There are all kinds of pain and various degrees to which people suffer from it. Today I am reminded of physical pain and of how many people suffer from an illness, an accident or a disease which causes them debilitating, chronic pain.
A friend of mine was just telling me about her husband’s recent ankle replacement surgery. I’ve heard of knee replacement and hip replacement, but I didn’t know about ankle replacement. His pain got so bad that he could no longer walk so replacement was his best option.
My friend shared how the pain affected their entire family. She explained that her husband, once a really easy-going guy, started acting very inpatient and grumpy as he dealt with the constant pain of a bum ankle. She said, “thankfully, after 40 years together, we have a full emotional bank account, otherwise we may not have been able to handle the challenges that came up in our relationship because of his pain.”
It reminds me of my mother and her last few years before death. She suffered from severe osteoporosis and was a cancer survivor. She was in constant pain and experienced broken bones as a regular occurrence. She suffered physically and she suffered emotionally, as a result of her ill health and constant pain. There is always emotional loss and pain associated with physical loss and pain.
My mom went from a very patient, kind, reasonable person to one that I hardly recognized. She turned into a person who was constantly stressed, worried, and paranoid, who turned away from people she knew and loved.
Pain, and the drugs taken to relieve pain are responsible for changing a person’s attitude and the essence of who they were before suffering the pain.
If you or a loved-one is suffering and living with pain today, know that your (or their) reactions and attitudes are normal. Pain changes you. Pain hurts.