Miss Understood: Waiting for a Miracle

Miss Understood: Waiting for a Miracle

The other day I rented the movie “The Fault in Our Stars.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about a terminally ill teenager who was diagnosed as a young child.

Throughout the movie her mom pretty much shadows her, in a loving way. I won’t ruin the ending, but the story really hit home for me.

I’ve always been one who believes that everything happens for a reason. God has a plan and purpose for my pain and someday I’ll be able to help others through it. But when you see a child in a hospital bed undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia or some other terminal illness, you can’t help but question what could possibly be the reason for it all.

1280px-Adam_na_restauratieThen, if the child grows up and continues to be sick, continues to hurt, continues to have a terrible life, and never sees a day of relief or hope — I ask myself, why?

I’ll never forget being at the hospital when my daughter was 8-weeks old for an emergency surgery. Most of the kids there couldn’t go home, lived on morphine drips, and were probably never going to have a normal childhood.

Seeing a child go through what we pain sufferers go through daily is hard. I’ve imagined how their parents must feel and how difficult it must be for them. Not only dealing with the bad news, but having to remain strong and positive when your child wants to give up or is slipping away.

It’s easy for me to say I don’t want to go through this anymore because the pain is so unbearable.

But it’s entirely different when you hear your own child say it.

When I left the hospital, I remember asking God why he hadn’t given those kids their miracles yet.

I’m beginning to doubt that there is ever going to be a miracle for me. I know I have many imperfections and I wasn’t diagnosed when I was an innocent child either — so I feel like my chances of getting better and seeing a pain-free life are slim to none.

I guess in a way I feel undeserving. But then I remind myself that I didn’t ask for my auto immune diseases, and I didn’t ask to feel so much pain that I can only sleep a few hours at night no matter how much pain medication I take.

The same force that decided I would suffer is the same force that decides when I’ll be set free. There is no genie with three wishes who will grant me a clean bill of health, or any amount of money that can buy it.

I wish someone could explain to me why life is so unfair.

Arlene and girlscropped1Arlene Grau lives in southern California. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s disease.

The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that!  It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

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Johnna Stahl

It’s funny how Americans use movies to relate, but Hollywood can get it right sometimes, and movies can tell the stories that average folks never get to tell.

I remember being deeply affected by The Messenger with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster. It must be extremely hard to have a job that entails being the bearer of tragic news.

I remember the scene where Ben Foster’s character recalls being in a VA hospital, feeling suicidal, and his plan to jump off the roof of the building. He recalled the isolation, coldness, and emptiness of the rooftop — and how, because the sun came up, he changed his mind. (Ben Foster — an awesome performance and an incredible actor.)

And because I play a doctor on the internet, I am prescribing Awe Therapy for you, Ms. Grau.


Don’t get hung up on questioning why life is so unfair — perhaps that’s something we’re not supposed to know.