the nurses, basically throwing a tantrum. She needed to get up walking, it was kind of a mandatory thing - all this woman wanted to do is lay in bed and be waited on. I've always been one that believed in being nice, even when you don't feel like it. The woman was yelling from her room for a nurse as I walked by, I relayed it to the nurse I passed. The nurse told me she wished that woman could spend one day in my shoes. She commented on how they know every step I take hurts and I still do it, AND I'm nice. I had nurses from the first night of my stay come check on me the other days and nights, just because they liked me. I was told that I was probably the nicest patient on the floor those days.
Unless I'm having a really bad day with my legs and the pain that shoots through my spine to them, I refuse to use the handicap parking spots. I've always felt that just because they are there to use doesn't mean I should use them. I would hate to take a spot from someone who needs it more, just like I'd hope it was open when I really needed that shorter walk. There was a woman leaving the store with a temporary disablity placard - she had surgery on her foot or something. One the way out of the store I was in a great deal of pain. The type where you can't move it hurts so much. You just stop where you are and beg for it to let up so you can move again. I set my leg down and the pain shot through it really badly, so bad it took my breath away. My husband was with me and as always he asks if I'm okay - and what he can do to help. He went and got a cart for me to use for some more support, and helped me to the side, while I waited for it to pass enough to get to the car. This woman with the foot using crutches saw me walk by the disabled parking and asked if I had a disabled tag - I told her yeah, but I'd hate to use it when someone might need it more. She asked what was wrong with me, and I told her, "my body is trying to murder me without my permission" which made her laugh, she said "no, really, whats wrong?" and I told her I had major back problems and nerve pain shooting into my legs. She then tells me and hubby that she thought her foot/leg (whatever it was) hurt, yet here I am worse than she and not taking the spot. I was thanked for showing her that she's got it easy, her foot will heal, and is healing, and she thought her problem was bad.
Another example: I ranted to a friend about a million things that had been going on, how I hurt so bad I wanted to give up. I was tired of hurting. How I kept praying for things to get easier and it always seemed like there was one more load being thrown on me. This friend told me that maybe everyone had things wrong. Maybe instead of everyone to wait for me to get healed, it was them who needed to change first. He mentioned how he read my email and couldn't help but feel sorrow for me, and sadness of what I go through. At the same time he couldn't help but be thankful that he's not dealing with what I do. He said he doesn't know why I'm stuck enduring this pain the way I do, but that maybe it's to be a light to others. He was feeling miserable about all he had to do, the meetings he had to make, the work he had to get done, and not once did he feel thankful about his body being whole. He said that maybe I endure the pain to show others that things can be worse, and for me they are, but I'm not letting the pain I feel run my life. I was told that he sat there in his office at work, and wanted to cry because here he thought his life was so hard, and he wouldn't spend one day in my shoes if he had the choice.
Think of the strength you show your children every time you smile through the pain. Every time you choose to get up and watch so and so learn to ride a bike, even though the steps to get to the window hurt. Think of the times you've given a hug, even when the movement made you want to cry. The lives you've changed just by being who you are. Think of the times when a friend needed you, and even though just getting out of bed, or answering the phone hurt, you did it anyways, for that friend because they needed you. When you made a meal for a loved one to enjoy, knowing you'd spend the next week in pain and in bed because of it.
The last part of my response to Scarred question was this: We spend so much time waiting for the fix to our problems, the end to our pain. I've prayed, and begged, yelled, and screamed and cried waiting for the world to change so that I and we don't have to suffer the pain we do. Then I have friends, and strangers, who say things who make me realize I've got it all wrong. While I'm sitting waiting for the world to change for me, I never seem to notice it's changed because of me.
Even here, I'm reminded how lucky I am, by everyone here. I've been blessed with doctors that seem to be working with me, not against me. I can still walk, even though six years ago I was told to expect to be in a wheelchair in weeks. I still have good days, I still have my sense of humor, and I have people here I can come to on bad days, and you all help, you all work to make us feel better. So many of you, despite the pain your in, try to help others.
I know it's hard, and there are days we can't see through the storms, just know that even while it's storming and dark around you, you are still a beacon of light to others.