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Describe Your Pain

Updated on August 14, 2014

by Michele Adams

19 years ago I had my first C-Section. My daughter, Brooke, was breech, and so they wanted the birth to be by C-Section to lessen the chance for any complications.

When they did the operation, I was allowed the choice to either be put to sleep, or remain awake, and be given medications to completely numb me. Being this was our first child (and the fact that I was completely ignorant of what was about to take place), I chose to remain awake. This was a neat idea, because my husband, Tom, could remain in the room and participate in the birth, and I could "watch" my first child being born.

After 5 attempts of putting in a tube around my spine, for the administration of the pain blocking drugs, they finally got it right. Then they strapped my arms down to the table (think crucifixion), and proceeded to "open me up".

Unfortunately, the drugs decided to move UP my spine, instead of going down. This caused me immediate breathing difficulties. I had to THINK about breathing, instead of my body just doing it naturally. Each breath was a forced struggle in, and then back out. That wasn't the worst of it...

Because the drugs weren't going to where they were supposed to, I could FEEL them going in and taking out Brooke.

Once the anesthesiologist was aware there was a problem, he immediately took measures to rectify the situation, but before he did that, he kept asking for me to describe the pain to him. I understand, NOW, that he was just trying to get a grasp as to whether I was misinterpreting what was happening, or if I were REALLY feeling the pain.

When he said, "Describe your pain to me.", he was very lucky that my arms were strapped down, because I wanted to SHOW him what pain felt like!!

The rest of that day, is a blocked out blur (thank you God), but those images, and his voice are forever locked into my brain.

When Tom and I are at our wits end, sometimes we jokingly say, "Describe your pain to me."

All this to say, what was once the very worse day of my married life, is now a funny private joke.

God has this way of taking really bad situations and allowing us to grow and learn from them.

I learned that for my second child's birth, I was going to be KNOCKED OUT. The second time around, we knew what was coming with the surgery/recovery and was able to process and enjoy the good parts more.

Brings me to today:

This second time of chemo makes things a bit easier to process.

I know what is coming. I can look back over my journal and know that, yes this side effect will happen at this time.

It doesn't lessen the pain. It doesn't shorten my treatments. It doesn't lessen my spiritual growth.

I think the bible is sort of like this journal, except it is MULTIPLE journals. It is the stories of many "cancer battles, side effects, and C-Sections gone wrong". You can look in there, and find almost every battle you are facing. Someone has already been there/done that, and gives you a guideline of how to get through it, and what to expect.

It doesn't sugar coat the pain. It gives you ideas of what you should do. It is a "CaringBridge" for everyone.

When you get a chance, share it with those who are hurting. Even if this isn't their faith, perhaps it can give them Hope.

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat
comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

© 2014 Michele Adams


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      Robert E Smith 

      4 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Howdy Michelle, I loved the way you wrote this. I could clearly imagine the frustration and perhaps terror at being able to feel a surgery that was supposed to be painless. I know those spinals are not pain-free either. What moms do for the sake of their babies... I am praying for your healing and for any moments of coming pain. It makes me feel better to know you are growing closer to God through the suffering. I voted up and every one of the other choices too. Bob.


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