Hard Lessons

To paraphrase a Bruce Springsteen song, life has been giving me some hard lessons lately, about pain, loss, disability and hope. Years of chronic pain, my mother's death, my hearing impairment and other serious medical problems have sorely tested me. When I finally found a doctor who took my pain seriously, he asked me why I had checked "suicidal thoughts" on my new patient questionnaire. I told him, "I have 30 years ahead of me if I live as long as my mother did. I refuse to live in pain for another 30 years."

In all that I've learned and written since then, the most surprising discovery has been my ability to remain optimistic about my life and my future. If you hear despair, anger, frustration and fear in what I post here, please don't turn away. All is not dark, and eventually a glimmer of hope will light the path ahead.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why, God? Just tell me why.

A dear friend of mine is dealing with a serious health problem. When she talks about it, I can feel the pain and panic in her voice. It's all too familiar to me.
I don't know how to fix it for her any more than I know how to fix my own health problems. I feel extremely fortunate to have achieved the level of functioning I have now. And even now, the specters of more pain and more disabilities lurk around every corner.
I wish I could wave my magic wand over my friend. I hate to see her in so much distress. She is such a good and smart and capable and funny and special person. It's just not fair that she should have to carry these  complicated and heavy emotional and psychological and physical burdens. Sometimes I want to ask God, "Why are you letting this happen? Just tell me why."