Friday / January 13 / 2012
I never screamed
The air smelled antiseptic. The walls were sterile white.
The room which had been so cold just moments earlier was now drowning in warmth as my emotions raced. The similarities were eerie.
I patterned my breathing to endure the pain memory as the doctor debrided my leg, removing parts of the infection from the new wound on my 25-year-old burn scar. Even with the anesthetizing spray, I could feel the sterile metal scraping.
I made small talk to feign distraction. The pain would come later once the anesthetizing spray wore off.
The triangular bar strategically dangling from the bar above my hospital bed was the only means of moving my body. With my leg in traction, a healing broken hip, and severe 3rd degree burns on my right leg, the only release from the top half of my bed was to lift myself with the triangle.
I remember how glorious the air felt on my hot back. And when I tell you there is nothing like a back scratch, I know of which I speak.
But when it was time to debride those many years ago, Mom says her daughter would grasp that triangle with white-knuckled fists, forbidden to move while the procedure was taking place. Trying to keep a brave face for her little girl, her Mother’s tears filled her soul.
Mom stroked my hair, she told me she loved me, and she prayed.
My Momma gifted me, again and again, with pure, unconditional love — and the strength to turn my pain into song.
Not once did I look during those dark moments. I just grabbed that metal triangle in a desperate attempt to meld my hands to it. And I sang.
Well, it was more like a deep, growling, “la la LA LAAAA” as I willfully made the choice to “sing” rather than scream.
I never screamed.
“Any questions?,” the doc asked, slipping off his latex gloves. I had none so I smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Breathing deeply and purposefully, I reflected on my life and all of the many people for whom I am so consummately thankful. Those who gifted me, again and again, with pure, unconditional love — and the strength to once again turn my pain into song.
Oh, how fantastically thankful and blessed I truly am.