Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Time and TLC

Several years ago I found myself at a dermatologist’s office confronted with the news that the spot on my right shoulder was skin cancer.  He assured me that he felt it was superficial and that he could totally remove it with a simple laser procedure.  That assurance did come with a word of caution, however.  Should they see more cancer cells at a deeper level, they would have to cut deeper and deeper covering as much territory as necessary to remove every cancerous “tentacle.”  Once the surgery began, thankfully my cancer was only superficial and was eradicated with a simple laser procedure.  After the surgery, you would’ve thought I had gone through open heart surgery or something.  That spot was ever so painful!  And it took forever it seems, for the pain to finally go away.  For over a year, maybe two in fact, I still had a lump of scar tissue that was very sore to the touch. 

            One thing I do know is that cutting deeper would not have been fun!  It would, however, have been necessary.  The metaphor this experience offers me is uncanny as I continue to experience some “pains” that can’t be seen with the natural eye.  They are however, uncomfortable.  When I healed from my skin cancer surgery, I thought something was terribly wrong still because that lump of scar tissue was not reducing in size and was still so sore.  Finally, one day I asked my physical therapist during a deep heat massage if there was anything that could be done concerning that unsightly scar and the pain it continued to produce.  She said the more I massaged that spot, the more it would work out the soreness and pain and then it would also reduce in size and consistency.  It just needed some time and TLC!  Hmmmm… Time and TLC…

            About fifteen years ago my body began to “shut down,” literally.  I won’t go into details as to all that I experienced, but suffice it to say, my physical condition was such that it was more than apparent that the pain and fatigue I was experiencing was much more than a “superficial” condition.  It took scores of tests, months of research by my determined physician, and consultations with specialists to get to the bottom of things.  By the time he discovered the root cause, my body had suffered irreparable damage that would prove to cause soreness and pain on a daily basis.  I was left with neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, degenerative disk disease and a plethora of conditions that a woman my age should have never even heard of, let alone deal with.

            As I ride the roller coast that comes with flare ups from all of these conditions, I am reminded of both the words of caution from my dermatologist and words of encouragement from my physical therapist concerning that little patch of scar tissue on my shoulder.  I am a firm believer that even in the worst of physical conditions, that there is a root cause far beyond what we can see – and often its origin isn’t necessarily physical.  By that I mean, emotional triggers, mental stresses and spiritual attitudes can totally debilitate and destroy us until we are so weak physically that daily tasks become a chore.  With this knowledge or opinion, I believe that we have to “cut as deep” as possible to bring to light those things that suck the energy and life out of us.  Sometimes, even after situations – many years even, we still have a nasty patch of scar tissue that hurts terribly, especially when touched or rubbed the wrong way!  Like that scar tissue on my shoulder though, I am finding that the emotional scar tissue that produces the physical pain, needs to be massaged and worked out.  It needs time.  I need to exhibit love and patience with myself and administer TLC on a daily basis as well as allow others to administer it when they so freely offer it.  My favorite book, the Bible says that a “merry heart does good like a medicine.”  I recognize this truth more than ever.  When my life is filled with stress, when I cover up those deep issues, when I am afraid or filled with doubt or even when I am healing from a hurt of some kind, my body lets me know.  Boy does it ever!  I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away.  I wish I had never had the hurt or the illness or anything in between; but I have, and I am reminded that “time heals all wounds” and “love covers all wrongs.”  So tonight, I think after I share these words with you, I am going to take some time to massage those sore places, to work out the rough patches and to administer some much needed TLC!  If you are hurting, I hope you will do the same.  Your health depends on it!!!