Archived entries for

is there a buddhist in the house?!?

“Would you like to have spiritual care?”

The question scared me. The nurse had been casually going through various pre-op necessities, taking my blood pressure and checking my pulse and asking if I were allergic to latex. My impending translaminar foraminectomy was classified as elective surgery. “Spiritual care” sounded like “last rites” to me. Had I missed something in the surgeon’s office?

I discovered that the Methodist Hospital of Houston simply and charitably provides any spiritual presence for any patient who wants it. After quickly confessing that I was a Buddhist and then blithely announcing that, nah, I didn’t need any help, a tangle of unthought thoughts hit my head like sticky spiritual cobwebs.

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play it again, Rainer

I was burning. A slow, surreptitious fire. A diffuse thread of lightning tracing down my body. Not the shock of one hard blow but, like dark ink, a slow and spreading stain of pain.

And, I kept telling myself it’s just a little pain. It’s just a physical discomfort. (Do you, like me, think first of the heart when you hear the word “pain”?) And, then, after months of handling it and a then few more of needing help to handle it and then a good attitude and then a bad one and then drugs I didn’t want to take and then a surgery I actually did want, I have to admit that what I really felt, more than anything, was fear.

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