Now that the mystery of my knee pain has been solved and I know that chopping off my right leg is not in my near future, I can move on to other news in my health world. Because you see, when you reach the age of 65, physical ailments drive your life.
A few weeks ago, I had what I’m certain was a bowel obstruction. For reasons that wouldn’t nearly satisfy my (or any) doctor, I didn’t go to the hospital while suffering the stomach pain. I meant to. I planned to, in fact. Bill knew that I was having stomach pain, but I told him to try to get a few hours of sleep before we head to the ER. We went to bed around 10:15; he slept while I watched the time pass on my digital clock. My plan was to let him sleep as long as I could. So at 12:15, I thought, “I will give him another hour.” At 1:15, I did the same. And so on. Finally, around 4, my issue resolved itself and I felt fine. Par for the course; it comes quickly and resolves just as quickly.
Anyway, as the hours ticked away, I googled patron saint of bowel issues. While I had been praying like mad to God, I didn’t figure it would do any harm to ask the patron saint to weigh in as well. To my surprise and delight, the patron saint of bowel issues is St. Bonaventure.
Why the surprise and delight, you might ask? Because St. Bonaventure Church is where I was baptized, made my first communion and confession, was confirmed, and went to Mass every Sunday for the first 18 years of my life. What’s more, I attended St. Bon’s grade school from Kindergarten to 6th grade.
The next day, I went online and ordered a St. Bonaventure medal…..
…..and I wear it every day. It reminds me throughout the day to say, St. Bonaventure, pray for me.
So then I began wondering who was the patron saint of knee issues. I googled it, and learned that the patron saint of knee pain is St. Roch. St. Roch, like St. Bonaventure, was a Franciscan priest. Let’s give it up to Franciscan saints. My early spirituality was shaped by Franciscan priests. (As an aside, St. Roch is also the patron saint of dogs. I don’t know if there is a connection. Perhaps a lot of knee injuries come from people tripping over their dog’s leash.)
Anyway, I considered (and still am considering) buying a St. Roch medal to wear on the same chain as my St. Bonaventure medal. However, I began to think about all of my ailments, all of which have patron saints. St. Alphonsus Ligouri: arthritis; St. Servatius: ankle pain; St. Lucy: cataracts; St. Theresa of Avila: headaches; St. Gemma Galgoni: back pain. The list goes on.
It finally occurred to me that if I start wearing medals for all of my ailments, my load would be so heavy, I would be in danger of a posture resembling a right angle. There used to be a man who would walk around our Denver neighborhood completely bent over. I always assumed he had a back deformity or severe arthritis. Maybe he was just wearing a lot of medals.
St. Anthony (patron saint of lost items) has always been my go-to. Well, Anthony, move over. There’s a new kid in town.