Last October I began having a serious pain in my right shoulder and assumed that somehow I had injured it while working on the fixer-upper house of ours. I did not do anything at the time because my annual physical had already been scheduled for the end of October and I would discuss it with my doctor at that time. We did indeed discuss it and he ordered x-rays of my shoulder to see if they would show anything. A few days after the x-rays were done I received a letter telling me that my shoulder showed mild osteoarthritic changes.
I continued working on the house not believing that the shoulder pain I suffered was arthritic in nature and continued to think that I had somehow injured myself. The pain intensity was such that I had to numb it a bit with regular doses of ibuprofen and after a while I began to question my quality of life and whether or not continuing on with the pain on a day to day basis was worth it. Shortly after these negative thoughts began I contracted a bad cold and was forced to slow down my level of effort.
After the cold passed I turned my attention to some small woodworking projects, namely two display shelves for the master bathroom, and attempted to wean myself off of the ibuprofen with no success. I had a follow up with my doctor scheduled for the first week of March because he was concerned about an abnormally low level of vitamin D and an abnormally high level of cholesterol. During this visit we discussed the pain in my shoulder and he suggested I have a shot of cortisone to relieve the arthritis pain. I told him I did not believe the pain was arthritic and I showed him exactly where it originated. He in turn palpitated the area and declared it was coming from an inflamed occipital tendon and that I was suffering from tendonitis.
I left the medical clinic with exercises and in higher spirits than I had been in for several months because I knew that what I had would heal and the pain would eventually be gone. In fact, it seemed to me that my pain was no longer as severe as it had been just because of my new prognosis.
In A Course in Miracles we define a miracle as a change in perception and on the 3rd of this month I had a change in perception. When I feared the pain I endured was a lifetime affair it seemed at times to be wholly unbearable. When I learned the pain I endured would be a transient affair it then seemed tolerable and surmountable.
We have all had setbacks and it is often hard to realize that while we are caught within the unrest a small change in perception is indeed a true miracle.