It bothers me a bit when people, usually very old people, say I have lived a good life and I am ready to die. Sometimes people say that he was in such pain that it was a blessing that he died. It is really hard for me under most circumstances to think that these are good things. Life is a wonderful gift and valuable beyond measure. How can people say these kinds of things and mean it? I say this because I might have said something like this to someone to comfort them or agreed with someone, but deep down, I haven’t felt this way. Well, the other day made me rethink this just a bit.
Imagine yourself in such incredibly excruciating pain that you are willing to have almost anything happen just to have the lain go away. I thought this the other day. I was in such extreme pain that I did not know how I could stand to be in such pain with no end in sight. So during those long, seemingly never ending moments, I developed an understanding for those that might be in a situation of discomfort so great that they might not think death is such a bad answer. OK, I want to clarify that I gained an understanding and I was in such pain that I couldn’t see how I could stand living at this level of pain, but I knew I could get help.
I went to the emergency room at a bit after three in the morning. I couldn’t believe how long the twelve-minute drive seemed and low they were to help me after I arrived. Wasn’t this the emergency room where they are supposed to render immediate aid? If I wanted them to take a long time, I would have waited until morning and gone to the instacare clinic, which is much less expensive. Anyway, after a few minutes later, say five minutes, I actually got help and they took me into a room to wait some more. I was already at a point where the pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand up straight. If I thought falling down and rolling around on the ground would have eased the pain any, I would have gladly done it no matter how many people were watching.
Well, the wait wasn’t too long before a nurse came in and started taking my vitals and some blood. Sadly for me, she was having trouble drawing my blood, so she had to dig the needle around and around inside my arm, and then she decided that wasn’t going to work. She pulled the needle out and proceeded to try again on my other arm. After a little more digging around, she was satisfied and stills no relief in sight. She left and then a little wait longer, a doctor came in, Dr. Rollei. I wanted to tell her all about the pain that I had been going through for nearly three days (yes, I waited hoping it would go away and during this time, the pain would come and go), but she only asked a few questions. Where is the pain? Is there blood in your urine? Are you nauseated? Is there tightness or pain in your chest? How long have you had the pain? Is it a dull or sharp pain? And then she was done. She said, I think you have a kidney stone, but we will run some tests to confirm this and do a CAT scan. I just told her, “I want the pain to stop.” She said we will get some morphine and take of the pain.
Well, it was a kidney stone and it hurt like nothing I have ever experienced. My greatest fear was it was something very serious – life threatening. I worried that I had stomach cancer in the late stages or something and might only have weeks to live. I had a friend whose wife was fine one day, and the next day was in pain and found out she had stomach cancer. She lived for about a month from that time. I was so relieved that it was not serious like cancer. I felt like I have another lease on life. Two other times in my life, I thought I had a terminal disease and two other times, I was so relieved and grateful I did not. By now, maybe you think I am a hypochondriac. Well, I don’t think so but maybe I am. I won’t go into this now. Amway, each time I face my mortality and each time I evaluate my whole life. Each time this happens, it changes me for the better for a while, but I quickly go back to old ways. I am grateful for what I learn during these times, but I need to do a lot better job remembering and doing those things I learn during these moments that matter most to me. For me, this is family and relationships. So, bottom line is that I do not wish for what I consider sobering, awakening moments like this, but I am grateful for what I learn from them about myself. Now, I just need to remember these things in my everyday life. So, I can live as many say in movies, with no regrets. I wonder how many people in real life really live this way? I wonder how I can remember this every day of my life, to live with no regrets?