Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. She has written for Focus on the Family, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and numerous other publications. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW. Married 29 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. Deborah recently completed her first novel. You can contact Deborah at:

Writing Pains

I must be in for a mighty big blessing. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I hope my thoughts will take root and sprout something of interest after the ordeal I’ve been through.

What ordeal, you might ask?

Well, after losing five family members over the course of six months, not to mention my mother going into a nursing home last May, I honestly didn’t think things could get any worse.

I was wrong.

All because of a mole.

What does a mole have to do with writing?


When I received my yearly scan a few weeks ago, my doctor said I needed one of the critters removed—on the bottom of my right foot. No big deal, right?

The day of the procedure, right before the doctor stuck the needle into the sole of my appendage to numb it from the pain, he said, “You’re not gonna like this.”

I wanted to wave my hand and say, “Please, I’ve survived more than this, mister,” but I held my peace, which I normally wouldn’t do.

He plunged the needle into my foot, and I grunted and groaned, gripping the edge of the table in front of me. “You weren’t kidding,” I forced between breaths. “That’s what I call an attention getter.”

I never realized how sensitive the bottom of a foot is. I suppose that’s why most people are ticklish there.

I’m glad I kept my mouth shut.

The doctor came back for round two. It’s a good thing somebody held my big, bony foot down on the table or I would have kicked him in the chops. Purely by reflex of course.

He worked on my foot, and I stared out the window, wondering what I could write about pertaining to this particular situation.

After he finished sewing me up, he said, “You did good.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I nearly screamed like a baby.”

“No, I’ve done a lot of these, and you handled it well. Oh, you might have some trouble walking for a few days.”

I nodded and smiled, knowing the worst was over.

After arriving home, I made my way upstairs, picked up the phone, and called my big brother. “I’m home.”

“Well, just stay off your feet and take it easy, Sis.”

“I am. I’m in the office—in my rocker.”

“Deb, maybe you should stay downstairs. You have a bedroom down there.”

“I know, but my room is up here—all the stuff for my writing.” Heaven forbid I be caught without my tools. That would be as bad as walking around naked.

“Well, just don’t overdo things.”

I waved my hand. “I won’t. In fact, I’m going to take a nap as soon as we hang up.”

And I did.

A few hours later, I woke to throbbing, accompanied by burning, in the bottom of my foot. I swung my legs to the side of the bed, winced, tried to stand, and winced some more. I fell back on the bed and looked around the dark room. “Honey . . .?”

My beloved rushed through the door. “You okay?”

“Call my brother. I need Mom’s walker.”

“Deb, I can help you.”

I shook my head. “No, I don’t want you to hurt your back.”

My husband murmured in the next room as he talked to my sibling. Did he call me stubborn?

The phone clinked as he sat it on the cradle. I cupped my hand around my mouth and hollered. “Is he coming right over?” I lowered my arm, made a fist and released it, grateful I still had use of my fingers. I could type.

He immerged through the doorway. “Yeah, why? Do you have to use the bathroom or something?”

Did I ever. My bladder begged for mercy. Normally I’d tap my right foot at a time like that, but I couldn’t do that either.

I almost missed my mole.

“I do, but I’ll be fine till he gets here.” I folded my arms across my chest. “Why is this hurting so bad?”

“I don’t know, honey.”

“You think it’s because I’m flatfooted?”

“Could be.”

“I mean, the mole was big, but not that big.”

“The doctor apparently dug deeper than you thought.”

“Obviously.” I tapped my finger on my chin. “The man must have something against me.”

“Deb . . .”

“I’m kidding.” As I sat there, I eyed my foot, wondering what kind of war had really gone on beneath the white bandage, but I had to leave it covered for twenty-four hours.

Within ten minutes, I heard my brother thumping up the steps. I’d never been so glad to see his blue windbreaker and baseball cap as he passed through the door. “Thank you so much. You’re a lifesaver.”

“It’s okay, but I’m going to get out of here. Looks like freezing rain’s coming.”

I’m sure there might have been freezing rain in the forecast somewhere on the planet, but I also knew my brother. He can’t stand to see me in pain. “Oh, okay—I love you.” And I did love him. He could have said, “I told you so,” but he didn’t.

My husband gripped my elbow, and I gripped the sides of the walker. “It’s a good thing I made it upstairs before the anesthesia wore off.”

“Deb, maybe you should stay in the bedroom down—”

“No.” The walker clunked as I made my way to the bathroom. “Everything for my writing is up here.”

As I exited the restroom, my husband continued as though I’d never left.

“You can take your laptop with you.”

“But then I’ll need my Webster’s or one of my other books for something.” Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. “I’m going to my rocker.”

That was a week ago, and I’m still there. When I changed my bandage, I saw that my doctor made about a one and a half inch incision, followed by stitches with little black knots in them. Apparently, he doesn’t like moles either.

And he said I’d have a little trouble walking? He and I need to have a chat when I get these stitches out.

Anyway, I’ve noticed many things while sitting in this room. First, my bookshelves need dusting, as well as my desktop monitor, and my oriental rug could use a good vacuuming. Even though I can put some of my weight down on my foot now, I don’t dare try to vacuum while using a walker. What if my husband came in and found me?

I also discovered I’m a die-hard writer. Not that I didn’t consider myself one before, but when faced with this particular situation, when I knew I’d be trapped somewhere, I chose to be in my office—with my books—the things I loved.

So I guess the mole served its purpose somewhere along the way, don’t you think?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the most important thing of all. Things can always get worse, so I need to be grateful for the blessings I have. It just so happens that one of them is writing.


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