Jane H. Davis
Experience of Brokenness- By Gentrie Pool

I don't know what to do. My heart is breaking and grieving for all the people that suffer.

What do you as you watch a person suffer? Watch them writhe and sweat and cry out to God for mercy. What
do you do as you sit comfortably in your own temporal dwelling of flesh and bone? Grimace and feel guilty.
What do you do after you pray, you hold it together, champion, advocate and cheerlead your agonizing partner
in this life? What do you do as you witness his tangible fear to keep living, intertwined with his ethereal fear of
dying, fear of failure, fear of mediocrity? Its display is inescapable as you bear witness to it in the human you
love-and-feel as much as your own being.

Where do you go to cry and screech and wail and break and beg? Where do your dreams go? Your plans for
'us'? Your fantasies of holding hands? Sitting near each other on the same piece of furniture? Sleeping cold
butt to cold butt in the same bed? Or even the same room. After the endless disappointing calls and pleads to
doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after doctor after
doctor after doctor after doctor after administrator after therapist and parent, sister, father, best friend, lawyer,
policy maker, receptionist, nurse, acupuncturist, colleague, stranger, neighbor and fellow caregiver? Where is
the play book? The rule book? The script? The end? The reason? The answer?

Who tells you it gets better? It gets easier? It's temporary? That he will overcome? That there is a reason? A
solution? A grand destiny? That there is help?

Why is this beautiful soul shrouded in six failing feet two twisted inches, eighty seven startling pounds of
physical flesh and deformed bone set on punishing him for an offense unknown? For an infinite time.
Why are there 185 doctor visits in 5 years? 1000s of pills? Unimaginable side effects? 10 failed surgeries and
procedures? Unimaginable tears and desperation? Foul stench of burst colostomy bags in the middle of the
night? Ruptured gushing cardiac picc lines on the brand new mattress? Blood pressure of 188/108 to a 30/50
dip? Why are there 20 years of crippling daily seizures of the bladder and teeterings of a stroke? Why are
there ice pics of piercing pain from shoulder to finger tip? Why isn't there movement below the nips? This is
inconvenient, but mostly why people frown. Why are protective finger and toe nails fallen out? A result of
shock? Why are there spasms that twist 37 years of life into a frozen fetal position every morning? Pressure
sores, leg bags, catheters, snapped femurs...
cadaver bones, plates, screws, rods...
scoliosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autonomic dysreflexia, malnourishment...
depression, tendonitis, neuropathy, colostomy...emergency surgery, endoscopy, sonogram, KUB...
hypogastric plexus anomaly...quadriplegia of the worst degree.
Why do doctors and hospitals turn you away and look past you with down cast eyes and hurried glances? Why
aren't my shoulders capable of handling this?

How is he still smiling? How is he still loving? How is he still going? How do I take the yoke and carry the burden
and remain stoic?

When does he get his chance? When will it stop? When does he get to begin again? When will we stop asking
why? When do we just accept it? When will my heart quit grieving and gripping me with paralyzing emotion?
When will it be worse?

New normal? Silver lining? Am I culpable? Is this dying?

Is this preparation for our true lives? Is it true we are aliens here and only prisoners of our own devices?
Waiting to discover what heaven is.

I cry softly at these tipping points. I cry violently when my body warrants it.

Questions don't matter in the midst of the splatter. He is fitfully asleep and I ponder our mutual disaster. 7,587
days and nights without privacy. Do you know what's stolen? Money, checks, medicine, prescriptions right from
the pharmacy...
dignity, opportunity, normalcy...
child bearing and therefore child rearing, parking spots, girls that are hot...
always privacy...
humanity, vehicles, clothes, wheelchairs, too...
all while right in front of me.

Not being able to walk? That's inconvenient. It's everything else, that's disabling. Cobweb like nerves operated
on.  What's left remaining  is paper thin muscle tissue and a spirit treaded upon. I'm gonna remind you one
more time, that handicap spot? That's mine. The one you're taking. I will let you have it, but it's a mistake you
are making. Do it again, I'm not fakin', upon your return, it’s me you're disgracin’.
Experience of Brokenness
by Gentrie Pool