I have grown out of pain to see beauty in everything that happens

This is an anonymous story collected from the public as part of the Human Archive Project

I went to the village with my mum, and when we came back, I go to a public toilet, I felt pain in my toe. I came back and told my mum, she told me I was a bad boy, that I played football and got injured and refused to tell her so she could massage for me. I remember the medicine very well. She bought an ointment called nerve and bone, it didn’t fix it. It was so painful because I dislocated it. Back home in Ghana we had people who were natural healers, I went to one that said we are going to break the foot of a chicken, a live chicken, so if the chicken got healed it means that, hallelujah, I will be healed as well!

Like a voodoo stuff, this is real story!

Thankfully for me they said no, not for dislocation, but the poor chicken did suffer because my mum had already bought a chicken. So probably they said the blood could be moving out of the wrong place. So they would heat very hot water, put the towel inside, then he put his hand in cold water lift the towel and put on my feet. I still have scars from those bangs. They would keep it on my feet to move the blood to position, I was going to senior high school, every time I walked with a limp. I limped because for a very long time it affected my walk, maybe unconscious, I don’t know… It’s a very long story.

So when I went to senior high school, my feet was so warm I was sweating there was pain and I couldn’t walk, so when I went home they sat me down, my feet were sweating like it was I high temperature. So they took me to a healer.

It is the handwork of an evil spirit, of witches, they tied my right foot with herbs, then when we got back from the city my left foot started paining me, so when we got back we had to call him and say look, we disturb the witches and they attacked my left foot so he came down the next day and he tied my right foot and my left foot and then my knee. Voodoo, voodoo, evil spirit! Then my elbow, you see this elbow it still does not straighten fully. So then he tied my jaw and collar-bone, they started hurting, every joint in my body started hurting. I lay in bed for three months, like this. At this moment, deep in my heart I thought I was very close to death. I was in my teens, eighteen or thereabouts.

 And then, that man we realised was not too powerful for the witches so we went to Benin, another country in South Africa. Juju, voodoo, for them it is more of a major religion, so we got these guys from Benin and they said you know what we going to have a meeting with them so give us time. We go for a meeting with the witches to ask them what they want, what they want from me. So they went into the meeting they had a discussion with them. So they figure it was one of my aunties who has become jealous that I am going to become a great man and want to finish me before that time. Before she leaves you, they said, we are going to apply medication to you. So what they did they took a razor and they brought some herbs and black powder so they cut. One, two three and they rub it in on all my joints, I have scars. I am a story man, my life is a living story. I have the scars on my chest, wrist, everywhere, it was very painful, because they mark me with the razor blade and rub it in because they want to leave the scar, then I don’t know how, the pain went down. It worked but it didn’t fix it.

At some point in time I had to ask to speak to dwarves. Its true, everything, all the pains went down but I wasn’t agile for a teenager, I wasn’t vibrant, I have too much energy and I wanted to be agile, but it took too much time to get there, but at this time my mum and my grandma were tired to I had to go searching on my own, I met a guy, my friend had this man who invoked dwarves, like spirits, spirit dwarves. So the guy said don’t worry we will make a meeting between me and the dwarves, he asked to buy a few items, I bought the items and then, he calls them.

Apparently, I tell you this, every spirit, gives you the power to either hear or see them, you may not believe in spirits, for me the first encounter they didn’t give me the power to hear them, subsequent meeting I could hear them a bit , I could not understand, I understand what they say, they say ‘Chris don’t worry we are with you, we will come and stay with you when you are asleep, we will come and operate on you’. They gave me medication, it happens every time I get these attacks. Guess what happens, one time I went to Google and asked what is happening to me, I have this pain, fever, my joint become swelling, and guess what!? Arthritis! I have been through all this pain and torture because I have arthritis. I am not getting medicine for arthritis now, because I have not had a single doctor diagnose that I have arthritis, in Ghana they didn’t have. At the time, everybody was busy blaming that witch, even now I still think it’s the witch because I believe in the supernatural, and I haven’t have any doctor. I still have the pain now, when its cold and the weather s getting cold and the last few days I’ve had cause for alarm. I have had the fever, coldness or rain, is felt first by the blood, by arthritis, my friend always ask me why I wear the jacket.

But I don’t have a medical card. That is how worse my life is getting, I don’t have the medical card. If I sit down and get up I hear the noise in my knee, I think my bones are beginning to scratch at each other. So yesterday, guess what, I wrote a letter because when I sent my application for medical card, I needed a doctor to sign for me, so I sent them, but HSE wrote to me and said look we are holding onto your application until you can prove that three Doctors have refused. So I wrote the letters and signed them and put them in three envelopes and I posted it yesterday. I hope the doctors will reply the letters but the HSE says after 21 days they will cancel the application if they don’t hear from me.

Arthritis is very painful, really, really painful. For me every experience is a learning experience. I have grown out of pain to see beauty in everything that happens, honestly.

So that you don’t have respect for you collar bone until you have arthritis and you try to wear your socks then you wake up and you say thank you collarbone! I didn’t know you helped me put on socks!

People think it’s just the arms that help you put on socks or shoes but when you want to do an activity, a simple activity, like picking up this pen, I tell you every single bone in your upper body contributes to that!  Imagine having pain in every single bone I have noticed little things like ginger is meant to help when I was in Carrickmines Cross we used to have this driver who had pain in his back and I said you need ginger and then they called me Chris the Gingerman because when someone had pain I would say you need ginger because it was a good remedy for inflammation and pain but I have lost hope in orthodox medicine.