Pain with a Purpose

2 Years

So today, October 23, 2018,  marks my 2 year burn-iversary. Wow, what a journey.

In the beginning we celebrated “days”. Each one was filled with pain, uncertainty and fear. Days was the unknown yet each day was a victory.

Then came “weeks”. More pain, less fear and uncertainty… seemed like a reasonable trade. Weeks was the hardest for those closest to me. Specifically Annie. Those first weeks of dressing changes (both my hand and donor site on my leg) were about as “graphic and intense” as we could imagine. Annie simply learned what to do from the doctors and preformed the changes daily. Pain and tears were met with prayers and gratitude each time.

Months” was more of a mental battle. Healing and recovery matched with pain… often intense. Months in the cloud of opioids was both fearful and welcomed. The opioid crisis in America was really coming front and center and taking them daily to cope with the pain, while fully supported by my doctors, created its own tension within the recovery.

And now “years”. So thankful to be here. Years are the big chunks of this journey. 2 years is significant in severe burns as most nerve damage that will heal has healed by now. The good news is the pain is so much less than before. The bad news, it persists more than expected. Daily and for several hours most days. But again, a good trade for sure. While I’m still needing pain meds, it’s with much less frequency and on my terms.

Writing this as I travel through Barcelona’s busy streets in a taxi, I’m struck by the fact that so much of my life is back to normal. I feel as if I’ve purchased this normal with 2 years of equal amounts fighting and submitting.

I’m am forever changed by all of this. My disfigured hand, the memories of suffering and the pain are there but they exist merely as footnotes. The real, meaningful and substantive change is far greater. My faith in God and love for Jesus has been strengthened. My gratitude has blossomed.”My patience has stretched beyond what I thought possible. My perspective as to what’s important has been re-calibrated and my love for life and those who love me has deepened in ways I can’t begin to explain.

Once again, seems like a fair trade.

I was never a victim… but forever a survivor.