akronchildrens.org

Back pain’s insights into love and compassion

Michelle Cooley (second from right) with Akron Aeros players, staff and Orbit.

Michelle Cooley (second from right) with Akron Aeros players, staff and Orbit.

I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for chronic low back pain.

It might sound crazy, but if I wake up in the morning without a very sore back, the thoughts that jump through my mind usually are, “What did I do wrong? Why doesn’t my back hurt?!”

Clearly, my brain doesn’t know what to do without it, so it’s a good thing that I have “Spondy 2.0″ as my forever faithful companion.

Besides helping me see the love and passion I have for people with injuries or diseases, I am so excited that God also used my back pain to bring me to Akron Children’s Hospital – as a therapy patient, and also as a volunteer this summer. Some of the happiest moments of the summer have been spent working at the hospital.

I’ve been blessed to be able to spend time in the outpatient pharmacy, working with dedicated, amusing pharmacists and techs, and also in the gift shop. I am blown away by the dedication of the Women’s Board helping the employees and patients at the hospital.

One of my very favorite days was when some of the Akron Aeros players and staff, accompanied by Orbit, came by the hospital to visit the patients.

One of the ladies who works in Volunteer Services, Helen, asked me if I wanted to take them through various departments so that they could interact with the patients. I was thrilled at the prospect and accepted her invitation right away!

I have personally experienced what it feels like to have someone spend time with me, care about me, and be a positive inspiration for me in the midst of a discouraging injury.

It nearly brought tears to my eyes to see how much the players taking a few moments out of their busy schedules could impact the children. I have personally experienced what it feels like to have someone spend time with me, care about me, and be a positive inspiration for me in the midst of a discouraging injury.

The medical staff at Children’s does this every day. To see baseball players, though, going beyond their “call of duty” and laughing with patients truly touched my heart. I am sure that the pictures, baseballs and pendants from that day will be cherished for a very long time.

Akron Children’s Hospital has played a huge role in my life this past year. I am not sure what I would have done without all the encouragement from various medical staff and volunteers.

My life has truly been forever changed, and I can’t wait to see where in the medical field I will end up further down the road because of my experiences at the hospital. Thank you to the sweet people in sports medicine, physical therapy, radiology, outpatient pharmacy, gift shop, volunteer services, and pain management for loving and caring.

Keep up the excellent work!

Michelle Cooley blogs at Broken Into Beautiful.