Of Pain and Beauty

Kosmo wrote a post on his blog, Genes and Demons, describing "a pain so bad your skin gets cold—sweat rising in a clammy sheen... Pain apocalyptic. Pain so many and so much that it is a color seen, red-black, at the edge of your vision. Pain like an organic mass inside you, a dead rabbit festering in your gut..."

It's a beautiful post, and turns out (horrifying though it is) the post was an actual journal entry.

I read the post, and it reminded me viscerally of the pain I'd first experienced two weeks after giving birth via VBAC, on a day when I had unwisely returned to work for a few hours to participate in a VTC.

I lay writhing on the floor that day, scaring my husband to death. I don't remember how long the pain lasted that first day - long enough for folks to get scared, call the ambulance, load me into the ambulance, take me to the emergency room, and get me installed in one of the ER rooms, covered with warmed blankets.

It was only then, lying in the ER room, that the pain began to ease. The doctor (a female, for what it's worth) came in and glanced at me from the doorway after checking her clipboard.

"Female. Fat. Fertile. Forty. The four Fs. It's your gallbladder."

There is a phenomenon that occurs in women after pregnancy. They tend to forget the pain their body has experienced. They remember that there was pain, but it becomes an academic recollection. My gall bladder experience fell within that blessed window of forgetfulness. I remember thinking at the time that this pain ("a dead rabbit festering in your gut") was worse than the transition contractions I had experienced only two weeks previously on an instant by instant basis. In addition, the dead rabbit pain lasted long minutes stretching into hours, where contractions only lasted a matter of seconds (90 max). Was my dead rabbit pain ever the four hour ordeal Kosmo describes? I can no longer remember.

Anyway, go read Kosmo's journal entry - it's stunning.

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