Friday, July 22, 2005

Our reason to persist

A new bomb shook Beirut last night. As always, I feel sad and desillusioned, but I seem to have lost the anger. I thought twice about posting a short tale of personal suffering when I'm just a little, insignificant drop in a sea of affliction. But it's all probably connected. And maybe it's all the same.

I passed a kidney stone yesterday. One tiny little piece of crystallized mineral salts, that felt like mount rushmore was slowly and painfully moving down my ureter. I have been quite healthy most of my life, but I'm no stranger to pain. I've had my fair share of toothaches, headaches, backaches, stomachaches, and yes, the all-dreaded heartaches. But this was no usual ache. This was it. And it was different.

It comes suddenly, finds you, digs ferociously into your gut, drenches you in sweat, tears and vomit all at the same time, and makes you wish you could carve your right flank out with your own cold hand and trembling fingers, and throw it to the dogs.

It makes you realize that, no matter how many patients you've treated and how much you know about body ailments, you never really apprehend until you find yourself sitting helplessly on the other side, the side of the ill, writhing in pain at home, at the edge of your bed, shaking like a leaf in an empty waiting room while people are too busy to lend you a moment, watching from the coldness of your stretcher the neon lights racing over your head, one light at a time, just like in the movies, as you are pushed around from your bed to the scanner and back, a journey of a few minutes that seems to take three forevers in a row.

It makes you respect the stone. And fear it.

Yet it passes. And as it lies inanimate and harmless in the palm of your hand, you stand victorious and invincible. Or so you would like to believe. Or so you probably should.

In times like these, the realization of how weak and vulnerable we are can bring an abrupt end to our willingness to fight. But it rarely does. Because the fight, although sometimes we might think differently, is not about the outcome. The eventual outcome is known and inevitable. The fight is about the fight itself. Not the least bit more.

Because that is what truly differentiates us from animals. Our survival instinct, our belligerence and anger, our neverending struggle, be it for health, power, ideology, food and water even, is not about preservation of the species or the individual. It is about not settling for acceptance. It is about not putting down weapons and giving up. It is about holding the fight till the very end.

It is about finding in the struggle for persistence itself a reason to persist.

Because we're all here for the journey. And if we weren't, all of life becomes nothing more than a big, fat, all too long and all too unpleasant joke.


Blogger Delirious said...

7amdellah 3al salemeh...
Sorry to hear about your ordeal, extremely glad it's over.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Sloth said...

firstly .. il7imdilla 3ala salmtik .. it must have been rough .. as they say the strongest pain after delivery cramps are the kidney stones ones.. so again il7imdilla 3ala salamtik :)

secondly i truley believe in what u said.. i've experienced to be on the other side of the hospital as well.. I came suffereng from a bad sore throat and instead of adminstering the antibiotics immediately they actually forgot me for over 12 hours where i was slipping in and out of conciousness friends no family unable to produce a sound.. i developed speticaemia and almost died ..
it really made a difference now i am more aware of the silent patients ..
excellent post :)

8:44 AM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thank you both for your kind thoughts. Quite glad it's over myself.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

My apologies Thermo-crime for
asking you publicly, but could
you send me an Email Please, as I need to ask you something, and I
can't find your email address.

Thanks very much.

3:21 PM  
Blogger La La said...

Is that the actual stone? By the way I was checking out your blog, you're a beautiful writer.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

MG, I am intrigued by your request. Curious as hell though. What the heck. Here you go.

janjoon, yes, this is the actual stone. Amazing isnit? And me a beautiful writer? Gosh thanks a lot, but how did you manage to find my picture? :)

8:21 PM  
Blogger La La said...

OK OK - you're writing is beautiful. better?

8:29 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

HAHAHA :) actually yes and no. It better suits what you meant to say, but for some reason, I liked the other one better :)

8:33 PM  

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