Pain following a recent surgery was unbearable. After the initial anesthetics wore off, I was left with constant throbbing that seemed to run from the site of the surgery through my whole body. I reluctantly tried the pain medication that was prescribed. I have had intense side effects from two previous attempts at managing pain with prescription drugs. On day three after surgery, I saw no choice but to try the medicine, the pain made me cry and unable to think. By that evening after just two doses, I couldn’t move due to dizziness and nausea. Third pain medication and third severe reaction. What follows is my writing, recorded during the worst of the pain:
What I’ve learned from pain today: June 2 2014
Love and friends help but nothing touches when there is deep pain, whether physical or emotional or spiritual. It is then that prayer is my only refuge. I ache from the tips of my fingers to my toes, with sharp hot spots along the way.
This human body is full of suffering on so many levels. Physical pain is only one. I think of children who have this extent of pain, or the homeless person without even a bed for comfort. And I am grateful, for my bed, and I pray for children all over the world who are in pain. I live an enchanted life of comfort and joy. I am at a point in my life where I have everything I need and more to give to others. One of the big questions of my life is not what I want, but how can I give?
In prayer and meditation there is transcendence beyond my pain into the realm where all exists and is glorious in the arms of God. Longing to be there, I let go to listen to my breath and in an instant think I hear the sound of God’s voice.
Silence in the deep well and sky of all stillness.
Stillness in the depth of all silence.
My previous cries of pain have been emotional sniffles or spiritual longings into an emptiness that is a tunnel without end. Physical pain combines these with my all too human body. My body that loves to experience the comfort of someone’s touch, the joy of laughter, the satisfaction of a taste on my lips.
I breathe God”s love and know some safety and some gratitude.
I am able to feel, to love, to praise and pray.
I am alive.
Breathing in God”s healing love and letting go as it all unfolds.
Georgiana Lotfy, LMFT, D.Min