11 Aug 2006


Wow, 2 comments in one day, how gratifying, I'm inspired!
By way of excuse/explanation/ for not laying my swine before pearls for a while, I shall now discourse on pain.
I don't react very well to pain; it makes me even more irritable than usual, and I can't concentrate on anything. To be specific I have a 'bad back' and every then and right now, it 'goes'. When it happens I rush to take some nice pills that anti-inflame it a bit, and suddenly get all conscientious about doing exercises and stretches. What I don't generally do is be philosophical about it - it hurts, it's a pain, I don't like it, my life becomes a misery. Theoretically I know that pain is necessary; people who either don't feel pain, or who feel it but it doesn't hurt (that sounds weird but it happens), get into trouble and damage themselves. The pain when I move makes me rest and allows the body to heal, bla bla bla... Yeah but it hurts all the time and I'm all full of self pity and rage and I don't care about anything except I want it to stop.

Where I work is a hotel for disabled people, and one of the worst things is that I can see my own troubles are insignificant in relation to some of our guests, and yet they are, by and large, the nicest people you could wish to meet, and this is a bit of a mystery to me. If I was bedridden, incontinent, unable to eat solid food, hardly able to breathe or in constant pain, as a condition of life - permanently, I think I would be unbearable to live with, yet these people are an inspiration, generous, loving, full of humour, and clearly enjoying life to the max. How do they do it? Is pain good for the soul? It sure doesn't seem so in my case - but perhaps I'm biased? The other week there was a couple, must have been in their nineties, he used a walking frame, while she was in a wheelchair. And he came to ask me to lift his wife on and off the toilet, she had MS to go with her arthritis and something else which I forget, and he was just too frail to help her. And yet the love and joy that emanated from them, their simple humanity and warmth... I can't really convey, but it was a privilege to help them, bad back or no.

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