If you’ve been reading the posts hereabouts in the last few days, you know I am no tough customer. I quailed as much at the thought of waking my poor sleepy spouse up in the middle of the night as at having him take me to the emergency room, let alone facing the fear of the unknown pain in my guts. And that was all for what might be the least horrific attack from a kidney stone in history, for all I know. Certainly I am as stunned (albeit happily so) as the follow-up caller from the surgical center when I say that I haven’t taken so much as an over-the counter mild painkiller since emerging from the happy haze of anesthesia yesterday afternoon.
The mountains of incredibly, indelibly kind and compassionate notes and calls I’ve received since airing my tiny miseries to you all are a true embarrassment of riches. I am grateful beyond your imaginings for the uplifting warmth and steadiness of your collective response to my discomfort and fears, and I treasure that surrounding goodness more than I can ever adequately say. But I feel more than a little sheepish, too, for being such a baby when I know that many, many who have offered such sweet and patient care and thoughtfulness to me in my weakness have also suffered far worse pain, deeper trials, and greater danger than anything I’ve faced in my whole charmed existence.
I look around me at the heroics of the people I love and admire, the friends, neighbors, and companions who go about your business in the guise of ordinary mortality and hiding your bravery and strength behind the rugged facades of everyday occurrence, and I am slightly abashed. Slightly abashed, and very moved. You lay down your work and take time out of your already busy days to send off a word of comfort, an ethereal hug, a generous thought in my direction, and suddenly I feel myself filling with strengths and hopes that were not my own to begin with, and I am touched to the core with joy at my wealth and good fortune.
I am not nearly bold enough to manage the easiest of lives without endless help. You, who are so much more rough and ready in spirit, are always there to offer it to me. I thank you.
I can’t imagine anything more frightening than an acute and unrelenting internal pain
Nor can I; I was fairly overwhelmed by even such a short bout, and can’t imagine what people with chronic cases do to stay sane and survive it. And I’m thrilled to think I might never find out. 🙂
Kathryn,when I was new to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I witnessed many people struggling there, where life had taken them to much more painful places of misery than I had ever encountered. So I once took the hull by the horns and shared at a meeting that seeing all this around me left me feeling like I didn’t really deserve to be there. Whereupon one kindly person shared back with me and simply said, “Chris, your pain is your pain and therefore just as valid as anyone’s no matter what it is”. I always bear that in mind now because I believe it to be so true. 😊 Im so pleased you are on the mend.xx
You’re right, of course, as was your gracious rescuer. We can only experience things from our own small perspectives. I can’t express how glad I am that you have gained such strength, wisdom, and patience in your own sojourn that despite your frustrations and difficulties as they come, you can offer beautiful assurance to others like this. You are a treasure.
Whew! Glad you’re feeling better. For the amount of pain those little suckers are, they should at least be diamonds! 💎💎
No kidding. Just guessing that, now they’re blasted to sand, they’d be ever-so-slightly less than impressive as jewelry, though. Sigh. 😉
First, I’m sorry to hear that in my absence you’ve been wrangling with such acute and unrelenting pain. It can certainly change the flavor of your day, no matter how tough a cookie you attempt to be, or how much you try to grit your teeth and muddle through. Am happy to hear that you appear to be on the mend, and that you’re experiencing some relief. Your entire body clenches up when things are askew, and it takes a few days for your body to trust that it can relax again, and untangle all those painful nerve endings. Hope you pamper yourself with whatever it is that makes your feel comfy and calm.
Pain is such a tiny word for a multitude of sensations. It invariably includes some level of fear, whether it be due to the unknown, or due to the sensation that things might never be right again. In my own journey with pain, I’ve had to repeatedly ask myself whether I can endure a future that includes a repetitive pattern of pain. There are days that it is more difficult to answer “yes” to that question, but some days, thankfully, I forget that the question even exists. Pain is a companion that is rarely welcomed, yet it arrives uninvited, and sometimes decides to stay for a season, or two, or even a lifetime. To understand that life and pain can exist within the same sentence, is to understand that our idea of what is tolerable and intolerable must be constantly flexible and fluid. Today may be a summer breeze, compared to what is asked of us tomorrow. We all figure out our own way of getting through the complicated array of experiences that might be encompassed by the word “pain”.
My own thoughts are that we must find ways to ask for what might help us move through that experience in the best way possible, whether that be hugs and smiles, or catering to our sometimes petulant whining or complaining. We can hope to be stoic and calm, but somewhere deep within us, that frightened child needs to be coddled and rocked gently to sleep. My thoughts are that we should try to let go of demanding of ourselves that we behave as adults when dealing with intense pain. We all have our own level of what “intense” might be, and if we feel the need to be pampered or soothed, then that is one time where it seems justified that we indulge whatever it might take to walk us through that difficult transition between pain and relief. It took me a long while to realize that leaning on others is actually a healthy choice, and that there is no shame in asking for help. Sometimes, help arrives in the most unexpected of places. Even a kind word, or an empathetic nod of the head, or a word of encouragement, can push pain aside for a moment, filling us with a sense of hope, giving us just enough energy to continue the journey. Again, I’m relieved to hear that you’re on the healing side of the equation. Stay strong, sister. We can do this.
So beautifully said, my sweet. You do give me such encouragement that I feel both humbled and stronger. Thank you! Tomorrow surely *is* another day, and I am feeling exceedingly happy to be so much more comfortable and positive already. It’s been a very good day, not least of all for my having read your gracious and wise words. I am moved, touched, and grateful for your powerful friendship.
❤ ❤ ❤
I have always admired my very talented cousin and her artistic abilities as well as she is just a great person. I am privileged to have one of her works(it hangs in my parents house). I’m sure she will be happy to know that “Edgar Reflects” still proudly hangs in the Wold household. Relieved to hear it is relatively minor(of course that being from someone outside!) Love ya Kath!
You are so kind, Lorin! Thank you. It means the world (the Wold) to me. 😀
I’d forgotten ol’ Edgar! I’m not even entirely sure I remember exactly what that piece looks like…maybe you’ll have to take a snap of him sometime and email to remind me. I was awful about documenting my work until I finally got a simple enough digital camera that even I could understand how to use it for super basic things. Ha! Such a tech-deficient doofus am I. Ah, well, I must rely on my smarter family members to understand and remember and know so much of the stuff that goes over my head. Glad to have you around. 🙂
Love from here!
Glad you’re doing better. And know that there aren’t many physical pains worse than kidney stones. You have every right to whine, wimpier and complain on that score.
I’m still nonplussed that I got so lucky as to have one of the few relatively smooth kidney stones in history. Have you ever seen a microscopic photo of the typical ones??? Terrifying, I tell you! Spiky horrors. Mine looked practically as smooth as an Easter egg, at least on that blurry CT scan picture, so I suspect that the only real reason it felt so bad was because of the relatively unusual size of it. The surgeon told me that the rule of thumb on whether to ‘let it work itself out’ without any surgical intervention was a maximum of 5mm, and this one was 6x9mm, so that might have saved me as well, merely by being too big to go much of anywhere between the times it was particularly hurting. Crazy.