Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My First New Experience!

This is not what I had planned. That's me in a semi-fetal position, out of my mind in pain, with Vicodin coursing through my veins!

Ever since my kids were very small, my wife and I have piled them all into the old VW Van and traveled to the Oregon Coast for a few days during Christmas Break. What a great tradition! This year, with everyone on this continent; and, with Scotty having a new wife, we still kept the tradition alive and scheduled four days and three nights on Moolack Beach, north of Newport, for our glorious Christmas Break getaway!

The morning of Wednesday, December 26th we were to leave; and, as I got out of the shower, I noticed my lower back was a little stiff. Then, getting into the car to drive to Newport, we went to a new level of discomfort. Upon our arrival, I realized I was headed for an entirely new adventure!

Fast forward to Thursday morning...major pain. Not a little pain. MAJOR PAIN! MAJOR, OBCENE PAIN! Beginning with my 6:30 am wake up for a bottom fishing trip that didn't take place due to inclement weather; and, progressing throughout the day, the pain increased to unbearable levels. We're talking about staying in the bed all day in the fetal position while everyone else is downstairs enjoying the beautiful house and the incredible view. We're talking about making loud, involuntary noises while trying to turn on the bed.

Finally, at 5:45 pm, when it became clear that this was no ordinary backache, my compassionate wife called our equally compassionate doctor who was kind enough to call in a prescription to the closet pharmacy. That brought me Vicodin...my first new experience in my crossing over!

Thursday was hellish. Friday, I was able to move without making noises; but, I still couldn't put on my shoes or even complete the most basic elements of human hygiene. (Read between the...lines!) Saturday was a little better and I ingested my last little V-friend at noon. I've never spent a vacation curled up on a bed ingesting narcotics! (Not a good experience!)

During this new experience filled with excruciating pain, I learned some things about myself! (Isn't that the purpose of new experiences?) I learned that I have been very fortunate in my first 50 years and I have not experienced obscene levels of physical pain as I did this week. I learned that I have not extended the necessary compassion so needed by those in physical pain, even though I am often thought of as a compassionate person. I learned that I have often made critical, inaccurate judgements about the choices people have made as they experience unusually high levels of physical pain.

Would I do it again? Certainly not by choice! Am I a better person for this experience? You bet. As I said in my earlier post...I'm going to the forest in the morning and I am very grateful that I am able.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good idea - this blog! If I were to write an auto biography, I think I would title it, "This Isn't What I Planned."

One major difference with experiencing pain after 50 is the sad realization that you might have to live with it for the rest of your life. When you are younger, you assume the aches and pains have a cure and are a temporary nuisance. But after 50 or 55 as the case may be, there is the nagging suspicion that something is wearing out and it might not be fixable.

Victor Hugo onece said, "Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age." So welcome to your second youth!