When you have a hammer, every obstacle looks like a nail. I heard somebody talking about something similar to this the other day on the radio and wondered what tools we have in our toolbox.
A year ago under the fog of pain, medicine, and depression, I thought maybe I didn’t have any tools or maybe I just had a hammer. Fortunately for me, I have a wonderfully beautiful wife who has a very special tool and knew just where to put it when everything seemed to be falling apart. In this instance, it took a very special wife to jump start my family’s recovery and she knew it must happen. I knew she was right and trusted her, because I also knew she loved me and had my best interest in mind.
One lesson I have learned over the past year regarding my pain is you have to be your own advocate when it comes to doctors. The old saying goes that doctors call it a practice because well… While it may be funny and not entirely true, it does contain a hint of truth. Each one has a limited amount of knowledge concerning their specialty. I spent around eight years with a pain doctor who I think had my best interest in mind, but we had tried everything he knew to do. We had exhausted the extent of his toolbox. My mistake here was partly due to my ignorance in not thinking there was anything else out there and we continued way too long down a futile path. Do I have any resentment towards the doctor for not trying anything else or having any other suggestions? I did and maybe on a bad day still do, but again I really think he saw me in pain and wanted to alleviate it if possible.
I also learned how much my church community, my family and friends love me, the boys, and Kathy. We were overwhelmed by their generosity to take care of things big and small. They allowed us to take time off and focus on finding a solution for my pain which would redeem our lives.
Probably most important were those who came along side me and reminded me of the promises of God at the right time. This was not in a “Keep your chin up!” surfacy, happy clappy, everything will be OK, kind of way. They recognized what the reality of the situation was and reminded me of all those saints from the Bible who struggle and God still loved. I trusted them and was able to lean on them during tough times because I knew the loved me. They had been and were intimately invested in me and my family over a long period of time.
What tools do I have in my toolbox? I am going to beat the drum a little. Community and faith. Sometimes it takes a hammer, and other times it just may take a well placed foot from someone you know loves you.
(My editor, Kathy, says that some of this will not make sense to some who do not know us. Hopefully it will become more clear as the weeks progress.)