A couple of weeks ago, I thought I probably overdid the weight on a certain exercise at the gym and it seemed for several days that I had strained an exterior oblique. Pain. It takes a pretty strong dose of over-the-counter stuff to make it quit hurting. Then there was itching, and the skin got really sensitive, and a puffy rash appeared. It dawned on me, “Maybe it’s not just a pulled muscle.” Turns out I was right – it was shingles.
Why am I thinking about this (other than the ever present discomfort for nearly 2 weeks)? I was feeling really whimpy about complaining about this pain in light of what some of my friends are enduring, when a friend observed – “just because someone else has more pain doesn’t really diminish your pain.” Ah – I’m back at pushing my own feelings aside because I don’t deem them to be of the same caliber as someone else’s feelings. Funny how just acknowledging that makes it easier to deal with. It makes it possible to try to do something to help correct my own issue, so I can be available to be present for someone else’s needs.
As for the shingles, I got to the doc (I needed some pain relief) before they really fully broke out. Got a diagnosis and an antiviral prescription. It took nearly a week for the pain to stop, but in my checking around, this seems to have been a very quick recovery. There’s a lesson there somewhere. It seems that I had to pay attention to my own pain and seek healing so that I could get back to a place of being able to help others cope with their pain.
I’m glad to be over that pain.
Important realization that we (particularly women, I think) often forget – we can’t tend to the needs of others if we don’t tend to our own needs.