No Pity (my Pain) Party Here!

A few days ago, he asked: how can you sit for up to an hour while driving, but you don’t (can’t? don’t want to?) sit down for 10 minutes for a meal? I replied that since I don’t really can’t get around without driving, I try to keep it to short distances in town; but if I know ahead of time that I will have to share the driver’s seat over a longer period, I take a couple of pills – which somewhat buffers the pain in my buttock.

But later it dawned on me that the preface to his question irked me most: I have an embarrassing question to ask you… So I ask him about it. His reply: Well, I think it’s strange that you can sit in one situation but not another.

In his answer, the presence of skepticism is unmistakable.

Which explains the whole matter to me right there and then, because the implication is surely this; that I voluntarily choose when to sit or not. As if to say: So your pain must be under control by now. Or imaginary.

I try again to explain, to vividly illustrate, to allay his doubts. Imagine a foreign object permanently lodged in your derriere. Not a fluffy pink cotton candy ball, but part of a ship’s anchor. He nods, goes back to his work, but I’m quite certain that the disbelief is there still.

This much I have learned: if I don’t complain or talk about it incessantly, if I don’t grimace and writhe, if I don’t refuse to drive or go somewhere, then surely I cannot be in pain. True enough, I no longer inhabit a permanent, heightened level of agony; but, as long as I stand or sit, then a sensation of pain or discomfort is ever-present.

It is part of me by now. Not a reflection of my inner essence, but nevertheless one dimension of the ‘new’ me. I’ve learned that it’s best to accept this reality – at least for now – and just move on.

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