A Marine I raised said that in 1982 and his mother has been saying it ever since. She has had more than her share of it. It has robbed her of many good times. She was bed-ridden and wheelchair bound for several years because of it. She has borne it better than I would. I’m no stranger to pain myself, but I’ve never experienced pain like she deals with daily. Pain for me is a temporary impediment to be endured or treated and then I’m good to go. Nobody out here is particularly interested in hearing about my pain. I suffer in silence until I can get to a phone and call home for sympathy. She is the most sympathetic woman on the face of the Earth. Nobody can say “Poor Baby!” and sound like she means it like her. Her advice and sympathy are the only health care I get out here. My contract doesn’t entitle me to any care from the military except to stabilize me for evacuation. If I ain’t fixin’ to lose an eye, a limb, or my life, then I’m just another f’n civilian interrupting their Xbox game. I’ve had some recent experiences with pain myself. It makes me really, really lonely and homesick for TLC.
Pain for her is a constant presence. A good day means she can function, exercise the higher thought processes of the cerebral cortex, and smile. A bad day means she can’t do those things.
She has a little yappy dog that pisses on the floor and barks it’s head off all the damn time, but this little rat terrier can do no wrong, unless he runs out into the street, because he sits on her body when she’s hurting and absorbs some of the pain. He absorbs so much sometimes that he can barely move himself for hours at a time. That’s devotion!
She has some pretty serious pain pills. She has it within her power to end her pain forever. She even cheats herself of normal dosage, and endures the pain, so she can manage it and be bright and cheery and fun when I get R&R. She endures, and suffers, and hoards pills so as to be at her best for me. That’s devotion!
Today she had a procedure done. It was very painful. I wasn’t there for her. That hurts, too.