Saturday, August 13, 2011
Daring to Hope?
I recently started a new medication, which may be having a positive effect on my pain condition. This is the first major, desirable shift in over ten years.
For the first few months on this medication, I couldn't even allow myself to think that my pain could be controlled with only one, relatively benign drug. And I certainly couldn't express hope out loud. I did not want to offer any bait to evil spirits lingering in my vicinity, eager to pounce on optimism and turn it into yet another disappointment.
Over the years I have consulted most genres of specialists - from neurologists to gynecologists to uro-gynecologists to orthopedists to rheumatologists. I even saw a tropical medicine specialist. In my desperation, I also wandered over onto the fringe side of the healing spectrum and got some comfort from crystals and potions - although no decrease in my pain.
I have been primed to expect defeat. Richard, an optimist and scientist, has always believed in probability. And probability tells him that if I try enough options, some of them will work. His mantra has been: "There's always something more to try."
More often than not, I found this phrase to be exhausting. It left me feeling like a parched wanderer in an endless desert forcing myself to rise up to scale one more sand dune in the hopes of reaching an ever-vanishing oasis.
Recently, Richard began to give voice to hopes of recovery. I told him, "Shush. Be quiet." I'm not ready yet to broadcast.
For now, reaching toward hope is harder than anticipating more pain.