"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." -Anonymous
So, we have gotten to Wednesday, and I have not written a thing all week. This cold which has lasted for two weeks has me stuck. I just do not feel well enough to write. But actually, that is not entirely accurate. What is keeping me from writing, from creating, from getting anything done, that which is keeping me from smiling and being pleasant and positive is, in fact, my ear. It is plugged, as in totally plugged. Like a tiny little suction cup has been activated in the inside of my head, pulling the ear drum tight. It is not painful, but it is uncomfortable. And oh-so-annoying. My entire conversation with my husband has been me saying “What?” to every comment he makes. I have to have captions turned on the TV because I cannot hear what they are saying. Indeed, I cannot hear anything besides the blood pulsing, pulsing, pulsing in my head. Which leads me to hearing nothing but negative thoughts in my head. They start as “I am so sick of this darned eardrum!” to “I will be deaf in this ear for the rest of my life”, which inevitably leads to the not-so-useful thought that my life sucks.
Yes, I did go to the doctor. She said, “I hate having to tell a patient that there is nothing we can do. But there is nothing we can do. It just takes time…and patience.” And here is the paradox: when a person is feeling crabby and anxious and half-deaf, the last thing that person can garner is patience.
One time a friend of mine, who I swear is never ever crabby, was well, kind of crabby with me. He didn’t join in on my joke or my banter. I took it personally. I thought, “Well, what have I done wrong? Why is he not liking me today?” I found out later that he had a sore throat. He told me that his doctor told him that it was the reddest, rawest throat he had ever seen!
All of which gets me to thinking about people who have permanently plugged ears or blind eyes or aching joints or sore throats or never-ending physical or emotional pain. And, like my ear, you can’t see the suffering, you can only see or hear the crabbiness, which you take personally.
So, this week, I’m going to try to take a little time off from my obsession, and it is indeed an obsession, with my plugged ear. When the store clerk is short with me, I’ll think, “Well, maybe her arthritis is acting up”. Or when my neighbor complains about my lawn, I might think, “Well, it could be that she just heard some terrible news.” Of course, some people are just naturally crabby, but I’m going to try to suppose there’s something more behind that foul mood.
So, if in the last week I have not been kind to you, I apologize. Most likely my ear was bugging me, or just as likely, I didn’t hear you, and it has indeed been a great battle.