Academia, Career, Compassion, Faith, Pain, Philosophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Wisdom

Compassion in Science (about Pain)

I awoke to find my wife in pain. She had broken her wrist earlier in the month, and had just accidentally knocked her arm into the side of the door by the bathroom.

On top of this, she had a wisdom tooth removed by a dentist. The procedure had complications and the result was chronic inflammation and pain on the left side of her face. She now takes Vicodin, daily, wears a brace for her wrist, and has missed several days of work already.

We had a conversation this morning about her pain after she recovered from the smack with the door jam.

“I think I understand why people get depressed,” she said–“when they have chronic pain.”

“And for some people it doesn’t go away,” I replied.

“I know,” she said. “I’m okay.”

I felt better when she said she’d be fine. It would be a few weeks, but her injuries are minor and will heal completely. Soon, and truthfully, we will both forget a lot of the discomfort this brief experience into daily pain and the interruption it brings into our home.

This is why I write now, to remember–that what I do in the laboratory has greater importance, and is done in the awareness that I must approach this type of work diligently.

I know there are so many challenges ahead, including personal issues with this kind of work (I’ve talked about this in other posts); there is something else that pushes me. I’m not 100% entirely sure what that is. But nonetheless, I want to work with compassion in my SCI research. I truly do want to know that it goes beyond the paycheck, the tedious paperwork, the politics, and can make a difference–even just a small one.

This is something I’ll keep in mind today when I head into work. I’m not helpless here. I’ve got an idea.

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3 thoughts on “Compassion in Science (about Pain)

  1. Have not discovered your name but whoever you are I for one appreciate your work and the Spirit behind it. One of the annoying things about my own injury (c5 incomplete) is that I have some muddy feeling throughout my body but cannot move. So in addition to neuropathic pain I get other aches I can do nothing about. So it is an encouragement to read about the compassion that motivates your study.

  2. Pingback: Compassion for Ourselves in the Face of Pain « Mindful Lifestyle – Devoted to Healing & Being

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