Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sit, Stand, Turn, Yelp

For Sunday, November 27, 2011

I admit, I take my health for granted. That isn’t a good thing because every once in awhile I am reminded that it can be taken from me at any time. I have had few unpleasantries in recent years--a few months of sciatic pain that had me begging God to let me walk normally into my workplace and fears that followed a few unclear breast cancer tests, but overall, I have lived a very healthy life. So when I suddenly felt a twinge in my back while preparing to sing at Sunday Mass this morning, I thought to myself, “Okay. Stay calm. This too shall pass”. The service was soon over, and after making my way home, managing to make one last home-cooked meal and seeing my daughter off as she returned to college after her Thanksgiving break, I dropped into the recliner. It became clear to me however, that this pain in my back was not going away without some serious rest, without some serious attention on my part.

I am a lot like my Dad. I bully through projects and chores despite being tired, despite needing a physical break. I also sacrifice sleep thinking I can catch up on it later and when I feel a pain in my body, I often dismiss it as I pop a couple of ibuprofen caplets and vow to be more sensible starting tomorrow. Today I saw another similarity between my Dad and I. Although we tend to self-sacrifice, we deal with our pain audibly yelling out when a sharp pain hits us. Today became a pattern of beats. Sit, stand, turn, yelp. Sit, stand, turn, yelp. Just when I thought I could change positions, I’d feel the stabbing in my back and I was once again humbled.

The yelps, despite my desire to repress them, proved to expose me when I most wanted to power through the pain with great stoicism. I wanted to push the pain aside, to be quiet in my efforts to ignore the excruciating jabs, but I soon realized that just as I cannot step away from being my father’s daughter (nor would I want to when it comes to other traits), neither can I step away from dealing with the pain of a pinched nerve or a tight back muscle. This proves to be yet another reminder that I am indeed in need of patience and humility as my otherwise healthy body continues to age.

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