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Pain, the Motivator

My journey with pain has played a dramatic role in my life and led me places I may not have gone had I been pain free.  After each of my three hip surgeries and three knee surgeries I was highly motivated to move “through” the surgical pain and was able to envision a place without pain.

A friend, who was feeling fine, was recently diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo major surgery. She had not spent any real time in a “pain place”. Her surgery was successful, cancer was removed. But she is physically drained and feeling a bit blind-sided. Her cancer was invisible to her and had not caused her to make major alterations in her life.

Being with her I can see my own situation and realize that my pain strengthened me. My goal was to be as far away from it as possible. But anyone having a health issue that is not preceded by pain has a different perspective.

I would not wish my pain experience on my enemies.  But I see now that it gave me strength and courage to work as hard as I could and endure great discomfort. I am feeling compassion for those whose health issues do not include pain. It plays with my mind to wonder where your courage would come from to endure post surgical rehabilitation when you felt fine prior to surgery.

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About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

4 responses »

  1. Great post! I have suffered with chronic pain for so many years I can’t remember at all what life without serious pain even felt like. I know it has made me a courageous person, a strong person and a very empathetic person. People who have never had serious pain, then suddenly must deal with it I think are shocked by the psychological impact too. By the way…I love that picture! I could so pictue myself there cuddled up with a book and a hot cup of tea….ahhhh! lol
    tammy
    http://spicyt.wordpress.com

  2. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Tammy,
    Thanks for stopping by. The pic is from a friend’s cottage looking out over Lake Michigan. I wish I was there now. Cuddle works!
    I am glad you agree. And you are so wise to point out the psychological impact.
    Be well.
    Mary

  3. Hi Mary,
    I found your site via a comment you left on chitowngreg’s site. I’ve spent a significant part of my life in pain, from a variety of sources … so many in-fact that for a long time I didn’t know where to begin. But I’m on the path to recovery now, and have learned much about myself, our environment, and about my desire to help others. Last week I started a new feature on my blog. Daily mini-posts called ‘Recovery Seeds’. My hope is to help others on their recovery journey from pain, with an understanding that it has a wide range of sources. (That invisible pain is a kicker, though, isn’t it!?) Anyway, so glad to have found your lovely blog, and will keep up with you. feel free to stop by teenytinypieces.com and have a look around.
    Sending hugs,
    Jane

  4. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Jane,
    Thanks for stopping by. I love your site, I will have to dig deeper and see all that you have to offer. I agree, pain can be such an educator and that is one of its gifts.
    Blessings. Mary

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