With every ache and pain you utter softly “Oh, God” how much, how much longer, how many places? The chronic pain becomes common place, and the opiates you consume seem a common ritual. Five pain pills in the morning, five pain pills in the evening, three in the afternoon when the pain prevents you from transferring from the wheelchair to the bed. Then, you wrap yourself in three pain patches, a choice of two different pain gels for various body parts, and an electronic gadget to attack muscular pain, and pack a joint or two in ice cubes! Some days aren’t so bad, yet, some are worse. Some days you question God, you don’t like those days.
On the days that you question God, for half a second at a time, you want to give up. You are afraid that God is waiting to take you, and your’e pleading with God for more time. More time to get better, do better and get better help. You feel your breath slipping away, gasping for hope wincing with pain from simple movements for some, huge ones for you. The tears start to flow, the panic sets in, and your short future flashes before your eyes. How many days have you felt this way, or better, how many years? How many more days or how many more years? You know, and I know it serves no purpose to continue to talk about the negativity in your life that you can not change. But we have to cry out a little every now and then, or a little every night, just to flush out the hopelessness. To rid ourselves of the self pity, to make way for a new day, a day with hope.
Every morning, moments before I open my eyes, I experience a re-lived exuberance. I lay there quietly, relatively peaceful and hopeful. There are birds singing, coffee brewing, the promise of little kid’s laughter in the backyard and the anticipation of a great productive day ahead. I think of what I’d like to accomplish today. Maybe I’ll gather the family and we’ll go to the beach, oh heck, it’s so close maybe we should all walk to the beach. Maybe a day of shopping for all the little bits of things I neglected to buy earlier. Or just take advantage of the time and energy and clean the closets. Then I move ……. Damn, the bubble is burst! The dream is over, and I’m back! The pain and immobility tell me loud and clear, you aren’t going anywhere!
But we go on, every day we go on. And how ? By remembering to pepper our life with the little gifts that we are offered. The seconds of laughter from a bad joke, or the belly laugh from a good one, the small boy who opens the door at the store for you, or while fumbling for change with your twisted fingers, someone offers to pay the cashier, the car that insists you cross the street and he/she waits patiently for you. Or when having a sad look on your face and your seven year old grand daughter gives you a small bowl of ice cream with animal crackers propped up in parade. These are the precious gifts we receive that help us through the pain. So look for those gifts, they aren’t always easy to find, and appreciate them for what they are “little doses of God’s work”.