I forget what number I'm up to on this list, so rather than do the work, I'll arbitrarily assign a number. Rule # 18, "STOP THE MADNESS". If it were so easy to just stop doing harmful things to ourselves then we'd do it. The problem is that many of these things were taught to us in childhood, and became "habits". ( I'm ill from quoting that harpy that used to be on TV).
The nutty lesson that I learned as a child was to face unpleasantness, including fear and pain, head-on. To quit in fear of some outcome or because some part of my body was in pain was unthinkable and the only way to overcome these things was total denial of their existance.
I hate to digress but I'm teaching the same lesson to my kids, much to my wife's displeasure. For example, last Saturday my son was injured in a football game, hauled-off the field, then checked by the team doc who pronounced him fit to play after taking a breather and running in place to loosen his injured ankle. Deaf to his complaints that his ankle really hurt, I told him the doc said he was okay, and to tell his coach he could still play. He went back in.
Later that day, his ankle diagnosed as broken was put in a cast. His coaches were astonished that he played the second half of a football game with a broken leg. I wasn't. I was proud and why not? Hadn't I wrestled an entire season, placing in the states with 4 broken ribs. I can't count the number of concussions, broken fingers and dislocations I'd played with. Why? My dad told me to.
Pain in my family was just another thing to be endured as life marched on. Our mantra was, "Suffer in Silence." As a kid, an almost unforgivable sin in my house was to insist on a trip to the emergency room at the hospital because God alone could help you if there wasn't anything wrong except a sprain.
Sure, we had our share of broken things that couldn't be ignored. From my experience an arm wasn't one of them. We weren't much different in this respect than our friends. Just about everyone would rather have and live with small broken bones, like fingers, than a hopped-up Irish dad whose son was such a pussy that he had to go to the hospital for a broken nose! That could be fixed at home...and was.
So I have a tough time now admitting to any pain, which makes me a difficult patient. In our house a bridge was built that spanned childhood and adulthood. The toll to get across the bridge was how much one could endure and continue on.
My recovery might move along much easier, maybe quicker, too if I could just tell my doc in answer to the question, "So, how are you doing?" with something other than, "Okay."
In a way, I'm kind of like a busted switch, off and off. I don't have a pain scale. Is a ten the time I was punished for having 18 cavities by having them filled with no Novocaine? I remember that hurt like a mother, but I can't remember what it felt like. Does that make it a one.
Do my feet burn right now? Yup!
Can I urinate? Nope!
Will I admit it? I won't even remember it tomorrow.
I promised that I'd never teach my kids to suffer. I struggle every day not to break that promise. I'd said that my behavior caused my wife displeasure.
It's one of the sins that could send me to hell. God bless, Colin