Thursday, June 02, 2005

A bit more on migraines

Just wanted to post a bit more on the heart of the issue with me and my headaches.

The issue is: Are they worth it?

Is a life of hot and cold better than unnoticable sameness?

As I sit here and write, I feel fine. No pain, not much of anything. The room is comfortable, my body is not creaking and groaning, I'm fine.

But...

I'm not feeling that deliciousness that I do when the headaches leave - and I miss it.

If I could take a pill that would completely irradicate all future migraines - and consequently irradicate all future "deliciousness moments" - would I do it?

Absolutely.

And that saddens me a bit. My desire for no pain is greater than my desire for the truly exhiliarating flight of pain. I come face to face with the weakness of the flesh. I, too would be snoozing when my Saviour asks me to stay awake and pray. I, too would be running and denying when the crowd accuses. Am I willing to suffer for Christ? Any suffering I have done is so small as to be almost theoretical versus real. Has it maybe cost me money (lost clients, jobs not taken for questionable compromises, etc.)? Probably, but who knows? Has it cost me relationships? Maybe, but who knows? Has there ever been anything close to life-or-death involved? Not even close.

In America, our vital Christian life dies by degrees of soft, enrapturing comfort. Everything just feels too good to leave it. A little extra work can mean a few extra toys, and a bit more distractions at the end of a long, soft day, and then a nice, soft bed, and then all over again tomorrow, and then...

Where's the crisp, hard focus of a life with meaning? What must I throw away to get there?

There's a great scene in an old Dustin Hoffman movie: The Marathon Man. DH has been tortured to get some information which he doesn't have. The torture is having his front teeth drilled, and the raw, open nerve touched with a live wire. After they are through with him, they give him a bottle of oil that takes away the pain. In the key scene, when he decides to go after the bad guys, and not run away any longer, he throws down the bottle (breaking it) and sucks in a deep breath of air right over the open nerves.

That is life. Clear, hard, crisp, real. No hiding behind the dull anesthesia of distractions.

So, can my migraine pain serve a purpose? Yes.

But.

I have to choose now what to do, when offered the pill.

7 comments:

AuntieJeanne 5:48 PM, June 03, 2005  

I've been plagued by health problems all my life so I have a hard time with what you're saying, to be honest. I'd like a magic pill to take away all my problems! But I do understand that wonderful feeling when you've conquered a health problem and are feeling great after feeling bad for awhile. Suffering is a part of life, but I've always wondered why some people have to suffer more than others.

Professor Steve 11:01 PM, June 03, 2005  

Jeanne,

I agree that I am coming at this from - I guess you could call it - a priviledged point of view. I have been fortunate to not have real, serious, chronic health issues (yet), so my observations have not been "tried by fire". And, like I said, I would take the pill, most definately. My wife has some chronic health problems with her vision and neck, and we are constantly looking for aid.

I guess the question that I am asking myself is: How numb would you be willing to be to not hurt? Some people choose a drug-induced stupor instead of dealing with (emotional or physical) pain. Some people wear their pain as a badge of honor, and a suit of armor to shield them from closeness.

I also wonder about the level of suffering that different people go through. It is definately not fair, and has no correlation with virtue or vice.

If this life is all there is, then any suffering is an offense not to be tollerated, and death itself is cheat and a thief. But, if there is more to life than this mortal existance, and if we do ultimatley face eternity, then any suffering here, even a life of suffering here will eventually pale in comparison to our eternal destination. The early christians were persecuted lots - even the Apostle Paul was beheaded - but "considered it all joy", possibly because they saw it as a small price to pay in return for the coming joy.

There is a pretty well known (in evangelical Christian circles) quote by a man named Jim Elliot, who was martyred as a missionary:
"He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

I think it kind of applies in this area also.

tracey 5:37 PM, June 06, 2005  

Steve -- My mom has been in chronic pain for over 20 years. It's a complicated story that I won't get into, except to say that suffering can either refine us or embitter us. My mom, sadly, has become very bitter over the years.

But who is to say that any of us faced with that wouldn't do the same?

We need God's grace and strength so desperately, don't we?

Professor Steve 11:37 PM, June 06, 2005  

Tracey,

If this is the Tracey from Worship Naked, I am truly honored that you have visited. Hmm, does that mean that if you're not, I feel just so-so about your visit? Whoever you are, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to post a comment. I have another thought on pain that is my next full post. Thanks for the input.

coco 11:40 PM, June 08, 2005  

Hey Steve -- It was me! Tracey. I know it says "Coco." Just a joke I did on someone's else's site that I now can't get rid of!

Also, I'm stopping by to let you know about my new site:

http://www.worshipnaked.com.

I needed to shut the other one down. All will be explained at the new site. Suffice it to say I had to many looky lous that actually share my geography -- and they were making it very weird for me at church. Very. very. weird.

So I'm starting over -- and not telling everybody. I'm just putting up a brief final post at the old place and starting the new.

And my blog harasser "Ghost Dansing" made it very easy! (The guy who freaked out at the A.W. Tozer quote. He just wouldn't ... stop!) You can go check out the rest of the conversation at the old site if you want.

Take care of yourself ... and hope to see you at the new place!

Anonymous 5:27 AM, October 04, 2005  

I think the information i have read here has been really useful, as i know a few friends who suffermigraine headache medicineand one thing that has helped a couple of them is a Bioflow. They purchased them at migraine headache medicine. It hasn't worked for all of them, but has completely eradicated the problem for one of them, and made the migraine headache medicine much more bearable for the other. It might be worth a look

Anonymous 1:02 AM, February 12, 2007  

I'm suffering from migraines too. I started a blog and maybe it is a help for others. **migranes**

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