Discussion: Hidden Pain Will Show
December 31, 2021
I had surgery earlier this month. After surgery, they gave me an injection and prescribed other pain medications, with the assurance that the pain would be lessened. This was after me informing them that I knew my body and it would reject this particular medication. After choosing not to fill the prescriptions, I bought an extra strength over the counter (OTC) med. This was all in preparation for when the anesthesia wore off.
As expected, the anesthesia wore off and the pain announced itself during the night. The hospital told me I would need someone with me for a couple of days. My God had a person who was not only helpful in helping me get in bed but was an outstanding cook. Over a two- or three-day period, she made a variety of soups. I couldn’t help but think about Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Joy and Pain” because I was experiencing both.
After going back for my checkup, they released me to go back to work. On the Sunday leading up to my return to work, I decided to watch my church service online. When I heard we were having Communion, I knew I couldn’t stay home and started preparing to go to church. What I failed to mention before, was that the OTC med I was taking made my legs swell so big that it was a task just to walk. I stopped taking those meds immediately. Pain was holding its course. I felt in my heart that taking communion and being with my church family of believers was what I needed. Making my way to church was a good thing because it helped me a lot. Let me continue to share what else I would have missed if I had not gone to church.
After service, I found myself standing in front of the sanctuary. It was then that, I spotted a lady in a full foot and leg brace. Approaching her, I mentioned that I recently had surgery and asked her if she wanted to race to our cars. After laughing and talking awhile about the pain we both were experiencing, we wished each other a good day and speedy recovery. Did I mention I have an SUV? I can’t tell you how much mental preparation it took just preparing to get into it.
I imagine this is what anyone watching me probably thought as I was trying to raise my foot to get it inside the driver’s side of my vehicle. At this stage, I was just able to wriggle my foot into the car enough to bring my body close enough for the next step. After a brief pause, I pulled myself up to the seat. At this point I had a period of rest and only half of my body was in the car. As I held on to the steering wheel (I’m sure at this point my angel could no longer take this scene) and pushed me the rest of the way into the car. I must admit, after laughing at myself and another rest period, I was able to leave the church parking lot. Fortunately, or unfortunately, most cars had already left.
When I got home, I reflected on the interaction between myself and the lady in full leg and foot brace. The two (2) of us standing side by side experiencing pain. Hers you could see; mine you couldn't. Anyone looking at us or passing by, saw one body in pain and just another person standing there. I realize you already know where I’m going with this example. Unseen pain, pain under cover. As funny as it appeared, I hurt, I rested, I struggled to get into my car. Anyone watching me may have thought why she would buy a vehicle she can’t even get in, not knowing why my behavior looked ridiculous.
We come across or around people whose inner pain makes their behavior look and act out of character. For me and the lady at church, our pain had an end date. Her brace would come off and my body would heal from the surgery. But, what about those who inner anguish is still lingering? A pain that causes erratic behavior (s). We justify the injury we can observe and dismiss the misery we can’t see.
Our world is in pain!
We prefer to medicate. We choose to not forgive. Many are trying to get even (an eye for an eye mentality). How do we move forward as humanity? Racial tension, political tension, national and international suffering. There is a light at the end of these tunnels. Churches have erased the line of division and holding hands to uplift their communities. Organizations have banded together to become a more vital and stronger force to help others. As bleak as the stories our news portrays, people are working for a better life. I often say my church is not made up of church members, but we are a church family. I know for sure, if anyone of my church family knew I wanted to come to church, I would have had a ride.
Much as I try to fend for myself in life, wearing the cape of “I can do it for myself” pain will make you eat those words. I am happy mine came as a bowl of soup. We need to take the cape off (I need to take the cape off). The cape is only hiding the real you. Learn to accept the hand of aid. The new year is coming! Let this be our year to heal. Your year to take a step in another direction. To open your mouth and say, “I need help”.