Monday, April 8, 2013

Lessons From Pain

Right now my heels are screaming.  Screaming in pain, that is.  Why?  Because I walked around Wal-Mart for about a half hour shopping for a few things I needed.

I will suffer the rest of the evening because of that one simple outing.

First the husband/lover/nurse will bring me my Dr. Scholl's Foot Bath and I will soak my heels in some very warm water.  Then when my skin looks like raisins, I will move to the recliner and put my feet up until bedtime.  Carefully, that is, so that my heels aren't actually resting on the foot extender, but are out over the edge.  So actually, I'm kind of sitting/laying in the chair to stay most comfortable.  I won't even talk about how my back hurts after being in this position for an hour or two.

Many of you have been following the saga of my painful heels, the pain being the result of fraying achilles tendons on both of my ankles.  Whenever I walk it literally feels like something is tearing in there.  Kinda like pulling off a scab way before it is ready.  Ew.

So anyhow, I recently came across a statement that was made by Bruce Lee.  In case you don't recall, he was a very famous Chinese American martial artist, actor, and teacher.

"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his class," he claimed.

How true is that, but who asks for pain?  The reality is, though, that most of us, at some point in our lives, have some sort of physical or other type of pain we are forced to experience.

I've come through several stages to date regarding the pain I am living with, day in and day out.  And, I am learning a few things by attending this "class of suffering," although I can be dense about the lessons presented at times.

1.  Some types of pain are beyond our control.  There may be no good explanation as to why it is there.  Therefore I could make myself crazy trying to figure out why I have it.

2.  I cannot put the blame on myself for this pain I am having.  Even if it is my fault, due to prior overuse during sports or other activities, it does not change the fact that the damage is done and today is today.

3.  Wallowing in self pity does not make the pain go away.  It just adds another dimension of pain elsewhere.

4.  The presence of pain may require me to live my life differently, both for the short term and possibly for the long haul.

5.  My pain is teaching me to accept others with infirmities and to not be so judgmental.

6.  Many, many people are living in such worse pain and suffering than I am, so I am also learning a bit of gratitude.

7.  I am beginning to allow people to help me more with things that I previously handled so self-sufficiently.

8.  I'm trying to let go of some of the dreams I've had.  They may no longer be my reality, and I'm trying to be OK with that.

9.  Being in this limbo stage, waiting for results of tests and waiting to see the surgeon, is teaching me patience.

10.  There's probably something else very important that I SHOULD be learning, but I couldn't think of it, and I still felt there needed to be a number ten.

So yes, I will admit that PAIN is a good instructor, and I am attending his CLASS.

I just don't always do my homework.


  1. Wow, sounds like your pain instructor is pretty tough on you.

  2. Another prayer being sent up that you will be healed by our Dear Lord.

  3. Add me to the list of those praying for you.

  4. Next time get the motorized cart at the entrance :) Hope you get some medical relief soon.

  5. I'm so sad for you. Your posts are always so upbeat and you have such a wonderful outlook on life. It just doesn't seem possible that the medical world can't help you. Maybe another opinion is in order. Take care!

  6. I can relate to this post, although thankfully I am not in nearly the amount of pain you are. I have been in a walking boot since November 8 of last year, for a stress fracture of my fibula. It has not yet healed, so last week I received an "electric bone growth stimulator system" to help move things along. I now have electrodes attached to either side of my ankle, which emit low frequency electrical pulses (which I can't feel) 24 hours a day. The electrodes are attached to a device which looks like an older-style cell phone, which handily clips to one of my boot straps. To reference one of your earlier posts-- talk about becoming Frankenstein! I have the boot AND the electrodes! :-)
    Anyway, over the past five months, I have had to make quite a few adjustments myself, not only physically, but mentally-- which is why this post resonates with me. For one thing, I've had to give up exercising, which has really been tough to take. And I, too, am in a state of limbo right now, not knowing if this latest course of treatment will work. My follow up appointment is May 2, just five days before I leave for a previously-planned trip to Las Vegas. I've had to start getting used to the possibility that I may still be in the boot for that trip-- something I never dreamed would be possible back in January. But, I've also reminded myself (as you've done) that I could be MUCH worse off than I am. I'm thankful I don't need crutches to get around, let alone a scooter or wheelchair. Since my boot is on my left foot, I'm still able to drive. And I could go on.

    Anyway, I just wanted to send you some empathy and sympathy, as well as good luck wishes for your future. I hope we will both be able to fully enjoy our upcoming vacations in warmer climes (I live in PA too!). Stay strong!