Friday, December 21, 2007

Reflections: The Pain of It All

For the past two weeks I have been coping with a considerable level of pain emanating from, but not limited to, a wrenched back. Due, apparently, to related sciatic nerve impingement, any walking has been accomplished only with the help of narcotic pain pills and muscle relaxants (for the first week), and mass quantities of Ibuprofen. The impossibility of finding a comfortable position in which to sleep; the more or less constant, sometimes severe, pain (now, thankfully, beginning to diminish); the lack of mobility, either walking or driving, and the inability to undertake any of life's little routines, including necessities such as bathing and going to the bathroom, without great effort, I find to be a consciousness-altering experience: the whole world has looked different to me. I sit in my familiar recliner, looking at my familiar surroundings, and feel out to sea. It is an alienation from self. I watch other people walking down to street with envy, unable to firmly believe that I will ever again do so myself. But I'm not complaining. It is humbling to be so struck down, and therefore valuable. Every moment of life must be looked upon as an undeserved gift; and even pain as a precious opportunity to transcend the forgetfulness that plagues our existence.