Being Humbled and Enduring Pain: Appropriate for Holy Week

We weren’t able to make it to a Good Friday Service this year (more on that below) so we prayed a rosary together as a family just after dinner but just before the Canucks game. It was a beautiful time, both spiritual and (respectfully) humourous in spots. Jake fell asleep by the 2nd decade, while Sean kept losing count, and he would try and signal me to find out where we were without having Gail notice. Priceless. Kayla meanwhile was babbling constantly throughout…you can guess who she takes after there. It reminded me just how powerful praying with the family can be, and it encouraged us and challenged us to make more time for deliberate prayer as a family.

The reason I wasn’t able to leave the house today was because I am nursing an inch-wide and half-inch deep cut on the back of my leg. I had an abscess removed on Tuesday (remnants of a staph infection I got in late February). My family doctor packed it after cutting it out on Tuesday…it was so painful that I bit a hole through the paper on his examination table! He removed the packing on Thursday and repacked it in a slightly-less painful procedure. We went for dinner an hour later to the Vetters, and I started bleeding out from the wound, soaking the dressings and my pants. Thankfully, Zinha is a Registered Nurse, so she was able to redress it for me (I had to ask permission from her husband Richard that she see me with my pants down…haha) and she recommended that I go to Emergency at Richmond General Hospital. They generously offered to watch Sean and Jake while Gail and Kayla took me to the hospital.

I am so grateful that the Lord had us at that place at that time. I almost didn’t go to the Vetters’ that night, opting instead to just rest at home. I probably wouldn’t have known what to do had I started bleeding profusely with no one to help me! So not only did I get a yummy meal…I got professional care and some peace-of-mind.

It was a madhouse in the waiting room but I was luckily treated within an hour. Needless to say, it was very humbling lying on the hospital bed with my pants off with both the female nurse and female doctor tending to me. Thankfully I was wearing decent underwear. As unpleasant as it was for me, it must have been worse for them as they had to clean, re-pack, and re-dress the wound. The most painful part was actually when they removed the tape (think Steve Carell in the 40 Year-Old Virgin).

While waiting to be worked on, I had a lot of time to think, text, reflect, and pray. I thought it was appropriate that this was happening to me during the Easter Triduum, as I thought of the humility shown by Christ washing His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, and the pain and anguish He felt on Good Friday. This isn’t to say that my humbling experiences and pain were comparable at all to what Jesus went through…but they certainly were analogous to me.

Here’s one last funny story: in making small talk with the Filipina nursing student, I mentioned that my wife was born in the Philippines. She then asked me if I was Filipino, and I responded “no” but that I could say one Filipino phrase…but that it was very inappropriate for the situation (remember…I was lying there on my stomach in my underwear). She told me to save it for when we were done.

After I finished dressing myself, she asked what the phrase was. I said in perfectly fluent Tagalog: “Gusto mo akong umutot?” She burst out into laughter and indeed thanked me for saving it…as it means “Do you want me to fart?” Quite the ending to my hospital visit!

The injury has affected me more than I thought: I can’t really sit so I’m regulated to lying down or standing. Thus, I can’t drive and I was in an out of the office all week for short spurts. Being a person somewhat of routine and habit, I find that I haven’t been really effective at anything, either at home or at work. So I’m praying that I can recover quickly and get back to business as usual.

Thus, I’m looking forward to the joy and new life that comes from Christ’s glorious resurrection at Easter! And to keep with my analogy…it will likely mean taking the boys bowling or playing hockey outside.

Happy Easter!