A good day

I ran into someone the other day whom I know experiences chronic pain.  He looked tired, and I asked if I could do anything for him.  He shrugged, and smiled, and suggested that I walk with him for a few minutes.

I need to stretch my legs, he observed.  And so, we moved around the room for a few minutes, gazing at the people gathered for the event which was about to start.  Neither of us spoke.

Finally, I asked if he was in a lot of pain.  He raised his eyebrows and replied, Every damn day, but actually today is a good day.

The Simon and Garfunkel lyrics drifted through my mind.  A good day ain’t got no rain.  A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.  

I did not get the sense that my friend had any regrets about his life.  But I understood the concept of relativism.  On a scale of Nirvana to Bosnia, most days hover somewhere in the middle.  The gloom lurks behind me; the dawn tempts from its comfortable horizon.  I don’t like to be considered  strong or brave.  Many others suffer so much worse burdens than I.  But neither can I stomach the chirpy voice of patient techs asking me to rank my pain on a scale of zero to ten.  Zero being pain-free, ten being the worst pain you’ve ever felt.

No, ma’am, I shan’t oblige.  How about on a scale of run-over-by-a-car to my-mother’s-slow-painful-death-of-misdiagnosed-cancer?

Today’s a good day.  I will take it.  I won’t question the authorities who might rescind my reprieve.  Under the radar suits me.  I might even find the energy to smile.

It’s the twenty-fifth day of the forty-first month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.



One thought on “A good day

  1. Linda Overton

    I haven’t experienced the ends of your pain scale but I like the idea much better than the zero to ten. I think you are right on about many things.


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