Pain is Inevitable. Suffering is Optional.
|Photo by Boemski|
Yes, please ask me how badass I felt sitting there explaining my two injuries as "over-exuberant gardening" and "old bookstore injury". I thought about making something up, but I didn't manage to put the finishing touches on my Merchant Marines story before my first appointment.
|Photo by Tangled Frog|
So I was there on Tuesday. It was crowded. I was sitting with ice strapped around my left bicep and heat laid over my right shoulder, reading my physio book of the moment, which means whatever small, light book I can hold in one hand and I leave it in my purse to read at physio over successive appointments, so on top of everything else, the tech keeps saying "wow, you're a really slow reader".
I was startled from my reading by a gruff, old man's voice booming "This must be a miserable place to work!" Someone asked him why he would say that, and he bellowed "No one's smiling!"
My first thought (after 'what's my dad doing at physio?) was "Dude, why would anyone be smiling? This is the opposite of fun."
Everyone had been startled from their reveries, and I looked around. Across the aisle from me was an extremely fit-looking woman with a perfectly cut bob, lying on her stomach with suction cups on her back. Beside me was a teen-ager in booty shorts (said without disapproval - if I looked like that in booty shorts I would be sitting here typing this wearing booty shorts) with acupuncture needles in her lower back, texting on her phone. From behind a curtain, I could see a strong-looking physio guy with a shaved head massaging someone's foot with absolute concentration. And I thought, maybe I shouldn't complain about taking two hours out of my week to be touched by kind and capable hands. Maybe I should try to see the ultrasound tech's passion and conviction instead of her youthful wrongheadedness (although let's be clear, if she tries to shake my Diet Pepsi I'm taking the bitch down). Suddenly the whole thing seemed like a sweet, tender tableau of human frailty and connection. I've always loved the quote that says that when all is said and done, we're all just walking each other home, and it's not the worst thing if some of us are limping and other are offering a supportive arm. Here we all were, still breathing, trying to feel better, headed in the right direction.
|Photo by エン バルドマン|
And at that moment, everyone was smiling.