Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Painful Reality

Yup, today is one of those days. Wet, cold and damp. Did I mention cold? Not very, actually but cold enough to make a thin film of ice on pavement. I almost lost it taking Margaret to the bus stop.
Going around the curve on Gailor Road I noted the fresh tire tracks heading for the rail and the evidence that somebody had recently done some work on the rails. This was as I was fish tailing around the corner. I seem to be able to steer fairly well in cases like this so you'd think it wouldn't make me as tense as I was. Trouble with getting tense is the muscles tighten up, your bones rub and your nerves get somewhat inflamed. Which is a fancy way of saying it hurts to get tense.

What I have at the top of my hip bone is a dense area of burning, stabbing pain that likes to occasionally feint going down the leg, but it never goes past the knee. Still it stabs and pokes and otherwise refuses to let me think of anything much but the specific region of pain. Right THERE!

I used to know this kid named Bob Mehan. We were maybe 12 or so, maybe younger, but Bobby was bigger than me, as was everybody else in the class. Trouble was Bobby was the biggest and I was the smallest so it was apparently his right to punish me for my size. He did this by greeting me every day with a pinch of the earlobe. He'd squeeze my earlobe until I writhed on the sidewalk begging him to let go. My father told me to hit him and he'd never bother me again. Dad was wrong. Bobby didn't get mad or anything, you don't get mad at a gnat buzzing by. He just squeezed harder and twisted. Now come back with me to today. Maybe Bobby died in Viet Nam, or a car crash, or maybe his soul is still hovering around me but now he's doing the same service to my lower back, just above the hip. He grabs that nerve and pinches and twists and I grit my teeth and beg him to stop.

I'm not whining, Dad. I'm just trying to explain to people who say things like "Oh, my back hurts too when it gets cold." because what I get is a bigger thing than "hurting". It's more like having a quarter of my body go over to the enemy and turning to assault the loyalists. Like a bayonet, maybe? A sucker punch that remains for several seconds?

Bottom line is it really sometimes sucks that the handful of pain meds I take don't do enough to allow me to function on a day to day basis. I still have to clean the kitchen and make sure the house is set up for having guests for a few days. I have to shop for food and put it away. That means Jess's vegetarian fare and healthy snacks for Jackie, whose heart condition has put her on a strict diet. I look forward to doing all this while gritting my teeth and watching the clocks to see how close I can get to the six hour mark and a new batch of pain meds. If you start taking them too close together you just get addicted and they stop working. That's how I got the thrill of withdrawal from codeine. Boy that was a lot of fun. But I'm not whining, Dad, I'm just telling it like it is.

It is very painful to be vertical on a cold damp day in upstate New York.

I still don't have a kitten to play with either. That bothers me. What kind of a house is catless? Why is there no cat food in the cabinet or catnip in the jar? A cat would curl in my lap and purr and the soft purr would slowly melt away the tension and reduce the spasms. The pills would kick in and I would be able to gently put the cat down on the bed and go finish my chores. That's the great thing about cats, they can cure you of melancholy or pain in just a few soft purrs. I know where the animal shelter is but it's a half hour of driving on slick pavement just to get a new companion. Is it worth it? What if their selection isn't the right selection? Well, Willie, you never know til you know. I should choke down some pills a few hours early and go rescue a cat. Yup, that's just what I ought to do.

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