Pain and Gain
Sitting today in the RNSH Hand Clinic with my fractured wrist and 125 other patients in various states of suffering, my empathy for the pain and frustration of the injured, disabled and the elderly, heightened dramatically. Suddenly, it’s upfront and personal – many capabilities taken for granted last week, have suddenly vanished. As one of the lucky ones with a temporary ailment, my heart goes out to those who have reduced capacities in an ongoing way, such that day to day tasks are a challenge, and much time is consumed by medical appointments.
So what’s the ‘gain’ you may well ask? Actually, I recognise four for me - interdependence, character refinement, new opportunities and gratitude.
Interdependence: Usually, I have little need for much assistance – and I am reluctant to ask unless I really need it. But now, I need to accept help and will enjoy the company of my helpers along the way. I predict they will be more likely to ask for my help in the future too.
Character refinement: Empathy, patience, tolerance, humility, to name a few.*
New opportunities: It’s sad my netball is now over, but I will replace it with the gym. I hope new friends and blessings await me there.
Gratitude: There is nothing like losing something, to appreciate it. (I never knew left wrists were so important until now!) It can make us realise other good things we have too – I am SO grateful it is not my right hand, nor an ankle, with so many steps to our house…
Life can be tough and often it is up to us to take the first step to make it better. Whose help can you enlist or share your pain with, to help find a ‘gain’ from your predicament? Maybe a one-handed chaplain’s?
* My ‘character refinement checklist’: But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these, (from the Bible, Galatians 5:22-23, GNT).
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.