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

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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.

Originally published: June 17, 2018
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