I little over a week ago I went to my neurosurgeon for a scheduled check-up. My pain hasn’t decreased, or changed in any significant way. My doctor has always been optimistic, has always assured me that “the pain will get better”. But that day I told him that although I appreciated his optimism, and that I planned on never giving up hope that my pain would lessen, I really needed to know how likely that was to happen. His answer? “Not likely.” No, not the words i wanted to hear, but no totally unexpected, either. My fourth surgery was May of 2011 – I should have had some pain relief by now. We talked for a long time, and he sent me for some X-rays that I still haven’t gotten results on, but after a couple of days of wallowing in self-pity I was willing to admit that having an honest answer was, in a way, freeing. I can take my life off “pause” and say, “OK, this is how it’s going to be and I need to make this work.”
Coincidentally, I’d had the opportunity a few days earlier to meet a nurse I used to work with for lunch. We’d worked closely together for the two years that I suffered with constant pain and a new therapy or treatment every week. I’d kept working, no matter how bad the pain got, because I simply didn’t know what else to do. And I wasn’t doing my job. The pain was so bad I couldn’t think clearly, I was on heavy doses of narcotics and muscle relaxers which were sedating me but still not controlling the pain, and I was making mistakes constantly. Mistakes that could have cost patients their lives. Thankfully, this nurse picked up the slack for all the work I couldn’t do, and caught and fixed many of my mistakes. I hadn’t seen her alone since the last day I worked, and it was such a relief to be able, finally, to apologize to her for the extra workload and extra stress my condition had caused her, and to thank her for catching my mistakes and putting up with my inability to do my job. She cried, I cried, and it was all good. I felt so much better after I left Panera that day. I hadn’t realized how much the guilt I was feeling was weighing me down.
So if there’s something you need to say to someone, say it! And if there’s a question you need answered, ask it! Trust me, saying it out loud is a powerful thing.
Priced at just $4.99, it is now available in every format your little heart could desire at Smashwords, or, if you prefer, it’s also for sale in a Kindle version at Amazon or a Nook version at Barnes and Noble!