Monday, September 10, 2007

And Be Ye Healed

At the end of my two week hospital stay, the Dr. came to talk to my mom and I about the possiblity of skin grafts. My legs looked awful...too awful for me to even look at. I would end up spending most of the next two years actively not looking at my thighs. When he came, it was a pain day. I could not focus on anything as the pain just rode my body in increasingly worst waves. The staff did not like to give me painkillers due to my age, so I mostly suffered. And I had to suffer silently or the nurses would come and yell at me to be quiet. I only heard glimpses of what the process: skin from my butt removed, and placed on my legs. It repulsed me. I already felt freaky and somehow the process would make me more of a monster. I told my mom no and insisted even when the Dr. argued with us.


"God will heal me." I said confidently. My mom beamed and the Dr. shook his head in disgust. But the converstaion ended, and I could back to the pain. If I focused and counted through the waves, it got better.


My grandmother came later that day with a Happy Meal (the first solid food I had eaten in two weeks) and green grapes. I managed to eat some of the food before the pain killed my appetite. My mom proudly told my grandmother what I had told the Dr. My grandmother began to plan the healing immediately for church that Sunday. I felt a bit guilty because really I had only said it so that the Dr. would go with his freaky suggestions. But by that night, once the pain subsided, I convinced myself that God would indeed heal me. One just had to have faith according to my grandmother. I had faith.


The hospital released me the next day. I still had to have phyiscal therapy, and my mom had to change my bandages once a day. Both were painful activities. Dread shadowed my days. We missed church for a couple of weeks. After a few sessions of physical therapy, coupled with bandage changings, I didn't feel like going anywhere. I spent most of my days, curled up on the couch watching cartoons and looking at books. I worried that missing church would be seen by God as a serious lack of faith. I prayed extra hard at night.


Finally, the pain subsided enough for me to go out in public. My mom dressed me in a brown curdory skit and a flannel yellow dress shirt covered in blue flowers. My legs were banaged from my crotch to my knee. My dad carried me to the car. My grandpa carried me into the church once we arrived. I sat patiently through the singing, and the service. I didn't even go to children's church. I was eargerly awaiting the end of the service. Finally the pastor opened up the altar. Everyone turned to me.


I got up, wobbly, holding onto the pew in front of me. I stumbled to the asile. Slowly, I hobbled down to the altar. No one came with me. I had to show my faith by walking up alone. People were mummuring , speaking in tongues, as I haunched over, bowlegged and stumbling. I couldn't walk upright yet. My legs couldn't brush together without sending me into screaming pain so I had to hold them far from each other. The muscles were weak from loss of mass. Still I walked. Every step hurt, and I held my tears back. Tears would be a sign of faithlessness. Finally, I could see the pastor, who was blinking back tears. He turned me to the congregation "God will heal her!" he declared. " We have to join our faith with hers." He laid his hands on my head and began, with the whole congregation, to pray.


I still wonder who had the lack of faith: the congregation or me.

5 comments:

John B-R said...

And you worry about your writing ... good grief. We should all have your problems with the written word.

Lolabola said...

that comment just sent me into hysterics!

John B-R said...

good or bad hysterics?

Lolabola said...

good good!

Horacio said...

Maybe it's God that lacked faith in himself... he's been proclaimed dead so many times that the guy doesn't even know he exists, or how he exists.

Who in that child's mind lacked faith?

As for the writing (and about being worried about statement of purpose etc.) I completely agree with John.