Metaphorizing My Pain

 
My chronic neuropathic pain is a physical reality, not a product of my imagination. It is the result of a spinal injury sustained during a “simple biopsy” of a spinal cord tumor detected through an MRI. The operation was performed by an eager neurosurgeon in 2004. When I woke from the anesthesia, I could hardly breathe; I felt like a tight band was around my lower chest wall. I also couldn’t move my legs, and they were extremely sensitive to touch. Since then, the pain has expanded and intensified.
 
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Doubting Thomas

“I’m done crying.” The eyes professed: to us, grandma, God — everyone who failed him.
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Pain Deniers

 
The stabbing pain in my abdomen jolted me awake at 3 a.m. Four broken bones, giving birth to two babies, gallstones – all minor aches compared to this. At the hospital they found no reason for my pain. The blood tests were normal. I had no fever. They sent me home.
 
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Everlasting Sorrow

 

As a Jewish American, I recently celebrated my faith’s new year. I followed tradition by going to the cemetery prior to the beginning of the holy days to pay my respects to my beloved paternal grandmother, mother and father. Standing in front of the Wall of Eternal Life, I read the prayer for the deceased–until a tsunami of pain inundated me.

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