All posts tagged: pain

The Positives to Having 4 Teeth Extracted in the Chair.

The day arrived. The day I had dreaded for more than a decade. The day I would have all my wisdom teeth ripped from my delicate, pink gums – in the chair, no less, and without sedation. People said, “You’ll be fine!” “The recovery is quick!” and “Get it over and done with!” Some particularly good advice saw me taking earphones and a good music mix, something to drown out the sound of the jackhammer, or whatever they call those instruments of… dental remedy. I should’ve chosen heavy metal. I chose The Loft Sessions (Bethel). I felt good. Ten years and two experiences of childbirth felt like sufficient preparation. As a friend said to me, “Having problem teeth pulled has been so much less traumatic than the pain of having them remain.” Why is that? Why do we get so cosy and comfortable with pain? Why do we get so used to living with shackles, to the point where we forget what it is to be free? We hug that pain and imprisonment close because …

It Was Never Meant To Be Like This

“We got language so we can’t communicate Religion so I can love and hate Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name”. You just read the second verse of The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone), the opening track on U2’s surprise new album Songs of Innocence. Which is free. Thank you Apple. The tune is a tribute to punk rock. Disinterested? Me too. But the catchy song is full of deeper hooks to lift a pensive stay-at-home mum from her reverie. I was thinking about death and loss. We said goodbye last week to Launceston deputy mayor Jeremy Ball, offering condolences to family including his wife and two young sons. What a shock. Images of the car wreck, family snaps published in the paper on subsequent days and the chalk sketches by children on the pavement of Prince’s Square during his wake have lodged in my mind. I “got language” but I “can’t communicate” the wrench this news has caused. I used to think grief was an indulgence reserved for nearest loved-ones. I know …

I’m a Christian and I’ve had a Crap Year

It’s been a crap year. A friend came and sat beside me at church and asked how I was. “How’ve you been? How’s life for Team van Ryn?” I looked her in the eye and decided that instead of contriving a sugar-coated response, I’d give it to her straight.  She’s the kind of person with the knack for teasing the truth out anyway.  I told her about the funerals, the health scares, the medication complications, the ‘no driving’ instruction, the waiting, the thwarted plans and the feelings of sorrow, frustration and fear. She nodded and said she had experienced the same periods of difficulty in her own past. “There’s nothing I can say,” she acknowledged, “but don’t be afraid to let it show.  Be honest with people.” It was immensely refreshing to speak so candidly.  To lose the pasted-on smile and the trying-too-hard squeak of happiness in the voice, shuffling from foot to foot while casting a line into the waters of the past to hook a positive, something to talk about without making people …

Kissing the Bullet

Who would have thought that being shot in the head would be such a boon!  When 16 year old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai took a bullet to her cranium in October last year for speaking out against the Taliban, she can’t have anticipated what a blessing in disguise that piece of metal would be. A year on, the young campaigner for the education of women has experienced worldwide exposure, won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize, been invited to the White House by US President Barack Obama himself and released her first book, ‘I Am Malala’. I wonder if she has that bullet propped on her bedside table and, every so often, she picks it up, rolls it around in her palm, maybe even kisses it and whispers, “Thank you little bullet!” Malala is an extraordinary girl.  I hesitate to use the word ‘girl’ for one who has demonstrated wisdom and courage well beyond her 16 years.  Making good of a bad situation takes a lot of character – in fact, it is the …

Memento Mori – Remember That You Will Die

“I can’t find your pulse,” the nurse said. This didn’t bode well for my employment prospects.  I was sitting there, breathing, blinking, alive as far as I could tell, enduring a medical check for a job I wanted so badly, and which hinged on this evaluation. The nurse continued prodding at my wrist to no avail.  I waited for her to lift her eyes and solemnly shake her head, to say, “I’m sorry Claire, the medical requirements for this position are strict: criteria number 5.4 specifies you must be alive!” She didn’t say that, of course.  Eventually she did find a vein with the requisite throb of blood flow to confirm my humanity to the new boss.  Cue Hallelujah Chorus. One day my pulse will stop.  We each, every one of us, have a death date.  We can frequent the gym, gargle green smoothies, cook with goji berries, chia seeds and maca powder, detox, pop vitamins and steer clear of sugar like it’s the devil incarnate, but even with the best, most holistic, health-conscious treatment …