Lately my knees and ankles are taking turns reminding me they are there. On a pain scale it’s not much, maybe a 3. But there are days my complaining joints lead me to wonder how much longer I’ll be able to do what I need or want to do.
So it was today. My right knee sent out unhappy signals as I propelled the shopping cart to the car. I wondered how much longer I’ll be able to do the tasks of everyday living.
As I started to drive out of the parking lot, I saw a cart someone had left by a curb. It was one of those grocery carts which has a buggy for young children attached. The cart was in a lane used by drivers to turn into an exit.
For some reason, seeing the cart there irked me. I was going to let it there but I thought, “No, I’m going to move it out of the way.” So I parked the car and grabbed the buggy. The buggy corral was some distance away, and I knew my knee would complain, but I wanted to do it, so I took the wayward buggy back. You know what? While I was doing it, I didn’t feel any pain. My guess is the adrenaline from my anger cancelled out the pain sensations.
I took at least three lessons from this little episode:
- Pain doesn’t keep me from caring about something enough to take some sort of action to alleviate it. I can still do something.
- Adrenaline from anger is enough to stop pain, at least temporarily. (I’m sure a doctor could have told me this a long time ago).
- Anger has its place. Anger can be an expression of caring, but we have to be careful that the expression doesn’t make things worse.
I’m not advocating getting angry to stop pain–I’m just writing this as kind of an expression of wonderment as to how our bodies (or my body, anyway) works.