I know, I know – Captain Obvious here, right? Everybody knows that pain is painful. Pain hurts. I do know that. I was thinking more along the lines of how pain hurts more than my body or my feelings. That’s bad enough, but unfortunately that’s not all it is limited to affecting.

See, I had a bunch of days off in a row this week, and I had all kinds of great ideas about what to do with that time. I have a blog post half written that this is not which I wanted to finish and post. I was going to get cracking on my cabinet/island thing that I’ve been building. I was definitely going to my sister’s high school graduation, woohoo! It was going to be a great week.

Monday evening, enter headache. It wasn’t a big deal, just a faint hint that was still vaguely present on Tuesday morning. By lunch on Tuesday, I was in pain. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t tell you how much I hurt. The nausea was a pretty good clue, though, that I was feeling crappy. So was the sensitivity to light, noise, and scent – blech. I really don’t think I was seeing too straight, and my eyes looked funny. I can’t tell you exactly what made them look funny, other than they looked tight and sick. The pupil didn’t seem to be quite right, either. I spent about 24 hours too miserable to know how miserable I was.

After that, the headache started winding down. By yesterday evening, I was feeling almost normal. If I hadn’t been so tired from the stupid headache, I would have pulled the almost out and let the normal stand on its own.

This was painful. I hurt so much that I was immobilized, and it cost me. I got almost nothing done this week other than what I had to do. I also missed my sister’s graduation. That hurt a lot. I really wanted to be there.

I guess what interests me about this is that I think my perspective on pain is changing. I used to believe that pain was just pain. It was intended to communicate that something was wrong, and I either needed to fix what was wrong or somehow get through it. I suppose I still believe that, but I’m learning something new about pain. Sometimes I can’t push through or fix it, and the pain will stop me. It’s very rude of pain to have and exercise that much power. I find it annoying, but I suppose I don’t really like being limited. Maybe there’s something there I should be learning, too. 😛

In the past few years, I’ve had a somewhat crabby knee and back. Physical therapy helped my knee a lot, and my back seems to mostly be troublesome when I’ve managed to aggravate my knee. Guess what? I don’t do as much as I used to do. I don’t lift as much, I don’t walk as much, and – goodness me! – I don’t even drive as much. Getting stuck in a car for a long period of time when my back or knee is grumbling can be – I bet you’ll guess this right – very painful.

It’s not limited to physical pain, either. Last year, my roommate’s sister was coming to visit. Of course we wanted to clean things up. Part of what that meant for me was going through old paperwork to save and trash things appropriately. That didn’t go so well. I got started just fine. I managed to get several piles going, and then I stopped. I got stuck! Carey came to see how I was doing, and there I was, sitting on the floor, surrounded by small piles of paper, hardly moving. I kept finding things like letters from my grandmother, who had died about a year before, and the grief with all its pain kept rolling over me. She, very graciously, had me stop and let me simply hurt and miss my grandmother.

I don’t know that I have anything more profound than these observations for now. Pain, both physical and emotional, has the capacity to sometimes immobilize people. Now that I’ve noticed and experienced that, what am I going to do with it?What role does faith play? Is this another one of those lessons on waiting with which God likes to, um, bless me? Hmm…

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