Time for an ugly cry
Clutching an orange stress ball in each hand, I squeezed with all my might, as injection after injection was administered into my thigh. This was not what I had expected. When I had left home in the morning, I knew that having a sclerotherapy performed was part of my day. What I didn't realize was that I'd be doing it without any pain medication. 30 minutes earlier when I had checked into the vein clinic, I assumed they would offer me the appropriate pain relief. But, they didn't offer, and I failed to ask.
When the doctor notified me that "this is all we can do for today" and the realization washed over me that I'd have to come back and do this yet again, the tear started flowing. As conversation progressed and it was explained that there would actually be two more sessions, I could no longer hold it together.
As my husband accompanied me on my mandatory post-treatment walk, I cried. It wasn't gentle tears, it was an ugly cry, a nose dripping and passers by wondering what in the world was wrong with me kind of cry. To add insult to injury, I had also been told before setting out for the walk that I'd have to pay for the additional two procedures (which wasn't in my budget).
The gentle reminder from my husband that "It's going to be ok" only served to add self imposed shame as I walked. I knew much of my momentary misery was a direct result of me not paying attention during the initial consultation, and then being too lazy, stubborn or prideful to ask for what I needed. It was going to be ok, but for 30 minutes, I wallowed in my self pity.
When the evening rolled around, the wind picked up and the tell-tale smell of rain filled the air. With a few crashes of thunder, the sky let loose and the rain came down in torrents. Standing at our front window, I watched water streaming over the gutters as they were filled beyond capacity. Then, just as suddenly as they storm had begun, it was over.
Stepping outside, I marveled at the beauty of the evening. Spanning the sky were two rainbows. There's nothing like the awe and wonder of God's creation to pull you out of self absorption. A stillness came to my heart and mind as I remembered the bigness of God and the smallness of my problems.
Now, the morning after, I see the situation for what it is. I still don't like the fact that I have to have two more procedures. I really don't like the fact that I have to pay for them. But putting it all in perspective, I thank God that I'm not having to go through something life altering like chemotherapy, and that this minor procedure is even available to me. For those of you going through genuine pain and suffering, you have my respect and admiration. My problems are trivial in comparison.
So what's the conclusion? Pain is real. Hardship, though it varies in degree from person to person, is part of this broken life that we must wade through. But, just as the rainbow came after the storm, there is a hope and promise of restoration. In closing, I leave you with a small sample of the words of King David from Psalm 30: "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning." vs. 5b.