A little background. I am 47 and I have arthritis. I was diagnosed at 38 and told by 50 I would need both hips replaced. I had one hip done at 42. Didn't go so great. Chronic bursitis and tendonitis in the hip. At that time I was also diagnosed with facet joint arthritis and degenerative joint disease in my back. Foot surgery, hand trouble. Life is fun...I have tried to accept that pain will just be a part of my life. Why am I telling you this? Because I am also a believer that we are always put right where you are suppossed it be. And today just confirmed this.
Today I had a Docotor appointment with a new Doc to try and figure out a new pain. There was a line to check-in.(Don't even get me startd with that!) In front of me was an eldery woman. Maybe 80 or more. She was sitting at first. But then saw a line forming and said," I see there there is a line starting, I better get in it." She went before three of us. We said nothing.
You could tell she was in pain. Leaning with her head down on her walker and an audiable, "Ohhhh..." I felt my hands just wanting to go up and pat her back and say it is Ok. But is wasn't. And I didn't.
Finally, when it was her turn, pill bottle in hand, she said,I parapharse, "I need to see the Doctor. These pills do not help the pain. They make me out of it and I can't take care of myself. And I live alone." Which was more apparant by the medi-alert bracelet on her hand. She continued to say what she was diagnosed with. Some of the same things as me. I honestly felt like I was having an out of body experince. Looking at myself 35 years from now. In pain. With no children. Trying to get someone to make the pain stop.
They told her it could take 4 weeks to help. Her head hung low. She said, "Well what am I supposed to do for the pain?" There was no answer. And that is when it hit me even harder than it has before. There is NO answer. It was then that I told myself, I could be this woman. I will be this woman unless I choose, at this moment, to accept that this is what it is. Pain is going to be a part of my life. Period. I choose to not live on drugs. I try to learn to manage the pain and deal with it through a positive attitude. I have tried to be this way for the past few years, but as anyone in chronic pain knows it can get the best of you. But I do believe I can have the choice to let the pain get the best of me or to get the best of it.
Funny thing is. I had actually missed my appointment today. I had the wrong time and wasn't even supposed to be there when I was. However I just know I WAS supposed to be there. Just to see meet this woman. To feel her pain. To learn a lesson. To learn that there are some things in life that pills just cannot fix. Unless you want to go through life lke a zombie. There are some things in life I just have to accept cannot be fixed. Some things I just have to live with. Like arthritis.
I left the office. I didn't reschedule my appointment. I know, in my heart, there is nothing anyone can do for me. I have been to so many doctors. Given so many pills. Unless I want to live on drugs with all the side effects they can bring, there is nothing they can do. And I will not live like that. This woman, though she did not know it,gave me more strength and peace of mind than any drug could give. I know I will have pain. But I know, even more now, I have a choice. I let it control me. Or I control it. Through rest, kindness, peacefulness and art. I choose the latter.
If I have learned on thing in my 47 years it is this. Sometime the answer is, there is no answer. And the sooner you can live with the acceptance of that the happier and more peaceful you will be...