I saw someone yesterday who has various physical ailments relating to age and occupation. I asked how he was feeling; and how his wife, who has serious back trouble, is doing. “Oh, I’ve got my aches and pains, but nothing like what you must have,” he replied. And of his wife: “Well, she’s still laid up, on pain pills that don’t do much good, but I bet you know what that’s like.”
I smiled at him, from the other side of a half-lowered car window in the wind-swept clearing at my husband’s oil lease. The sound of the sputtering generator obscured my reply, and I had to repeat it: “Oh, really, the truth is, I’ve no standard of comparison so as far as I am concerned, life is status quo.”
It’s true, too. I’ve been disabled since I was 18 months old. It ebbs and flows; waxes and wanes; some problems arise and collateral damage occurs. But by and large, since I have nothing with which to compare my state, I live in blissful ignorance. Pain-free? Well, once — on morphine the first time I dislocated my shoulder by falling down a flight of stairs. Actually, it wasn’t the fall that did me in, but the landing. I grabbed a large, industrial sink with no lower cabinet as I fell down the last few steps, thinking to stop myself. Instead, I swung under the sink and pop! went the shoulder from the socket. I was nine. The ER doctor gave me a shot that rendered me completely painless, goofy, and unable to communicate.
I’d make a terrible drug addict; I’d rather have the pain. Most days, at least! So, when I count my blessings, among them, ironically, I include the fact that I have no idea what I’m missing!
I know, I know — I’m weird!!!!