Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pain is Relative

(and you should see some of my relatives...)

Have you ever heard someone say, "It hurt so bad I thought I was going to die!"? Everyone has a different threshold for pain; that is obvious.

I have, for the past 20-25 years, judged my own wellness on a scale of 0-100% On any given day, I am at 100%. I don't use this scale for emotional or spiritual well-being; only for the physical elements. One a very few occasions, I have rated my physical condition (which includes pain, strength, etc) at 25%. Most common sicknesses get a 60-70%.

This past weekend, I encountered a new kind of pain that I had to judge down around the 35-40% range. To me, that's pretty bad.

The worst pain I have ever had is that of a kidney stone. That was definitely the 25% time! The first time I had them was when I was 21 years old. I ended up passing 10 stones and it took ten days to do it. For half of those days, I prayed, "God: heal me or kill me; I can't take any more of this!" My next door neighbor called me to "encourage" me. She said, "I've had 3 kids and 4 kidney stones. Given the amount of pain, I'd rather have a kid any day!". Thanks so much for your encouragement! In my life, I have now passed over 35 kidney stones. I know, I know: TMI.

Another bad pain was when I had malaria and Hepatitis A at the same time. I got Hep A from a meal in China and malaria from a short vacation to the Philippines. Their incubation time, unfortunately for me, happen to coincide. That was back in 1990.

Other severe pains have been when I fell on the ice and sprained my back or when, overseas, I ate something bad and it felt like you are trying to "digest broken glass". Giardia is bad, but the cure was worse.

This weekend, I ended up with stomach flu of some sort. No "bathroom troubles"; only a severe stomach cramp. I'm not one to complain about things, too much (I hope). But this weekend, my stomach REALLY hurt!

It started hurting last week sometime, but it felt like I had done too many setups or something (trust me; that wasn't the case). I had put up Christmas lights on the house and I thought perhaps that climbing up and down the ladder had made me sore. Sunday morning was bad, but it was a big Sunday at church and we had our Church Thanksgiving Dinner and I needed to be there. As the afternoon went on, however, the soreness got worse. As time for the evening service came, I thought to myself, "surely I can last an hour". But I was wrong.

At 15 minutes til time to start, I came to the realization that if I couldn't even stand up straight, there was no way that I could bring the evening message. Several around me perceived that something was wrong and everyone told me to go home, that they would take care of the evening service. Finally, I agreed and made the longest 100 yard walk of my life! About 2/3 of the way home, I didn't think I was going to make it. I hurt so bad that I had to hold on to the electric pole. That 100 yard walk to me about 10 minutes!

I found that I could sit in my recliner without too much pain, but anytime I moved, breathed deep, or coughed, the pain was incredible. Monday was spent in my recliner. I improved slightly as the day went on.

Today, I am at 85%. My stomach is sore and I am kind of weak. At least I don't have a headache and fever like yesterday!

I sure hope you don't get this stomach flu; it really hurts. But, then again, pain is relative.


Anonymous said...

Ouch. Hope you're on the mend by the time you see this. Thanksgiving isn't the time to be down and out. I had a similar experience during college when my uncle paid me to clean up about a foot of pigeon poop between two of his buildings. I got so sick I lost 15 pounds!
Hope you are your family feel GREAT by Thursday and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We will be in the Branson area Sunday - Tuesday.
B & J S

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, Rick! I know what you mean about pain being relative.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Rick...glad you are on the mends...

And, this is one thing I hope you guys keep in OK!