July 17, 2011

the needs of the dying

You know, the pain can be unbearable sometimes.  On other days, the pain is just there, like a bad toothache, and I get tense and irritable.  Please forgive me when I am in a bad mood; you may not know what it is like to live with constant pain and discomfort.  What is hardest is when no one believes the amount of pain I am having; that makes me feel crazy.  I need to be believed and I need to have my pain relieved.  But please don't knock me unconscious to do it.  I would rather experience a little pain, and still be conscious - to enjoy my life and my family, and to do my spiritual practice - while I am in the last few weeks of my life.
     My first reaction?  No comment, I'm not going to touch that one.  But that's not facing up to the situation.  Pain was an everpresent battle, and that's an understatement.  At times, my brother came down on the side of experiencing pain and still being conscious.  But towards the end, he told me, "make the pain go away."  This battle caused me to bear a still raw wound.  I did the best I could....but the doubt still gnaws at my guts, "what if it wasn't good enough?  What if he felt more pain than was necessary?  What if I failed him?"  When it will begin to heal is anyone's guess.  Probably not until I have more experience in managing the pain of more patients.

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