I was recently reminded that big things come in small packages and… well… the saying that less is more has never been more true. You see, while going outside on a lunch break while working a new job, I was bitten by a vicious creature. My mind assured me that given the size of the little nuisance, certainly it couldn’t be a big deal….
Boy… was I wrong… Relax and explore with me, the ways in which a simple insect bite changed my life (and social perceptions) forever.
I felt the pain… the shock… the discomfort… but in spite of my instincts telling me that something was terribly wrong, I allowed the pain to intensify. By the time I decided to check on this uncharacteristically annoying sensation, the little critter was gone. I never even got a chance to see it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there and that it wasn’t VERY REAL.
How often do we find ourselves undergoing painful circumstances while doing nothing about them?
Don’t we often feel things “sting” us, but ignore them with the hope they may soon go away?
As I watched the enormity of my arm grow, I realized that this wasn’t just any type of bite. Something was terribly wrong! I knew that my swollen forearm required immediate attention… but I had something else to attend to.
Aren’t we always too busy to engage in self-care?
In my case, I was expected to attend a highly anticipated family reunion and making a pit stop at the local Urgent Care would have delayed this feat. The results… instead of completely enjoying the festivities of my family to the extent in which I hoped to do, I was distracted by the growing, itchy, sensation that was consuming my aching arm. I was forced to seek counsel from several family members on how to best handle my increasingly growing arm. In fact, as I approached the stage for my turn to speak in the program, the ice filled bag attached to my arm received more attention than I had hoped for.
Ignoring my arm was mistake #1…
Mistake #1 lead me to mistake #2…
Don’t we frequently prioritize things that we shouldn’t?
I was so consumed with making sure that I attended to the needs of my family reunion that I neglected to take care of the unexpected needs of my aching arm. We often find ourselves sticking so far to the “plan” of our lives, that when anything interferes with what we have arranged, we find ourselves in compromising situations. Living a life of rigidity, while great for organizational skills, requires some flexibility. When we get so used to “going through the motions” we fail to realize that we might be missing out on things which are equally, if not more important. I don’t know about you, but my health, in this regard was very important and I failed miserably when it came to recognizing this.
And then Mistake #3…
Why do I need someone else to tell me what I already know?
As I commuted back to work (after leaving the reunion early because of my “rigid” schedule) I was confronted by the nurse who instructed me to leave work right away and go to the doctor to be treated for scoliosis. I don’t know what that is, but it has a name that I don’t want associated with me so I left to go to the doctor’s appointment immediately. You see, though she was a professional, she was only telling me what I knew anyway, but didn’t trust myself enough to adhere to. You see, while my heart was telling me the whole time that this was something that I needed to take seriously, my mind just wouldn’t allow the messages of my heart to prevail. I trusted someone else to take better care of me then I was willing to do for myself. And while I certainly appreciated her concern for my health and welfare, I am deeply troubled that I allowed my own fears, inflexibility, and wants to interfere with me doing for myself what I knew was the right thing to do… seek treatment! I assumed and wanted to believe that nothing as small as (whatever bit me) could be strong enough to disrupt my pre-existing plans, but the reality was there was something strong enough to do so and it did. My stubbornness almost made me become further victimized by its circumstances.
The moral of this story… Sometimes it’s the small things that matter most. Had I been hit by a tow truck or gotten into a car accident, I wouldn’t have thought twice about changing my course. But when something as small as an insect bite entered my world, I overlooked all clues that suggested that this was bad news. But despite the smallness of insect bites, the consequences of insect bites are as follows:
- Swelling in the throat or face (swollen lips and eyes)
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Difficulty swallowing
- A rash that spreads beyond the sting site.
- Rapid pulse
- Trouble breathing
And like these problems suggest, not taking seriously “small” problems might lead to “big” consequences. After all, big things DO come in small packages!