I am by no means a good example of gracefully living with pain. If you want to see a good example, you need to look at the life lived by my brother Mike. Mike lived his whole life in pain but rarely showed it. He has always been my role model–not only because of the way he dealt with pain, but also the way he lived.
Each year, December brings with it the end of the year. This is a time where we look back and see where we went wrong and how we can improve. We take this time to find ways we can change and make “New Year’s resolutions”. I spent a lot of time this year looking back realizing that there is room for improvement. Looking back, I realize that for many that know me, I am “Scott–the guy that is either always injured or laid up with a migraine”. I want to be the guy that shows how to live through–and overcome–the pain.
For the last 20 years, I can probably count on one hand the number of days I’ve woke up pain-free. However, I don’t really feel like the pain has held me back. During that time, I:
- Maintained a 3.2 GPA at Purdue University,
- I averaged about 50 hours of week working,
- Raised a daughter and maintained a house on my own for 4 years,
- I’ve gotten re-married and maintained our home for going on 11 years,
- I finished my Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Mathematical Economics and Actuarial science. (While maintaining a 3.5 GPA)
- I’ve learned my way around new power tools and ways to improve the house on a budget
This list isn’t a spectacular list of things to have accomplished over a 20-year period, rather a small way that I’ve lived through the pain. Unfortunately, pain does take its toll and along the way it HAS changed me.
Early in life, I would have considered myself an optimist, but I’ve slowly become a pessimist. I find myself very skeptical of any “miracle cure” because there isn’t one. Over the years I’ve frequently called the “absent minded professor”. I know that I’m intelligent, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally (ok, FREQUENTLY) for get easy things like where did I put my gloves or keys. The only way I get through some days is my iPhone with calendars, reminders, etc on it.
I also must admit that I’m not as cheerful as I used to be and I KNOW that I have turned into a bigger complainer. These are the two things I wish most to change. When I look on my brother’s life, I want to be more like him. My pain has been nowhere near what he suffered in his 25 years and he almost never complained. I don’t want to be the guy that complains–I want to be the guy that you never know is in pain. I want to be able to be able so serve the kids at Kid’s Camp or VBS with a cheerful attitude.
One thing that hasn’t changed about me is that I’ve always been able to laugh at and with myself. It doesn’t bother me that my accidents are so humorous to those around me because really, THEY ARE FUNNY! I just don’t want to become “Pain” Scott. I’m still hopeful that we can once again get my migraines under control because the 7 years we got them down to 20 a year were wonderful! Our prayer is that those years are coming again very soon and I want prayers for me to be “Let him be able to serve again” not “Let him not be in pain”. I don’t believe in pain-free–this life wasn’t supposed to be easy, but that shouldn’t discourage us from doing what the Lord require of us.