Do you know pain? No, you don’t.
Have you ever heard someone scream in pain? I mean in real pain.
I believe few people have. Pain is Hell on Earth.
In that kind of pain, you don’t know you are screaming.
Yet you hear your own voice from about a foot away from your head.
I was in a 1,000-bed hospital. And the medical staff in my ward later told me they’ve all heard.
I was hospitalized for three months last year. No treatment for the first few weeks, but tests, tests and tests.
The doctors couldn’t treat my pain until they knew exactly what was causing it.
I underwent the MRI, X-ray that took about an hour to take images, slight electric shocks, etc.
The doctors could not pinpoint what was wrong with me.
But the team of the doctors agreed on a diagnosis based on the data from the tests as “circumstantial evidence”.
The diagnosis was written in 14 Chinese characters none of which I could read or understand.
I could only understand I was with some sort of the artery inflammation.
In my case, the diagnosis is officially recognized as a refractory disease.
The excruciating pain occurred on one of those testing days. I then wished I’d rather die.
Even in such a pain, my mind was independently calm and clear.
What floated on the mind then was the photo of a little boy who was washed ashore dead on the Mediterranean shore.
The little boy was apparently on escape with his family on a crowded dinghy from the war in his country.
Due to an unexpected mishap, he must have been thrown out of the dinghy.
I couldn’t help overlapping what I was going through with the fear and pain he must have experienced.
Could he scream because of the fear when he was forcibly separated from his family on the swaying dinghy?
The pain he had as he approached his death was no doubt felt greater than mine to his little body.
Yet strangely, he looked so calm and peaceful lying on the shore.
I wanted to join him in whatever a world he has gone to.
“No, you can’t!” my mind immediately told myself.
“How can I?” I said to myself.
I have lived in this world for the past decades, shouting over the head of the weaker and flattering the stronger.
All I thought was good for myself and myself alone for making a living.
Whatever a world where the little boy may be frolicking now is too serene for me to join in.
I could only close my eyes and shut my mouth tightly to bear the pain.
The team of the doctors decided on a medication to give me on the “tentative diagnosis”.
Miraculously it worked. The pain was gone overnight.
With the absence of pain, I’ve never felt better in my life.
I’m at the age where I have a few more years left to live.
I stand on the crossroads where I vaguely see two alternative ways:
Will I leave this world into eternal darkness with pain?
Or will my consciousness float on in a new world without pain to meet that boy?