I believe that God sends people into our lives when we need them or when there is a message we are ready to hear or something that we need to be taught. The important thing is to stop and take the time to listen. An example of this occurred last week, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to hear and learn — something that left me breathless during the conversation and even now as I am writing this post.
During an appointment earlier this week my husband and I struck up a conversation with a very nice lady (Mrs. H.) who we met in the waiting room. While this isn’t out of the ordinary for us to talk to others, I am still somewhat shocked in the turn the conversation took and the information that the three of us shared.
We began discussing things such as computers, the weather, traffic and other generic topics. She shared she had been in a car accident and had experienced neck pain and later had surgery many years ago that had relieved her pain. She told us about others in her family with neck and back injuries and how they have pulled together to help each other get through the difficult and painful times.
Mrs. H. explained how her daughter was in an accident and the many surgeries that took place following. During the accident, her daughter had to swerve to avoid hitting another person who would have most likely lost her life. Due to the accident, her daughter suffered spinal cord damage as well as nerve damage on her right side with pain that radiates down her legs. She is only able to walk short distances in her home and uses a wheelchair elsewhere. Her nerve problem moves around and the pain she experiences is the same hypersensitivity nerve pain that I had in my right arm when I woke up from my cervical discectomy and fusion surgery. She lives with that unbearable pain each and every day and has for many years.
While Mrs. H. was talking about her daughter, I literally got goose bumps and was flooded with a cold wave that allowed me to feel that pain all over again as if I was just waking up from surgery. While I still have the nerve damage and hypersensitivity in my arm, my body has learned to adapt to the pain and I no longer feel it like I did for months following the surgery. However, while talking to Mrs. H. I could feel the pain as if I was feeling it for the first time. Why? This is the first time I had heard of another person going through something similar to what I had experienced. The goose bumps…because I could relate to the feeling another human being was going through and knew she could do the same. Since my surgery, I had not talked or known anyone who could truly understand what I had gone through. I was unable to properly explain or make people understand the pain, the sensations or how I felt when something or someone touched my arm. The pain was so intense that it would send me through the roof!
I shared I was writing a blog and thought maybe it would be helpful for Mrs. H. and her daughter to read it..especially the sections on pain management and diagnosing what was wrong with me. During the period of time when Dr. Liar was lying to us, I was beginning to wonder if I was losing my mind. Hearing that another person was living with the same pain, made me feel as if I wasn’t going insane or that I wasn’t alone in my injury; however, it took me more than six years to find this person. I was wondering if she was feeling the same or had at some point since she had been injured? Did hearing a story similar to mine help validate what I went through? Would hearing my story do the same for Mrs. H.’s daughter? I hope so. Would it be helpful for her to know about many of the other problems that followed due to a lot of the medications? Should she know about Cervical Dystonia, A-fib and flutter, autoimmune diseases from the steroids, spinal cord and deep brain stimulators, etc.? I wish someone would have told me.
While I may never know if Mrs. H. or her daughter will read the blog, I can honestly say the conversation made me feel as if I am not the only one who is living life with this type of injury. But, more importantly, I pray that she will read my words and find comfort in my experiences and sadly, through my pain. Could it be that misery loves company? I don’t think so. It makes me sad that someone else is living with this type of pain. Pain that is so intense, raw and real that you can’t sleep, eat or even think clearly. However, I am thankful our paths crossed and I hope and pray her pain will lessen and that one day a cure will be discovered so that we both will be cured.
During the conversation with Mrs. H., I also discovered that I truly had moved forward in forgiving Dr. Liar. No longer did I feel sick to my stomach, feel hit by a wave of hatred, or want to see him suffer as I did. As I explained in earlier posts, with the help of Dr. H.,I have been under the care of a doctor who is honest, respectful and helped to erase some of the mental damage done by Dr. Liar. I only wish Dr. Liar could see himself as we did and understand how hurtful his actions were and how painful it was to go on with my life.
This experience of knowing there is another person living through the same ordeal as me got me thinking of a quote by Albert Einstein: “Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.” Simple words to say or write; difficult to put into action. However, I believe that during the past six and a half years that is the way I have been living.
Learn from Yesterday comes easy keeping in mind past experiences that helped me grow into a much more knowledgeable and less naive person — one who I hope is teaching others how to handle the unplanned aspects of their life. Living for Today is probably the most difficult for me personally since I have both good and bad days as far as pain. But, I try to keep plugging along and do what I can. I fight the good fight and push through the pain when I can. What I do know is that tomorrow is not promised and I want to live each day fully and completely.
And, lastly, my favorite — Hope for Tomorrow. I believe that without hope we have nothing. Hope, to me is what helps get us through the rough times even when we are at our lowest. Wikipedia defines hope “as the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.”
Or, simply put, I like to think Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent — and that’s the best feeling of all!
©My Unplanned Life and www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com 2011.