the boss of me

literalismi’m totally having one of those “dancing in the dark” moments.  you know, “i wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face…”

i’m not sure if bruce meant that expression of ennui to extend to your job, friends, family, name, home furnishings, country of residence… but i think he did.  and man, was he singing my tune.

you know that girl who has a great, fun job, an incredible apartment, many and good friends, is (relatively) financially solvent, blah, blah, blah and has no apparent reason to complain?  well here i am, and i’m doing it anyway.

i’m just exhausted.  i have to tell you (whoever you are, dear reader) that chronic pain really can put a damper on all the other stuff you’ve got going for you.  for years and years, i thought it was something i just had to live with and i was tough about it, and didn’t complain.  hell, my gimped out leg, banged up brain and creaky, crackly neck were not going to be the boss of me.  i laughed at their petty attempts to slow me down, to make me uncomfortable, to turn the world and my stomach upside down.  and i wasn’t going to take no pain killers or sleeping pills neither.  it just was.  me against them.  and i knew who was going to win that war.

 so then, a couple of years ago, i go to a new doctor and i hear this new whispering on the wind: you don’t have to hurt, you can be healed!  you can be saved!  you can be whole again!  it was like a tent revival with the elders speaking via the tongues of acupuncture needles, electronic stimulation and lidocaine injections (among other fun for the whole family).

there was this totally weird side effect: a begrudging hope.  i might wake up one day and not be hurting?  hell, that’s putting the cart before the horse.  i might be able to fall asleep one day, and not have the pain and tension keep me up and wake me up and wear me out the whole night through?  at first it seemed crazy talk.  but the more people i saw, the more my impending recovery was touted, the more i believed.

so, i go.  i get injected with syringes full of lidocaine in my neck, shoulder, hip, head and face twice a week.  about forty to fifty shots in all.  i get cracked and realigned and twisted and pushed and stretched at least once a week. i am coached to make my body relax to ease the pain in the name of rest and sleep for a couple hundred a month.  i spend seventy percent of my disposable income on copays, treatments not covered, prescriptions, you name it. 

 now comes the next weird side effect: defeat. 

 i’m not saying i don’t feel a bit better.  i do. a bit.  after treatment, usually the next day and maybe the day after that.  better, not good.  but the raised expectations have made the reality that much more demoralizing by comparison.

now, don’t get me wrong.  i know in the grand scheme of things, i’m floating on air.  nothing fatal, nothing debilitating, nothing acute.  it’s hard to articulate.  sometimes i think the worst part is that people are understanding, but they don’t understand.  get vertigo and have to will yourself not to wretch in glass building? i know trust me. pull a muscle?  that’s my daily condition.  tear a rotator cuff, arthritis stinging, strain a ligament?  i know i live it.  all the time. 

people don’t really want to hear it.  and you know what, guys, neither do i.  seriously.  i’d love not to talk about it, or think about it, or complain about it.  i feel like a heel right now.  a totally selfish, self-sorry jerk.

so what do i do now?  i keep trying.  i take the painkillers.  get the sleeping pills.  and if that doesn’t work, i think i might want to go back to my roots: telling the pain to fuck off and pretending it did.  it may not get better, but it will stop ruling my world. 

 just needed to get that off my chest.  thanks for listening.  i’ll go back to writing about inanity and pop culture and digital etiquette.

i promise.

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4 Responses to “the boss of me”


  1. 1 santoki 6 June, 2007 at 22:53

    You know, talking about feeling bad hardly makes you a “self-sorry” jerk. Your ferocious body odor, on the other hand…

  2. 2 isosceles 7 June, 2007 at 11:22

    quit it with the body odor! you know i don’t have any. damn, give me the credit i deserve.

    in other news, i was i was leaving yet another doc this morning, i went into a deli to get an iced coffee. playing on the sound system? dancing in the dark. not quite sure how to read that….

  3. 3 santoki 7 June, 2007 at 16:15

    I will totally give you the credit you deserve. Props for the pasta fagioli, bug killin’ powers, and ferocious BO. Sounds like the perfect package, no? hee…

    Enough of that now. We get to watch pirates tonight! baci

  4. 4 santoki 7 June, 2007 at 16:19

    By the way, I would read your bruce moment as serendipity. Perhaps a major donna-centric road trip is in order. After all, the B-Side is Pink Cadillac. xox

    BTW, you don’t smell.


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truth

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

truth

Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
June 2007
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

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