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Ouch! Insight into Pain… May 22, 2012

Posted by regan222 in General Ranting, Religion.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Today has been the most PAINFUL day of my life for a long time.  I am familiar with physical pain.  An automobile accident in my college days and a fractured spine that was never surgically fixed have left me with a very keen appreciation for the words 10% disability.  When they used those words on me after the accident I had NO clue what they meant.  I was invincible.  I got well and joined the Army a few years later.  Not mentioning that incident allowed me to enlist in the paratroopers and I currently have 47 successful parachute jumps (and NO unsuccessful ones).  Each of those impacts took a bit of toll on my remaining disks and vertebra but I was STILL invincible.

I got out of the Army and took up horses as a hobby.  I broke my own colt and, on occasion, she broke me.  Several violent crashes into the middle of the well packed and grass free driveway did nothing to reduce my love for horses (but those too reduced the amount of bone I have supporting my back).

Now at age (ummm well past 45 anyhow) I find that the words 10% disability have an entirely new relevance.  The disks I so thoughtlessly tortured in my youth are now bulging around the chipped and compressed vertebra in my lumbar spine.  The nerves (especially that nasty sciatic nerve) don’t fit through the little nerve tunnels like they once did and every so often they remind me of how badly I have abused my lower back and legs.  I have had dental work, giant boils in delicate places, broken arms, legs, noses, and other bits, and pretty well otherwise have violated the warranty on myself.  Yes I am fairly familiar with physical discomfort or so I thought until today.

I developed on ear infection today.  The same sort of bacterial infection that infants and toddlers get everyday.  As the pressure of fluid built up more and more inside my ear, I very quickly went through every type of OTC pain med in my home as well as most of the non-preacher words in my vocabulary.  I finally called to see the doctor at noon.  He gave me a shot to decongest my head and hopefully, relieve the pressure in my ear as well as a prescription of antibiotics and hydorcodone.  The wait from the end of my appointment until the prescriptions were ready was an eternity in the blackest pit of pandemonium.  The pressure eventually go so bad that my eardrum explosively decompressed.  It had been so packed full that even that rather dramatic display (I looked as though I had been shot in the side of the head from all the blood on my shirt) did not provide the expected relief.  I had been pinning all my hopes on one  little move to start the drainage and ease my pain.  The move had come but the expected relief never materialized.

I tried hot and cold packs, mashing and squeezing, everything I could think of.  I held my head in every position it could reach and once again went through my pain meds and non-preacher vocabulary.  Nothing would touch it.  The hydrocodone finally arrived and I completely destroyed the packaging getting it open. Instead of waiting the recommended 6 hours (who came up with THAT silly rule?) I took my next dose in 2 hours with exactly the same effect.  Finally, after 8 more hours of contemplating performing a self myringotomy with an ice pick, enough fluid drained away to give me some peace.  (It has been 12 hours and it still hurts, I just have a better perspective on what real pain is).

I wish I could say that gained some spiritual or emotional enlightenment from my trial today.  I kept looking for a lesson that I could apply and maybe share in the form of a sermon but I got nothing.  Pain is pain.  It can be ignored for a time but it will eventually break through and demand to be acknowledged.  I know it has its uses as a signal that something is wrong in the body but why not put in a cut-off switch so that when the body’s operator is aware of the problem and is doing all he can to fix it, the pain can be turned off.  It stops performing a useful function then.

About the only insight that I got today of any use was patience.  I may have used a word or two that I didn’t mean and I was probably not the friendliest guy around but I also did NOT start boiling water to sterilize the ice pick.  (It really was close).  Patience in a time of stress does not mean moving through life as though nothing is wrong with perfect composure while you are in pain.  Patience is getting through without doing something that can’t be fixed or forgiven.  Remember that the next time you are experiencing a painful trial (be it physical or otherwise).  Patience does not demand that you completely ignore your difficulty and breeze through the day with a smile, patience just says get it done in spite of the pain.  God can give you the grace to deal with anything but the reason He gives you grace is because the pain of the situation is still there.  So don’t quit.  You can do it.  (You might want to hide the sharper kitchen utensils before it gets really intense).  Nite all.




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