Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pain Is A Four Letter Word

I saw the fear turn to anger on her face. She had had enough. Here she was––again––in the ER of Reston Hospital and she wanted some answers. She wanted to know why. Why was her Husband––me––just lying on a too small gurney with his twig and berries hanging out and another IV line in his arm and no one was DOING ANYTHING.

I'm in pain. Teresa is ready to kick some ass. And rightfully so. This was the fifth time in four weeks she was at the hospital. Three with me, two with Travis. And she was tired of waiting for the Doctor, after she was told to "go to the hospital and have the Doctor paged." So we went. We had him paged. Did I tell you I was in pain? Oh, and scared shitless. What the hell is going here? Why am I back in the ER? Miss the food? The atmosphere? Being woke-up every two hours? Pissing in a water jug?

Teresa was tired of seeing her Husband like this. No pain medication––"we can't give him anything until we know what's wrong and the Doctor sees him"––no food, no word about when the Doctor would be, no, nothing, zilch. And I watched her face the whole time. All 6 hours. I was worrying about her worrying about me. Funny, huh? I watched the pain and anger trade places in her forehead. I watched her try to be strong and try to be in charge. I watched her stare down every person that walked by the curtain in the ER. I watched her.

I can deal with my pain. I would say that after all I've been through the last 13 months––two bouts of cancer, 8 surgeries, 10 months of a feeding tube in my stomach, 12 chemo treatments, 35 radiation treatments and losing 35-40 pounds––I can deal with a lot of pain. Bring it, baby. But I have a real hard time when I can feel and see the pain in Teresa. To know that my illnesses have caused her tremendous emotional, spiritual and mental anguish. That's a pain I can't control for her. I can't make it disappear. I can't give her something to take to make it go away. I can't rub it away. It's the worst kind of pain.

The four letter kind.

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