Pain and loss are medicine…
Pain and loss are medicine… I thought to myself as we drove down the freeway towards home. We were returning from viewing a couple of rental properties.
I’m grateful for these nearly 80° days here in early December. Getting out of the house in a T-shirt to take in new perspectives is a kind of outing – not quite vacation, not quite otherworldly, but something not familiar in a sense.
It struck me how the things that seem to wound us, those things that feel so intimate, so private, so personal, describe something of our relative state in the moment.
Right now my body is in acute discomfort from autonomic dysreflexia. I just got up from lying down for about 40 minutes in efforts to get it to subside. It calmed a little, but getting back up, it hurts just as much, or nearly anyway, as before.
I got to work out today! Andrew came over and pulled out the sliding incline bench for the first time in 10 months and my bones could begin to feel some semblance of weight against gravity once again.
Pretty quickly discomfort came over me, and Stephanie checked all the usual suspects. It cleared, but came back. We checked again, it cleared, but came back. Finally I realized, my Achilles tendons haven’t seen this kind of action, now for the longest period since my injury 18 years ago, nearly all year. To the contrary, they have been relaxed and shortening for the most part.
Even resting there at about 35°, a bit like standing in a fun house mirror, the flex and impact was palpable. Every time we tried to do a deep knee bend, the anxiety peaked acutely. We backed off, allowing just the gentle impact of standing to do the work.
I’m confident there is no injury, but perhaps even just the nerves we’ve recently discovered compressed at L5 have been exacerbated as well. I think I will have little trouble sleeping tonight.
I asked Stephanie, how many people have you lost this year? She mentioned earlier a friend from high school, dead by suicide this weekend. It was not long ago, another friend passed from violence in the park. “Seven.” She said, “not that many…”
By opening up and sharing her experience of these tragedies, they become in some small way my own and as such, can go to work in my soul and heart and flesh to bend me open a little more, expand my awareness, and deepen a sense of compassion.
Pain and loss are medicine. I thought. But it’s not personal, this medicine is meant to heal us all.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…