Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This Too Shall Pass

Written fall 2002

I've just been through the worst exeprience of my life: kidney stones. They say that second to childbirth, kidney stones casue the most excrutiating pain known to humankind. They're right. I've also given birth, and, to me, kidney stones were far worse. Far worse because during kidney stone labor there was absolutely no relief, not one single break in the pain. And at the end of it all, I didn't have a new baby to take home and love. All I took home from the hospital was a prescription for then Percocets and a killer ER bill. We all know what a drag it is to be sick, but throw a 12-month-old baby--one who depends on you every waking hour--into the mix, and you've just added major insult to injury.

Mothers don't get permission to be sick very often. I mean really sick, like pretend-I'm-not-even-here-sick; But when they do end up in a state of incapacitation, we're plagued by all of the stuff we should be getting done. This time around, though, pain trumped guilt, and I gave myself full permission to stay in bed for five days straight. To put it plainly and simply: Thank God for David. He took care of everything and handled things like a pro, from the two-hour ER waiting room crisis right down to soothing both of his girls when we were crying at the same time. Oh, he may have slipped a tad when he brought me the paci and handed the narcotic to Grace, but we both lived.

I can't tell you what any of us ate for those five days, but now that we're on the other side, I can't see evidence of our being any worse for the wear. I've thought many times since becoming a parent last year that I don't know how single parents do it, having to be "on" 24-7. What a relief to know that I can temporarily check out of our family's daily routine once in awhile without things falling totally apart. I'll always be grateful for being allowed to be sick.

During the worst part of it, David kept saying, in the most soothing voice possible, "You're doing great--it's just pain--you're doing great." To me calling it just pain didn't cut it. But the point was, my condition wasn't life-threatening and things would eventually get back to normal. I would eventually feel better. While in bed hour after hour, my mind drifted to all of those single parents who didn't have someone cheering them on and taking care of business. I also thought about the people who suffer far greater pain than I did on a daily basis. People whose lives don't get back to normal, people who don't eventually feel better. For me, though, I kept telling myself, mantra-style, "This too shall pass." And it did.

1 comment:

Kev Alex said...

Jenifer has had kidney stones twice.

Once while she was about 11 months pregnant.

That was fun.

Congrats on the win!