by RB, massage therapist, mother, artist, business owner.
Recently I was away from home, studying and training for a week. I developed a pain in my back which got worse by the day, but because I am always so tough on myself, I just continued on regardless. It was compulsory work training, after all!
I have never taken much medication – instead I have been the hippy herbalist who would avoid doctors and medications at all costs – but this time the pain was getting too intense. I started taking off-the-shelf pain killers to the maximum dose and was still not getting any relief. I tried hot showers, sleeping on the floor, walking, moving, whatever, to just get relief from the pain, but it kept increasing.
By the end of the week, the pain was crazy, so I asked my trainer if I could leave early and drove home. I tried to play with the kids when I got home, but was really struggling with the pain, and the next morning my flat mate tried to convince me to go to the hospital or at least to see a doctor. I kept saying I would be okay, but when I realised that I couldn’t urinate anymore, I finally admitted something was wrong.
In hindsight, if I had actually stopped and felt the pain I was in, I should have been to see a doctor or gone to the hospital earlier but I am used to not caring fully for my body, to over-riding the signals it gives me and most of all, to pushing on through. I can see now how I chose to abuse my body by not going to doctors and getting support over the years, instead choosing to be in pain and suffer.
My time in hospital was pretty short, I spent three days there and during that time, although I was in considerable pain and on a lot of medication, I really enjoyed meeting the nurses and doctors who were caring for me. I got to know some of their names, who they were, what their story was and it was lovely because I could really feel how much they cared. I watched how some of the other patients treated these nurses and doctors with such disrespect. It saddened me to hear how they were spoken too. I can understand it is hard when you are in a lot of pain, but that gives no excuse to abuse the staff who work long hard hours to care for us. It made me aware of how so many of us abuse our own bodies, and then end up in hospital and expect someone else to fix us, without taking any responsibility for what brought us there in the first place.
We expect so much from others, yet we don’t even give that to ourselves.
I could also see how easy it could be for me to resist the care that they were offering, to fight and not be open to receiving them and what they brought.
In the past I have found it hard to trust people, but on this occasion I let go of all that, and the result was so beautiful.
I learned a little more about letting people in, to my heart and to my life, about trusting and allowing them to help me, and the joy and healing this can bring.