There seems to be an epidemic of prescription pain medication use, and probably more accurate to say, there seems to be a misuse of prescription pain medication. Why? What is it that is causing all this pain? Even in my circle of the people I care about the most, it is becoming more and more evident that we are either in a lot of pain, or we just want to be numb. It scares me so much that it is rare for me to even take an aspirin. I do have a theory, but first I will share some of my personal experience with this topic.
A few months ago a friend asked me to take her to her “pain-management” appointment. Her doctor wanted to do a procedure on her back and she would have to be under anesthesia so she couldn’t drive home. I wasn’t familiar with what a “pain-management” doctor’s scope of medicine was, but I knew she hurt her back pretty severely a few years ago, and honestly, I was glad she asked me and it was my pleasure to help her ~ for many reasons this woman is one of my heroes.
Upon entering the clinic’s waiting room, the first thing I noticed was a sign on the wall advising that weapons were not allowed there. Hmm, I thought, that’s interesting, I wonder why they felt it necessary to nail that to the wall? As the receptionist handed her the needed paperwork she told us they were running behind and it would be about an hour’s wait. This gave me plenty of time to observe the patients that were also in need of having their pain managed. Looking around, I saw that the waiting room was full of mostly women in their 50’s and being in that age range myself, again, I was intrigued. In the three hours I waited for my friend, I learned a lot ~ and it was mostly very tragic. These patients all began their addiction to pain medication legitimately, because of accidents or surgery, and it got them through their recovery period, but for one reason or another, they began using these medicines illegally just to get through the day. Interestingly enough, once they found out where I worked, an eerie silence fell over the room and then one at a time the women began to confide in me about their past abortion experiences. The sad truth is, it didn’t surprise me that this was a common denominator for patients in a “pain-management” waiting room. Now I knew why I was here, these women needed to talk.
Sometimes I think I am uncommonly empathetic to people’s pain ~ I really feel their pain. It is a trait that God has entrusted to me and I am thankful, although it can be pretty painful for me at times. It is my love for God and for all His children that sustains me. We have a responsibility to love each other through the mistakes we made in our past and through the mistakes we are about to make. We must allow the light of Christ to shine through us and be welcoming to those we encounter on a daily basis, whether we are at the mall, in the office or in a waiting room. And we must never judge or accuse. We were made this way, all of us.
We all have good days and bad. We all make mistakes. We all wish we could have a do-over or a fresh start. We all beat ourselves up and feel undeserving at times. We have all felt the pain of a devastating choice and we have all been broken. These women in the waiting room are no different that you and I, althought their circumstances may be. The pain they are feeling is real and unbearable. but instead of going to the true source of love and forgiveness, they are numbing themselves with pain medication.
I am empathetic, inquisitive, curious and caring ~ but I am not special. We were all made this way. I would encourage each of you to accept the invitations that God is extenting to you and to step out of your comfort zone as often as you can and discover the incredible attraction of letting Him shine through you to His children in need.
Joy & Peace,