I’m having a whole body hangover today! The stress of last night’s carnival was a bit much and I am spending today recovering from walking and standing too long. I mention it not as a bid for sympathy, but as a reminder that many people are in pain every day and we are unaware of their suffering. I’m sure I looked perfectly normal to everyone around me as I went about my grocery shopping this morning. No one could guess that my feet were burning and my body was aching and my back was protesting each and every step. There is a certain level of pain that must simply be endured, because what other options are there? I can’t stay in bed because of pain, and I can’t completely rid myself of it with medications. How would I think and function? I have places to go and things to do and people to see. So I smile and press on…
My husband and I are in agreement with this philosophy. He has been in pain for two months and has been to the doctor twice and will begin physical therapy this week. Yet he continues to work and mow the lawn and help me around the house. I suppose one day we will both have walkers or attendants or something, but until then we do what we can do.
My day has also been a reminder of why many people use and abuse pain medications. I saw a report last week on veterans who are prescribed far too much medicine. They return from duty with painful injuries and are given powerful drugs to make them feel better. I have friends and family members who seek comfort and relief in too many pills. I can’t judge them just because I’m currently able to endure my pain. What will I do when it escalates? (I’ve been told that it certainly will one day.) How do I know that I will continue to make good choices?
I try to think of pain as a warning system given to us by God. If we didn’t have pains we would probably do far more stupid things and stress our poor bodies to the max. Because of my pain today I took a nap and I postponed some of today’s chores. My health is more important than a clean house.