“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”
Did your parents ever say that to you? Usually it was mentioned just before giving out a punishment or a spanking (Something we don’t do any more!) Geez! What a bunch of malarkey…..or so I used to think. Living with multiple sclerosis has taught me otherwise.
Not for all, but for some, pain is a chronic, recurring and sometimes constant condition for many people who live with MS. I know this because my MS causes me to have a variety of pains most every day. Sometimes the pains are great and cause me to use expletives!
Some of the pains can best be described as something out of an old horror flick.
Imagine that a mad scientist has strapped you to a table and attached electric cables to your body. The cables are then attached to a machine with a large knob on it. Then, as our mad scientist turns the knob a jolt of electricity is sent to and through your body. Sometimes the mad scientist turns the knob just a little. Sometimes he turns it a lot, sending a giant bolt of electricity to the body. OW! I think that best describes some of the pains I feel. (If you are interested, my friend, Vicki Bridges has written a series of articles about MS and Pain that can be found on Health Central by clicking here: http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/32873 )
But there is another pain that many of us with MS don’t get and that is the heartfelt pain experienced by those closest to us, those who love and care for us most. That is the pain they feel when they see us struggling with our pains and whatever challenges we face with our MS. Living with MS is not easy for me, but it seems to be even more difficult for those closest to me who often can do nothing more than watch it happen.
This is probably true for anyone who cares for someone who is ill and/or living with a disability or chronic condition. It seems that many of us who live with a condition may have accepted our pains more readily than those who love and care for us have. Our remembering that may help us to help those also affected by our condition.
I never spanked my children (although there were times when I wanted to throw them through a plate glass window), although I am sure that I earned my share of “potchkes on my tucchus” while growing up. But somehow today, living with a disability, I seem to understand how my condition “hurts them more than it hurts me.”
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