Sunday, May 14, 2006

 

Falling into old habits

I promised myself that I wouldn't go as political or as harsh as I was in the past. I caught myself doing pretty much that, and that bothered me alot. I'm not really happy doing the heated arguement path anymore. So much that's written now is so heated, so angry. In the first of several efforts I'm going to post something outside of politics. Something human. If it comes out horrible I'm sure I'll hear about it. You see I've decided not to write something from the gut, but from the heart. It may explain alot, and hopefully it may even help someone who feels the same, who has the same afflection. It's probably going to sound like whining, I hope it doesn't, but It may. After you read it, maybe you'll understand why I'm trying to put aside anger. I've had enough of it. I still believe all the things that I've written, I just choose not to go looking for anymore battles.

and so,

Of Bones and Flesh;

I complain too much these days, and have come off as an angry man, one who snaps and growls way too much. I resolve to make amends as best I can. So please forgive me if I sounded bitter. I have no experiences in a life rich with them to guide me through this kind of terrain. Everyone else that I've ever met with a similar situation was so much older, close to the end of their days.
I wish in this I could find a voice of comfort, a mentor. Someone to give me advice on something that all have on occasion, many frequently, and a few constantly. How do you learn to deal with unremitting pain? How do you find a quiet place where you can find relief for even just a short time? I've had this for a long time now. Old and new injuries to my spine, injuries that cannot all be repaired under the knife. All three areas are affected, from the neck down. I do have access to medications, the doses are as light as possible, but they are still powerful drugs. They work less and less well. I hesitate to ask for higher doses simply because the faster I build a resistence to them, the sooner the day comes when they will not work at all. I recently chose to not have them refilled, because they simply cost too much.

That was a costly judgement.

I can get by without the opiates, barely, but with strength of will, I can function through the pain. I did learn however there is a drug I cannot miss. An anti-seizure drug, nuerontin, it greatly controls a massive amount of the missfiring nerve signals from my pinched nerves. The last evening before I had it refilled, when it finally wore off was the third worst night in my life. My entire left side was in agony, a burning piercing ache that almost had an electric shock feel to it. I couldn't stand, couldn't lie down, only sit upright. I slept not at all that night. If I started to nod off, I awoke a heartbeat later fighting off the urge to vomit from the pain. The discs in my neck only permit certain movements, and nodding off put my head at a wrong angle.


I won't be so stubborn again. Our finances are better now so it shouldn't be an issue.

What goes through your mind when a night like that happens? That's an easy question but with a very complicated answer. Everything and nothing. I wondered if I had been such a bastard that I simply deserved it, wondered if it was my karma in need of repair. I wondered too if it wasn't a curse of my line since my father had had a wasting illness that had destroyed him. I would go through moments of a kind of mental numbness, so tired that I simply zoned out. Periods when I was tempted to pray for relief, but then shrinking from it. For me to ask God for relief, for something as personal as pain, I don't pray for myself. I can't. I almost feel I would be offending God for asking for such a selfish thing. So very many better people than I suffer, and it would feel like I was asking to be favored first, when, I just can't.

I can't.

I do find some solace in writting, and in watching favorite films. I can lose myself in these things and focus on something other than the whirlwind of painful sensations for awhile. If I can sit relatively motionless for a time, it helps to allow the aches to subside.A little movement helps to, as long as I don't over do it. A middle ground between doing nothing and light labor that actually does help. It's difficult to find, and it shifts around making it a hard target. Music is also a distraction, as is time spent playing with my kids, reading to them, or just sitting and talking my angel of a wife. She,... well do you remember when you were a child and brought your booboo to mommy to kiss and make it better?

The principle is the same, all she has to do when my torment is at it's worst to make it a little bit more tolerable is to cradle my neck and head in her arms for a moment or two. She,.. her love is my best defense. It doesen't take the pain away really, what it does is to strengthen my ability to withstand it. She is the basis of my strength when my own will isn't enough anymore. She knows this, and she tells me she dosen't fear for my strength as I sometimes do. She dosen't coddle me though, she expects me to do my best. She knows too, I would rather be struck down by lightning than fail her and our children. Our marriage is as ageless as the rock the earth is made from. One woman, one man, bound in a magic that transcends understanding. All anyone need know, is that I would die for her. So you can see that her touch can be something that indeed could make a difference in my ability to go on.

For all that, the things that help, it always hurts.

It's something I'm always struggling with. You also discover that rage can be a problem. It's the natural instinct of all living things to lash out when you're in pain. It's also something that can turn love into fear. Way back, when all this began, when the doctors told me that it would always hurt to some degree... I made a promise to God. I promised to never, ever, lash out at my family. I wouldn't scream at the kids, not bellow at my wife, not for something that they did nothing to deserve. I promised to never turn my families love to fear, for I've seen it's aftermath before. I truely have held true to that oath. I do not berate or yell at my wife, indeed, I have never even raised my voice with her. I know that some may doubt the truth of that. I'm merely human after all, and humans do stumble. All I can say is that when you've discovered a love as I did, when so many years had passed and you had given up almost on ever finding the woman to complete you....

The thought of driving my angel from me simply destroys me. I can never cause her harm, cause her pain. I would cut my arm off before I could raise it against her. I've seen people who were wrapped in a bitterness so deep that they almost had an aura of rage around them. You wonder why the ground under them doesn't crack under the weight of all that bitterness. On this, I did pray for strength. To not become a loathsome thing that spewed out venom to all around him. It would be so easy to let go and let the rage take over.

Again, the thing I seek to cherish and protect, is what allows me vent my rage in a way that harms no one. Yesterday, I went to stand, and having stiffened up stumbled and cracked my ankle on the table leg, pain flashed from that, and the jolt that transferred to my back. Anger, hot and red as blood filled my eyes, it friggin hurt. The urge to yell at someone, anyone came flooding in. I turned and there stood Amanda, her eyes filled with concern for her daddy. In that micro-second as I looked into the love and concern in her eyes, the rage simply faded away as quickly as it came. I felt clean, I guess would be the word, the anger wasn't suppressed and hidden away, it was gone entirely. Like unclean water flowing down a drain, not a trace remained. How could I lash out at such innocence? Bring misery to such a pure and true heart?

I'm finding my way, bit by bit. I really do wish I could find someone who knows of the things I write. I would like to know how others cope, how they manage. The key to my having endured is as simple as the deep brown eyes of my wife and children. But what of those less lucky? Those who don't have someone to keep them true. For those people, I wish I could offer some insight. I'm not strong really, not when I depend on the love of others to get me through the bad moments. Inside, I still tremble even when it dosen't show, still have the weakness of man. It's not about my will, but their love.

It remains a very hard thing, more dificult than anything I've ever had to do. I've had to risk my life a time or three, and that was easy compared to this. I'm starting to know what Frodo felt, never being truely free again once he had assumed the burden. But unlike Frodo, I'm not alone, and maybe that can make all the difference.

I wish I had the wise council he did though.

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