Almost two weeks ago on Monday, I was in ER for severe flank pain and it turned out I have a kidney stone.
(My aunt has dubbed my kidney stone my "Pet rock." hee hee)
Unfortunately, the stone was blocking the transition from the ureter to the bladder so I had some "back flow" going on.
A good description of the pain-- the pain is like having a hot breathed animal chewing on you from the inside out. This experience has made it into the top 3 of most painful things ever. But here is the funny part. I am SO grateful for this kidney stone! Like, actually happy about it!
Why? Well, with the other stuff that has happened over the last year, the side effects of the prednisone, and having chronic rheumatologic symptoms, I always have some level of pain. Usually it is joint pain, but other types as well.
Having chronic pain isn't fun and it's constancy was really sucking the joy right out of me.
Chronic pain wanted to swallow me up and I had to really fight and choose to focus on what I could do instead of mourning all that I can't do.
Enter Monday. It's been a long time since I've had that kind of pain. Pain that left me feeling close to passing out because it was so intense. Pain that kept me from sitting or standing. Pain that made me not care I was in a very crowded ER to the point I asked my Dad to get the "car blanket."
Yes, I stretched out my mother's purple fleece blanket with Snoopy and hearts on the ER floor and laid down in between the rows of chairs.
What is so wonderful is that pain has given me a practical perspective. By that I mean, even though my daily pain is a drag, I now know how much pain I'm NOT in every day. And I am so, so grateful!
Now that the kidney pain is managed, the every day pain seems quite dim in comparision.
I was telling Karl about this and he said it reminded him of the Apostle Paul and the thorn in his flesh. Although, he asked for it's removal and healing, The Lord promised that His grace would be sufficient. Paul also suffered acute bouts of pain from beatings and stonings. Through all of it he was able to rejoice in the Lord and the power of His grace. And he considered it all momentary affliction.
Although I would have never chosen the kidney stone, I am grateful that in God's mercy, He allowed me to have it because I have such a joy in both the intense, acute afflictions, as well as, the chronic afflictions, knowing that both are momentary and light in comparison to the joy awaiting me.
p.s. If this doesn't make sense, I had a lot of pain meds on Monday. Brain is a little slow ;)