I Know How You Feel and Other Fables

The journey that Robin is on involves giant dollops of pain in the early days after surgery. We should have known that by the insistence of her therapists that we have the Big Gun pain meds in our hands before she left the hospital, and that we don’t even think about skipping a dose in the first few days. All of the bad press that the opiates have received in the past several years certainly does make a person wary. But this sort of adventure is among those for which they were created. In using them a person has to remember to grab the knife by the hilt and not by the blade.

So yesterday was not a day we will probably choose to remember. Robin is extraordinarily game, and forced herself to do what she was supposed to do, take short walks etc., but it wore her out. Presently there is apparently no such thing as a comfortable position.

I’m pretty sure that this is the reason that late yesterday afternoon I found her on the phone checking my references as a caregiver. I didn’t think that I’d done that badly, but then … the patient would be the expert, wouldn’t they?


From The New Yorker


I have very little personal experience with pain, relatively speaking. Oh, there’ve been drawn-out episodes of emotional distress that each seemed overwhelming at its time, but physical pain … not much. There has been the odd broken rib here and there, the fractured thumb when I was trying to render my brother unconscious during a fistfight that popped up in a basketball contest, the time when my “back went out” when I was trying to field a ground ball in a baseball game and for two weeks I couldn’t stand up straight, but that’s about it. Nothing like what I see in front of me these days. So I don’t even try to say anything like “I know how you feel” because truth is, I don’t know and Robin is aware of that.

Actually, I think we could safely retire the phrase “I know how you feel.” It’s probably never true, and how would we know if it was or wasn’t? I know that when I have heard people address me with those words, the only thing it did was make me wish they would gather up their blather and take it somewhere else.



2 thoughts on “I Know How You Feel and Other Fables

  • Hang in there dear Robin. (And you too, Jon). I am so sorry that you are having a rough time. Jon is right, those painkillers are meant for these situations. Wish I could do more than send these weak words. HUGS! Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  • The guilty flee-eth where no man pursueth. Sure hope it wasn’t me who said, « I know how you feel. »

    Oh Robin! I hope you feel better right away! And don’t fire your caregiver.

    More hugs and love and strong thoughts to you. Caroline

    PS Joe compared Jon’s gift of gab to Bill Bryson and Mark Twain. Zounds! High praise. And, I certainly couldn’t have said it better. Laughing – I know how he feels.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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