Friday, May 30, 2008

The Other Side of the Coin

Lest you think I do nothing but lie in a self-absorbed state, worrying about my pain level, let me assure you that I have good days, too. Yesterday was one of them.

When I got to physical therapy, I was happy to report no pain. I went through my normal routine: heat application, range of motion tests, exercises. Still, no pain. I came home, went straight back to work and kicked it all day long. No pain. This morning? Woke up without back pain or neck pain. It's odd, and it doesn't happen often, but I am so grateful for these rare occurrences and can only hope and pray that they begin to come more often. I assure you that I've only had a handful of such days in two years.

Funny, but on Wednesday, I had been ready to throw in the towel on grad school, and frankly, the jury is still out on that. I felt horrible on Wednesday. It was a gray day (soul-wise, not weather-wise) in which I felt like giving up and giving in. Hubby came home and took me out to eat, and I know that I was no company at all - certainly not at first. There I sat, in the middle of the restaurant, with tears spilling from my eyes as I told him that I just didn't think I could do several years of driving to Bethesda two nights a week to attend classes, getting home late and starting it all over again. I just didn't feel well enough to do it. And after the joint pain incident of Monday, I was very discouraged.

So I told him, "I did what I'm supposed to do when I hit a wall like this. I prayed about it. I asked for guidance."

He didn't say anything.

"You think I'm a fool, don't you?"
"No, why would I think that?"
"For praying. For believing. For going back to church...all of these things."
"No, it's what you believe in, isn't it?"
"Then you would be a hypocrite if you didn't pray about it."

But my men are men of science. I believe in science, as well. In fact one of the things that attracted me to Buddhism was the fact that the Dalai Lama said he would throw over all of his beliefs if they could be disproved by scientific investigation. I could say the same thing. Prove that it isn't this way and I'll stop believing...maybe.

After all, I had just a moment of the afterlife on February 25, 2007. I have never felt such joy and love in this world, and I didn't want to come back*. It took God continuing to work on me, though, to get me back into the fold. I don't expect to convert anyone, least of all my men of science, but I wonder if they can see the change in me? I wonder if they see how much more calm is my soul, how much more optimistic is my outlook? Wednesday's doubt about school was me trying to face facts, trying to be sure I didn't make a financial mistake by going to this grand experiment of grad school only to find out I couldn't take the drive.

I'm only 46. This should be easy enough, right? If I have more days like yesterday, more mornings like this one, then yes. If I have more days like Monday, then no. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it to try. I wonder if God gave me those two days as the guidance I sought?

Our dinner Wednesday wasn't a total wash. Our son joined us and lightened my mood. We ended up with a discussion of aerodynamics and fuel consumption. I jumped in at one point in the conversation and started talking about how a particular element of a design might create more drag because of the air flow. {crickets chirping} As if you didn't already know, I'm not into all of that. It bores me and therefore I put it out of my mind. I'm the literary sort, you know.

The men of science looked at me as though I had grown another head. My son chuckled and said, "I don't know, I haven't looked at drag coefficients in three years." My husband was staring at me like he was witnessing an invasion of a body snatcher.

"Wow, where did that come from?" I said.

God only knows.

Peace - D

*Once you've been there, Earth just holds no sway.


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Hi Momma,

I am so pleased that you had a pain free day! See..prayer really does work (as if you didn't already know...:)

Grad School is a huge decision. A huge investment and commitment. A very highly personal decision, that has to fit in with your family and life.

Best of luck in your decision making....

Jay said...

I'm happy to hear you had a good day!

I'm in the same position as you, my men are men of science, but they're content to let me believe what I need to believe. It's a gift.

Daryl said...

I think that when you believe in something strongly that others should respect it, respect your right to believe .. clearly your husband respects you and your beliefs .. take it one day at a time ... that's all any of us can do ...


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I've given you an award; you are one of the 5 blogs that make my day! Pop over to the birdbath and see what its all about...

Momma said...

Lavinia - You know, I think I'm really going to have to give this a shot (grad school), because I want this to take me into a successful, public writing career. It's important to me. Maybe getting into the routine will be hard, but I have a strong will, if nothing else! And thank you SO much for the award! I'll post it on my blog soon!

Jay - Yes, that is a gift. I think it's going to take time, though, for my husband to realize that I'm not going to try to change him.

Daryl - Absolutely. I have learned to do just that.

Peace - D

San said...

I haven't looked at drag coefficients in 54 years. What are they? Never mind. Yup, I'm the literary, artsy type too. And the faith type. I too appreciate science and I love it when all of the above overlap, as they often do.

I had a powerful dream the other night and in the dream I had this thought: "I need to pray about this." Then I woke up. Somebody, even if it's "just" my deep-down, knowing self, is reminding me to pray. I've been negligent about it of late, but when I pray regularly, it makes a HUGE difference.

Maggie May said...

Keep with it because no one ever said that life was going to be any easier for believers than non believers. The sun shines or it doesn't on all of us the same!
Go for the study. You will regret it if you don't.
I also suffer from really bad back pain at times & I have had to seriously curtail hobbies and life style.
There is still a lot going for me though. Same as for you.
Keep trekking!

Momma said...

San - It's true, isn't it? Whether or not scientific evidence supports it, I have always found that prayer works. Another of the things I liked about the book 90 Minutes in Heaven was that the man's friends and congregation prayed him back when he didn't want to live anymore. Awesome book.

Maggie - So good to see you around here again! I agree that I have to go for the study. My therapist had the grand idea that I need to get a handicapped placard to use for the days I'm at school so that I don't have to park so far away (thus carrying things a longer distance). I never thought of it before, but I'm going to talk to my doctors about it. That might make a huge difference.

Peace - D

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Wow. I am so grateful for the days you have a respite from the pain. Some day soon we will have to talk about my endo and the "pain guilt" that goes along with my particular situation.