When You're in Pain but 'the Show Must Go on'


I smiled as the children entered the room one by one. I greeted them the best I could without knowing sign language, they smiled back and I began reading my books. I remember reading with such enthusiasm that day as the interpreter moved her hands with every word I said.

Then came the question answer portion; I smiled and laughed through all of their intelligent questions and gave them very peppy responses. When all of this was said and done they left — and I let out a loud scream of pain.  You see the day before I woke up with massive back pain (the reason is still unknown but I feel it was a kidney stone). This pain had not gone away and I was feeling hopeless about it ending in the near future.

My screaming was cut short as the next group of children came into the room. I repeated the same activities with an unexpected level of energy, never letting on that I had any pain to anyone other than the principal and my sister who had planned this event for me. For many months after I received fan letters and messages on Facebook from the students telling me how much they enjoyed my presentation. Now, when I look back I rarely think about the pain I felt. Instead I think about the joy I gave to these children and the strength I had to make sure the show went on.

Getty photo by Monkey Business Images.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Pain

25 Things People Who Live Pain-Free Should Know About Chronic Pain

25 Things People Who Live Pain-Free Should Know About Chronic Pain

If you don’t have chronic pain, it’s pretty hard to really understand what it’s like. Even if you have someone in your life who has chronic pain, you’re only seeing their experience from the outside — and as any pain warrior will tell you, what you see on the outside barely scratches the surface of [...]
digital painting of love couple hugging, watercolor on paper texture

To My Friend With Chronic Illness, From Your Friend Who Has Your Back

To my friend with a chronic illness, You are my friend, and I love you. You aren’t an illness or a diagnosis. You aren’t weak or burdensome. You tell me you feel you aren’t tough or courageous, but your actions tell me another story. You are mighty, and I am so very proud of you [...]
A woman sitting on a bed looking sad and lonely

The Separate 'Planet' We Live on as People With Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain is like living on another planet with a completely different atmosphere. Other pains can usually be pointed to or clearly described. They are polite enough to stay within certain physical or emotional confines, and have a reasonable shelf life. Chronic pain, on the other hand simply refuses to leave, and often [...]
Forces of Nature series. Arrangement of colorful paint and abstract shapes on the subject of modern art, abstract art, expressionism and spirituality

How Surrendering to My Pain Actually Helped It Feel Better

It is a natural reflex for all living beings to want to get away from pain, and for those who are faced with daily chronic pain, it becomes an ongoing struggle to get free from its grip. As we juggle medication, nutrition, supplements and every possible way to make our life bearable, we become frustrated [...]