Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘pain’

If you have been a reader here for a while, this piece may not be particularly different or surprising; but maybe somewhat so. In any case, I am not writing to panic you or make you think I am not going to come out on the other side of my multiple myeloma treatment with anything but my life intact. I expect a full remission. On the other hand, I try not to project too much about particulars at this time. I don’t expect to know a lot of things, and I am learning not to be too cocky any more. I was really cocky, thinking I’d never get cancer: that will never be me. It had no place in my vision for myself or my life force. Now I won’t show such hubris as to project ages and dates because I think they will not have the same meaning to me that they used to. Now I don’t get too far ahead of myself. This is a piece about just what it is. If if helps, think of it as fantasy.

Also:

If you are going to comment, please do not put forth your own beliefs about how I am doing or whether I am doing the right or wrong thing. That is not what this writing is about. You may send your love and light and wholeness, your chi, your prana, your aligned and lit-up chakra energy. I know you are sending images and colors and calm and I love it all. I am filled with love for you and from you. You may pray to Jesus for me, to God, to Buddha, to a tiny pea seed hiding in the darkness, waiting for spring. You may bless me and love me. But I do not want your judgment, for that belongs to you alone.

♥ ♥ ♥

I lie on the table, looking out the window into winter. I am weak. The room is warm, too warm, making me give in further to my weakness. The effort to shift my bones is too much so I don’t move. I sink. To smile at the male cardinal cracking seeds in his beak is too much. I feel Victorian and gauzy. I am the weight of a square of gauze. If I had to wear anything but a silk gown next to my skin, I would surely break into pieces.

I want to fade away, but I would fade into misery. Do they talk about the pain? The exhaustion of hauling around a shell, the ghost of my formerly strong body. When was the last time I could take a deep breath without it getting caught at the sides of my ribs? When didn’t I gasp for air to come in or to wince in slight pain when it went out?

Now I know that lo these 9 months (and then some!) I was never being dramatic. I never had a low pain threshold. Au contraire. I wish I had listened with a non-judgmental ear to that pain. I never thought of myself as stoic, I thought I was whining. I thought my pain was a bore to those around me. I popped ibuprofen like it was candy. Ibuprofen and ice, sometimes dancing or vigorous hiking would give relief. So it must not have been that bad.

I birthed two babies, hard labors, at home. Especially my first birth was long and hard—21 hours of active labor on top of 2 days of early labor and I started out with a flu which had left me sleep-deprived and dehydrated. Baby had the cord wrapped around her body 4 times and was born with a compound presentation (her tiny perfect arm wedged up against her head). I did that without pain medication. Still I’ve thought of myself as weak in the face of pain.

Yet here I am and here I have lived for over 9 months, painful fractures throughout my bones.

Time is not time. Time is weariness is pain is too much. Time has to end now. Time is too much for me to bear. How can I stay alive through this? What if I get worse tomorrow? Surely I don’t have the reserves of strength this will take. Surely I need a pillow to be carried on, a sedan chair, does no one see this? Why aren’t the hospitals equipped with silken pillows and nursemaids who will bathe and oil and dress me. They have to carry my arms, move my fingers for me, lift water to my mouth. I am too weak to manage my own body. I am fading but no one sees.

Read Full Post »

The hard truth of bone

embryonic cells swirling

differentiating into

nuclei

osteoblasts

blood

Dear readers:

As you well know, I have been struggling with pain in my upper body since April 2013 and before that with a couple of rib injuries in 2012.

Last December, things got worse—more pain and a sudden, painful protrusion on my L clavicle.

I started to feel really crappy, said to Hubby, “I am not myself; something’s wrong.”

I have been seeking help and answers the whole time—blood tests, lyme tests, RA tests, lupus tests. X rays; physical therapy, acupuncture, doctors. Everything I had been tested for came back negative—I’m strong and healthy by all appearances.

In January, I had a CT scan because of a concern my doctor had. Lo and behold, my ribs, sternum, clavicles, and spine are full of tiny fractures, ones that never showed up on 3 different x-rays over the last 2 years. These indicate multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood.

More markers have come back which show certain proteins in my blood, further narrowing it down to multiple myeloma.

I need to use my blog again. Perhaps I will start slowly, perhaps I won’t use it much, but I need to refill my creative outlet here. I am steeping myself in a helpful, loving community and I ask for healing thoughts and visualizations and meditations. I ask you to see my ribcage and bones in white light, in liquid gold, healing, healed. Maybe you see violet, maybe you see the cool blue of water. Anything healing that you see when you think of me, send it.

Not only do I believe that my bones will be cleared of this after chemo, but I want the faulty signals causing the cells to have the wrong kind of party to be reconfigured so the right messages are sent to the marrow.

I ask you to chant and meditate and breathe for me and my family, for peace, for calm. It is hard for me to ask for these things, but I am learning, humbling. I know that quieting the mind and lighting up the chakras works, the visualizations help tremendously. I hope they help us all, givers and receivers alike.

I am on a healing journey and I am using the full force of what Western medicine has to offer. My adjuncts will be my acupuncture and my imagination and any healing thoughts and incantations you can send. I am smart and I will be with some of the best doctors around who treat mm. A world-class specialist at Dana Farber in Boston will likely coordinate with my local oncologist and I can still get chemo and day-to-day care locally.

I will allow comments here, but I may shut them down if I find it too difficult to field and manage input.

I do not want information that you have from the internet. I do not want questions. I do not need new information about alternate therapies at this time.

On the other hand, if you have a delicious recipe for a high-protein smoothie, I say AMEN!

In other support places, I am emphasizing being honest with my emotions, not matter how yucky they may be, but also I’m trying to remain positive and open. The use of my blog, my writing, may be slightly different. This is my space. You are guests.

My blog is sacred to me and I will be using it as a creative outlet and force, a place where I will allow myself to go into the dark if my soul needs it. If you judge me for this, I will block you from my blog.

That is all for now. Send love and light and thoughts of calm sleep and freedom from fear.

Peace.

Read Full Post »

1. In trying not to get too far away from my blog, I present this post.

2. Ogunquit, Maine. Halloween decor:

IMG_1599I call him “Dashing Charlie”

3. Monday is the day I found a dead rabbit in the side yard, a part of our yard where none of us tend to go. I didn’t touch or disturb the body, but it looked large, an adult; and perfect. It seemed too big for the cat to have downed. Hubby moved it yesterday and indeed said it did not have any apparent marks or blood on it.

4. What do you think about the rabbit (multiple choice):

a. natural causes

b. zombie apocalypse coming just in time for Halloween

c. at least twice in the 13 years we’ve lived here, the cats have brought baby bunny tributes to the door. Their fur is always perfect and thick and beautiful.

d. sad, even haunting

e. where should one put such a large, dead animal?

5. Though not completely recovered from recent injuries, I am still here and much better. I am learning that setbacks are part of injury recovery. It’s not all I’M BETTER AND BACK TO NORMAL ACTIVITIES NOW, FULL OF VIBRANT GOOD HEALTH (FOR FUCK’S SAKE). It’s more like CRAP, I TRIED SOMETHING I USED TO BE ABLE TO DO, IT HURTS LIKE HELL, AND CAN’T DO JACK SHIT FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

IMG_1506JULY 2013

50th Birthday necklace, vintage

6. I know I talk about it all the time, but I have aged even more quickly due to my recent injuries (more rapid facial aging than from the last couple of years’ bouts with anemia). I offer the above photo as evidence. See the way I am not as present as usual, some part of me is withdrawn? That is the face of a body in chronic pain.

7. UGH

8. CRAP

9a. Though you think you know me well, the next item may overstep any previous TMI boundary.

9. As we were on our way out of Provincetown in late August (our two night, last hurrah of summer mad-dash to the Cape), I visited one of the public restrooms; you know, the one near the huge public parking lot in the town center. After I used the loo,

IMG_1564yes, that loo

I washed my hands and then cupped them to bring some water up to my mouth so I could gently rinse (see, TMI). I did so and spat in the sink. A woman (from New Jersey, mayhaps) standing near me said, barely audibly but definitely disapprovingly enough for my ears, REALLY?

Such a dare as that, how could I resist? So I said, very loudly: YES, REALLY!

New Jersey: That’s disgusting.

Me, Happy Valley: You’re disgusting.

or something like that. Let’s just say neither of us remembered our manners and the insults continued and heightened.

She “reported” me to the attendant and kept making quite the fuss even after I, head held high, exited the restroom.

The interaction was more in depth and lasted longer than what I have presented and I can’t remember much any more. Even immediately afterward, I couldn’t piece together the whole thing because I was shaken and stirred and triumphant and shocked and angry and embarrassed and righteous. L’il ol’ me, twinklysparkles, all of that, all rolled into one.

10. I really wish 40-something, overly-made-up women from New Jersey with big hair and clanky, not-inexpensive jewelry read my blog.

11. TRAGEDY STRIKES!

(some of you may have heard about this last week on Facebook)

All seven letters, perfect, ready for a 50-point bonus, but nowhere to place them on the board.

IMG_1583

12. How would you feel if you didn’t have a place to put your vaginas?

Read Full Post »

[experienced and written on Thursday 3/21]

the air lightens around us

1. I do not expect you to understand this post. There are bits that I have left purposely un-puncuntuated and one part that I left flimsy, poem-like. Not that I want my or anyone else’s poetry to be flimsy, but sometimes I like flowy words for no reason but the sound and feel. So we call it poetry and let it pass. Not all of life need be tidy and tight.

2. because you don’t have to number something if there’s only one

you know me as the [sometime] bike ‘n’ bitch, but I’ve got a new pair of high-heeled sneakers on; yes, I’ve been a dabbler in running, but there’s a new phase a’comin’. I just know I will be able to run the whole stretch of my block and back without stopping within the next little while, few months, year. To be honest, I’d settle for being able to do yoga again first. It’s the longest I’ve gone without a class in over 4 years. Sigh and fuck inexplicable injuries!

the neighbor who bikes to the racquet club was walking in the ‘hood with her husband

a woman was stopped at the end of the street, probably standing right in a pothole, with her Great Dane who did NOT have its ears or tail cut (hooray for humane decisions). The dog was so good, so patient. The owner was training her (him?) and it was a sweet sight. Who’s a good dog?

what is this?

it’s a dog snood

After her mom stopped her car at the end of their driveway, a small child opened the passenger door, ran to the mailbox, and flew back with the mail. So small and wee, jet-black hair waving in the current her speeding body created. Was it a boy with long locks? I waved and said “you are helping; that’s a good thing,” and he, rightly, took a little step back toward his mom and squinted across to me and shyly asked “what?” and I repeated what I said. I waved to the mom, too, so she knew that I knew that we all knew it was safe. It’s good thing when children are taught to be cautious of strangers.

On my way back from my very short “beginner’s loop” (though I’ve been a beginner for years), I cursed the sidewalk that our neighbors seem to feel is beneath them to shovel. I’ve actually heard the wife chide her husband for shoveling too much. Isn’t that backward? I thought hen-pecking happened because men didn’t do enough around the house, but somehow, she thinks that anyone who walks the neighborhood doesn’t deserve a clean, shoveled, safe stretch of sidewalk. Now I know I’m bashing a sista, but when it comes to sidewalk safety and being a good neighbor and doing your part, especially if you are able-bodied and home much of the time, I got no patience for ya.

In fact, in the last few years, this is only the second time I’ve seen their stretch shoveled and on my run, the path was EXACTLY ONE SHOVEL-WIDTH across. You gotta have some balls to shovel only one shovel-width, but I think the wrong kind of balls. The snow was heavy as water, yes, but only about an inch-and-a-half deep by mid-morning on Tuesday. Their stretch of sidewalk is about 20 feet across. You know how much sidewalk we have? about 75′. Fuckers.

with the sun behind me, I made a shadow-shape on the blue snow and I watched the motion of my hips, unmistakeably me; no matter how much weight I gain and cringe to think of how I look, it’s me. Unmistakeably sexy, me. This is my walk, this is my gait, this is what people see.

The grief point where my rib meets my sternum, over to the left, above my heart, where the voodoo darning needle was plunged, still brings a rush of pain and tears. But it’s getting better.

Running and me? Two steps forward, one step back.

My health? The same.

Aging is a motherfucker, but sometimes I fight the good fight. Today was one of those days.

Look how James Brown seems to float above the floor. That is about how I felt today when I walked out of my acupuncturist’s office and my ribcage was pain-free.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been drafting posts. Drafting, drafting. Deleting. Saving. Ignoring. Bored, boring.

Before I can post today’s post, I have to go back a few weeks and fill you in on my life. You think keeping up with your own life is hard? this is what it takes to keep up with mine. Some of these details were filled in in this post and this post. I’m scattershot. I’m restless. I have no confidence in myself as a blogger any more. This is why

[Wednesday, August 15]: I re-injured my rib last Thursday morning [August 9], leaning over from the driver’s seat to the floor of the passenger side, putting pressure on the arm rest with my lower front -side ribs. OUCH!

It didn’t hurt terribly until Saturday [Aug 11] but with the help of rather constant ibuprofin, salt baths, and ice, I managed to do most of whatever I needed to do.

Tuesday [Aug 14], we went to pick up Violet at her friend’s house, only 40 minutes from the beach, so we thought, why not hit Crane for a couple of hours? I was fine at the beach, fine in the 60 degree water, sort of able to fall backwards and do an itty-bitty back frog- stroke and an itty-bitty breast stroke (no real backstroke or crawl, though reaching my right arm overhead on land seems quite comfortable).

Just as we were packing up, I did something to the right side. Something horrible. Something startling and painful, deep-in-the-gut, take-your-breath-away painful. Each of my hands started to go numb and my head got light and fuzzy. I thought I was going to throw up or pass out or both.

We skipped dinner and grabbed Violet from her friend’s. I complained and freaked. I alternated between not feeling any pain to being filled with crazy fear. I inhibited, I om shanti‘ed, I centered myself, I thought my best Alexander thinking.

I decided I needed to go to the ER.

We went to Emerson Hospital on Rte 2, right outside of Concord and near Walden Pond. How can you go wrong with a hospital named after Ralph Waldo? I must be the luckiest busted-rib girl in Massachusetts. That and the doctor was good-lookin’. But there were no female doctors, so eff that.

Though taping or binding ribs in cases of fracture is no longer recommended, I fortunately ran into my PT friend this week [Aug 16] and she said she will put some of that kinesio tape (like the OLYMPIANS!!!) on me tomorrow night. Not in fuscia to match my hair, but hey, I’ll take skin tone if it means I can start moving more….please please please let me bike and hike and yoga soon.

Here’s a photo recap of last Thursday’s Gogol trip:

common sight on I-91 and/or I-89 in VT

Me and secret kid in back seat (note fuschia hair, hint hint kinesio tape designers)

Gogol show was rain delayed and by the time they played, there was only an hour and a quarter before they were kicked off stage, 10 pm curfew!!!! CRAPPY and not a great show. No encore. I was in the front “row” most of the time, grabbing my side lest someone should slam into me. I found 2 women at the show who had read one of my older Gogol posts but I did not find The Wanderlust Queen.

Next morning, we ate at one of the coolest restaurants in Burlington. Look what was in a couple of the tables upstairs:

Yeah. I know you don’t believe it. You know how I feel about rocks.

*

FIN

Read Full Post »

You have no idea how I’ve puttered around on this blog today, writing and rewriting meaningless posts about my busted rib, my pain, our travels, kinesio tape, my fuschia hair color, the ER at Emerson Hospital. The soundtrack to Moonrise Kingdom, the rainy Gogol show in VT last Thursday night, the wonders of the Alexander Technique when applied to physical pain, the movie Hannah and Her Sisters which I saw last night at the Amherst Cinema and on and on. You can hardly believe I’m real, right?

I am becoming squeamish about using the word fuck. I know it’s hard to believe. I think I heard Eugene Hutz use the word unjustifiably one too many times. I should not like to overuse the word. Can one fuck too much? No. Can one say fuck too much? Yes. I was going to title this blog post a fucking strange [poem] or something like that. Now I link almost everything onto Facebook and I am ever-more prudish about my language. But I would not overuse the word fuck, would I? I can be trusted. I will earn my use of the word; I will be fuck-worthy, I will not be fucking abusive.

This piece is odd and not so good and I wonder why I am bothering to post it. Fuck it, I guess you get the odd with the good, the good with the bad, the even with the off.

The Aquarium of Menopause

I am a membrane
I am a drum
the pink jellyfish
behind thick glass
the first thing you see at the aquarium

I am turned inside out
and overripe
asexual, a hermaphrodite
no need to spawn
in warm currents

I am pale froth
where my feet touched down
I will be sucked into a funnel
reversing course

Still, I miss the skin
that smoothed in my mouth,
your tautness at my lips

I am not this body
I am not this mind
resolutely bloodless

Read Full Post »

I think I have one.

A fact about me: I’ve never broken a bone in my body. I don’t think anything is broken, but I also don’t think it’s simple bruising.

I am right-handed and it’s my right side, but this (sitting, typing) isn’t bothering me at all. It’s more the cumulative overdoing. I think I can blog.

Happened Thursday and has gotten progressively more painful and limiting. But maybe it’s more painful because I still went to yoga class Thursday evening. I couldn’t do much cobra, but I did everything else. Friday, I can’t remember much of what I did.

Annie has been sick and awake in the middle of the night needing all sorts of things, so that doesn’t help. Two nights in-a-row so far. I’ve still been fighting off a weird virus myself, on-again, off-again. A mild cough, pathetic actually, it’s so small.

Ibuprofin and aspirin and ice packs. When I feel better, I do a lot. I hate to be too lazy. Okay, I used to hate to be lazy but that was before I started my blog.

Now will try to soak in those good Dead Sea salts I buy cheap from a company in Oregon. I have been buying my massage oils and essential oils and Dead Sea salts from them for over 20 years. I can’t say I’m crazy about their website, but I can say I’m crazy about their selection and prices.

I don’t have any birch oil, but birch oil is good for aches and pains. Now you know.

Here is a skeleton for you. 

Read Full Post »