Monday, September 19, 2011

'If One Works, Two Will Work Better'

So, I'm starting to feel a little better today even though I still have this excruciating back, hip, neck, and foot pain. I went to the grocery store and bought several bags of frozen peas so I could ice when I get to the point when I can't stand it anymore. So, all the medication is leaving my body, but some of it is still lingering. There is, however, a wonderful thing that is starting to happen, and that is an undeniable clarity of the mind that is beginning to take place. I know it will take some time for my brain to chemically right itself, but it is slowly happening. I notice that there is still a tremendous loss of energy, but when I do open up my mouth to speak or my brain to think I'm making more sense. Even in this malaise, that is an improvement from the general stutter and hesitation that I noticed my mind and mouth were beginning to assume. And there are glimmers of hope returning, (thank God).

I've been reading how painkillers work on the body, how they primarily move up and down the spinal system to release that numbing affect all through out the body. It's really kind of miraculous when you think about it. As I've said before, the problem is when your body and mind are numb, you push your body in a much different way because the pain is lifted. Pain is your body's way of telling you to not push it, painkilling is a way of telling you body that "Everything's alright now, you can lift that easily, see?" I have to admit, I panic to think of how much pain my body is still currently in, and I do know for years before painkillers I was pretty much always in pain. I just pushed my body for to long like a stock car, 'live hard and fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse' was my thinking in those days, and there is some real hell to pay. Fortunately, I learned early how to keep a very steady physical fitness regiment, so at least in my mind, for now, I know where that is. Early on in my 'medicating' I still kept that physical part of me going, but the past two years has been a back and forth tennis match of 'hurt more, medicate more'. So, intellectually, I know that my body has fallen on harder times. This is not going to be an easy fix, it will be slow and painful, but I'm certain today that I can work my way out of this paradox, and believe me when I say paradox, because that's exactly what it is. It's pretty easy to justify a return to medication when you de-tox, because the pain you sought to medicate is even more evident than it was before. But you have to be willing to continue to believe that there are other ways of dealing with the pain. I'm fortunate in that I do know that there are other ways I can deal with it. I have also been reading about the first rule of treatment with painkillers, which was a relief somewhat for me, because I realized that I'm not the only one dealing with the 'if one will work, two will work better' thinking in regard to pain management. And why wouldn't it? The fact is, for physical pain management, two really doesn't work better, but for feeling better mentally and emotionally? Yea, two works much better. Therein lies the awful dilemma for people like me. I've always been a two will work better kind of guy. Oh, well, here we go. Last night, I was laying on the floor thinking, "I really hope, God, that this is the last time I have to go through this kind of agony." I didn't get to the deal making point, (but I've done that plenty) The response from the great doctor was, "Let's just worry about right now, can you move yet?" And, I could. "Can you still walk?" And I could. Be thankful, then, and I am.

I've been chastised recently by someone who doesn't think I should write about all of this, that it will possibly damage my career and my prospects if someone wanted to give me a job and then read this, however, the only way that I really know how to beat this is to be honest about it. I am aware that in today's world that everything can be 'checked'. I'm a writer, and this has to be part of my process. I suppose there is a determination that has to be assessed when it 'goes public', but that's also part of the motivation of doing it. I also know that one out of every five people will experience something similar as what I'm going through during the course of a lifetime. This problem I'm facing is a much bigger problem than we are currently as a society willing to admit. So, I'll take my chances on the honesty and the experience of it, but thank you for your concern.

I will tell you something that is starting to come out of my thinking, and that since being at the mercy of drug companies and western medicine since 2006. There is a not so subtle manipulation of drug costs, availability, and a definite collaboration between drug companies, medicine, and insurance companies. I had very good insurance during the first part of this ordeal, and with a ten dollar co-pay and insurance, doctors would write just about anything. I don't have the energy to write in depth about my experience in this regard, but there are two very definite things I've learned. Drug companies do get people addicted to drugs, (that's their job) and western medicine helps lots of people but just like politics, there is a vast contingency of the medical system that goes way too far. These are just the facts of my experience. I'm not claiming that I am innocent in regard to my current situation, but I had lots of help from the world of medicine and the drug companies, and it cost me dearly.

Tonight is the second audition for the play I'm directing, 'The Man in the Black Pajamas'. Saturday, at the first audition, I was a little shaky going in, but quickly got my legs beneath me. It was great to find that my element was still there, and that I get excited in any theatrical situation. All of the hope, optimism, and clarity comes back to me instantly in a room with a new script and a bunch of actors. I realize that I was lucky that I truly did find my calling early in my life, and the passion is irreversible. Onward.

1 comment:

Gerry said...

Hoping for a good audition for you. Much food for thought in this entry, honesty and insight. I live in a place where drugs rule, so I know something about that, among so many people with some sort of disability. Yesterday my neighbor, a woman not yet 62, died of acute alcoholism. I have known her ten years, interacted with her many times, talked about her struggle. She has an abusive alcoholic husband who survives her. They were the battlers on my floor, black eyes, bruises, knocked out teeth, etc were the norm and since he was far larger in height and strength, she got the worst of it. He may not have murdered her directly but he came mighty close. She is with the angels now, and she is one person I will want to see first thing when I die, because she was trapped by a lack of income. She was his wife and could not get general assistance even though she left several times and spent months in shelters, but would always come back saying she could not survive any longer with no money and basically homeless. She has gone home, and for that reason I know she will be happier. She is free but only at the price of her life. I thought she was literally living in hell. She used to spend hours in the little library as her home away from home, her refuge. Reading. Does this sound like her mind was a total loss? I am so sad today for her. She is going to miss her little dog. He is also trapped in his alcoholism. I don't really hate him, but this is such a trap. Such misery, well worth any effort to leave this kind of prison behind. In this life if at all possible. So struggle on. I know this is the right path.
By the way, I think the person who helps you get the job you can do is not going to penalize you for being honest.