Posted tagged ‘pain’

“I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. “

March 30, 2017

Today is a New England spring day. The sun is bright, the sky is blue, and it’s in the mid-40’s. The weatherman calls this seasonable. I call it chilly.

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I was out and about early. I had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 so I slept on the downstairs couch and set an Alexa alarm to wake me up. She did just fine. The doctor has decided my back needs to be looked at again. He used his knee hammer on my right leg five or six times before it reacted with that quick kick. “Something’s wrong with this knee,” was his professional opinion based on years of schooling followed by years of doctoring. I tell him about that knee every year, and every year he schedules tests which show nothing. This year we’ll do another MRI on my back.

When I was a kid, we never had regularly scheduled visits to doctors or dentists. We went only for apparent pain or injury. I remember seeing the doctor a day or two after I fell down the stairs when I was ten. I remember that doctor well. Pain sometimes does that: etches an event into a memory which dims but never disappears. That doctor, the one with no bedside manner, cleaned my chin gash quickly and painfully.

I remember sitting with my mother and then being called into the doctor’s office. It was huge with high ceilings and lots of wood around doors and windows. The office was in the front downstairs room of his house. The doctor was huge with the sort of big belly some old men seem to get. He always wore a vest with suspenders underneath. The desk was wooden and befitting a huge man. He had a skeleton hanging near his desk. That fascinated me. He checked the gash then cleaned it as if he were cleaning tile grout and then put a butterfly bandage on it. He told my mother it needed stitches, but the cut had become infected in the day or two since the fall so he couldn’t close it. I was thrilled. I didn’t care if that cut stayed opened forever. All I cared about was no stitches.

I loved my first dentist. He always used gas so I never felt any pain, but my father made me switch from that painless, expensive, dentist to a really old, cheap, dentist who didn’t even use novocaine. I swear his drill was a pedal model like the old sewing machines. I remember gripping the chair arms so hard I must have left finger impressions. He soured me on dentists for a long time, but I had to have all dental work finished before I went to Peace Corps staging in Philadelphia. I faced my bête noire and was triumphant. At the dental check in Philadelphia,  I was perfect, good to go.

I figure if my back is my only complaint, I can manage. I can still be good to go.

“I haven’t reported my missing credit card to the police because whoever stole it is spending less than my wife.”

February 12, 2016

Everything went well yesterday except for the lie. The periodontist told me I’d feel a small pin prick when he put in the novocaine. I nearly jumped out of my seat from the pain. I swear the needle was so large it went through one gum across my mouth to the other. I barely noticed when he gave me the next two needles.

The surgery itself was painless. I now have two holes in my gums, one in the upper and one in the lower. The dentist covered the holes with band-aids which were pink like bubble gum and had the same consistency. He said they should last a few days or even a week. The first one fell off about two hours after I got home. The second one fell off this morning. He’s right about the two holes. I checked.

The coldest weather of the winter will be here tomorrow. The day will be relatively warm, in the upper teens, while the night could get as low as -20˚. Sunday will be the coldest. Daytime temperatures are expected to be below zero, as low as -15˚. If I hear singing and see little people dressed in red and green dancing down the street, I won’t even question my sanity. I’ll just look for the big guy.

I think I should start a do you believe it crime story of the day. The Globe reported three men were arrested for armed robbery. They were quickly found as each was wearing a police ankle monitor.

The town where I grew up still has a weekly newspaper called The Independent. It was founded in 1870. My favorite part to read when I was a kid was the police blotter. It reported all calls to the police station including such police emergencies as a cat stuck in a tree, kids shouting to each other as they walked down the street and a woman hearing noises in her backyard.

The calls now are about real crimes like robberies, break-in and drugs, but I do have a favorite: “Veterans Lane street sign including pole is missing.” That one boggles my mind. How did no one notice the pole being dug up and taken away? This next one seems to indicate a lack of communication between town departments, “The blinking green light has gone out and must be replaced immediately as it is the traffic light of the fire station.” I’ll leave you with this one and the comment related to it: “Our neighbors’ back yard is filled with empty Pepsi cans. They liter in their own back yard as well as our back yard. It is outrageous and someone needs to stop them. Thank you.” The comment, by a man named David, also included a picture of two crushed cans. Beside the picture was this comment, “Too much liter.” I’m thinking he should buy it in 20 oz. bottles instead.

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

November 23, 2015

Okay, it has been a while so no be careful and take precautions sermonizing. I admit it: I fell this morning. It was on my brick walkway as I was going to get the papers. I was wearing my soled slippers when all of a sudden I moved and my foot didn’t; instead, I went down. It was amazing as I could see the brick getting closer and closer then down I went. Luckily I wasn’t wearing my glasses as they are my last pair. The other pair was destroyed by a fall which occurred in the same way: I go forward, my foot stays behind. As soon as I hit the bricks, I howled in pain then rolled over to the grass. If I’m going to be in pain, it might as well be on the soft grass and not the hard bricks. I stayed there a bit until I could get myself up as only one hand was available. I made it upright, but my hand really hurt so I sort of had to cradle it with the other hand. I got back inside and made coffee, all with one hand. I then took the top off the fake sugar jar, dropped it and it broke. I didn’t curse when I fell but the broken cover elicited a barrage of blue language.

I sat down, drank my coffee and read a bit of the paper then I had to go over to my neighbor’s as on Mondays she and I go over the citizenship questions. If I have to repeat three branches of the government one more time, I will not be responsible for my actions.

The whole time I was there my hand was resting in ice as it had swollen quite a bit on one side, the one I used to try to catch myself, a ploy which didn’t work too well.

I am a two fingered typist who is now a one figured typist so this will be a short entry today. My finger is exhausted.

My left hand and wrist look disfigured. The small finger side is massively swollen, but I was lucky yet again: no broken bones. I didn’t fall gracefully but I did fall safely in some strange way.

“As long as we are lucky we attribute it to our smartness; our bad luck we give the gods credit for”

December 29, 2010

Later and later Coffee suddenly appears. You wonder why, and I don’t blame you, but today I have a most wonderful excuse. It started with the gnome who hides in my house. He, and I have no doubt the wee creature is a he, is responsible for such things as the coke which fizzes over the top of my glass, for me tripping up the stairs, for food which lands on my shirt and on and on. I’m guessing you get the idea. Well, today he knocked over a greenery decoration which my friends had given me so I could have a bit of the scent and scene of Christmas. It fell in a few clumps and deposited about 8 thousand little green needles on my rug, the one with all the ridges. I admit it. I am anal and I couldn’t leave all that on the floor. Besides that greenery was on the way to the kitchen, Gracie’s back door and, most importantly, the bathroom. I had to collect those needles before they ended up all over the house spread by feet and paws. I did it: I went for the dustpan and brush. I found only the brush but that was enough. I brushed all those suckers into a single huge pile almost as tall as I am. I couldn’t find the dust pan so I used the newspaper, and it worked perfectly. I couldn’t kneel for fear of being unable to get up so I stood and bent over as I swept and cleaned.

Almost all of the needles ended up in the trash can. I ended up with a new pain on my leg which made me yelp and curse while Gracie watched with her head bent in such a way I knew she was perplexed. The pain was from a muscle. I rejoiced. It was not the sciatica though it was just as painful. I hobbled upstairs, took a couple of painkillers, which I haven’t needed in days, laid down and slept for nearly four hours. I sort of shortened that last part of the narration for the sake of brevity as it took a while for me to find a spot where I was comfortable and without pain. When I finally did, I was out for the count. Fern, the cat, and Gracie, the dog, joined me. When I finally woke up, it was quite dark, I was dying of thirst and I needed to go to the bathroom. For me, I knew that last one would be the litmus test. Will the pain be gone? Would I be fast enough? The gnome must have been napping as I was able to walk to the bathroom with barely any pain. It was a leisurely stroll. That may not sound like a major accomplishment, but when I had to use the walker and the cane I had such pain I could barely walk and had to plan a trip to the bathroom in advance.

The pain is slight now, but I’m in a bit of trouble. I missed some of those 8 thousand needles. On my last trip to the kitchen, I stopped and picked up a few, but I see trouble ahead. I doubt those needles will be the last.

“Some called it a thorn bush. We called it our Christmas tree.”

December 10, 2010

Old man winter has raised his hoary little head, at least that’s what I’m told. It seems everyone who drops by starts off the conversation by saying how cold it is. I, dressed in socks, slippers, flannels and a sweatshirt, try my best to look sympathetic. I admit, though, when I look outside, I swear I can see the cold.

The banging has stopped. The house is all shingled. Yesterday Rosana and Lee, my cleaning people and my friends, came to put the house to rights. I had asked them to give me more time, and they were wonderful. Thanksgiving is finally gone, packed away until next year. Everything is back on the walls. The dirt from the shinglers’ boots is gone, and my kitchen sparkles. So do I.

The pain doesn’t make me scream anymore. Now I just ahh, ouch, moan and occasionally drop an expletive. I know a day of activity, such as yesterday, will make the next day a difficult one. That’s today, but I’m careful and following the half hour rule. With fingers wishfully crossed I’m hoping that I’m making progress. I figure not scaring the birds from the trees is a good sign.

Everyone always had live trees when I was a kid. The only artificial trees back then were the ones I saw in magazines. They had widely spaced white tinsel branches and a round disc of colored lights rotated in front to give the trees the colors they lacked. I think they were supposed to be avant-garde, and a black cocktail dress with a pouffy bottom half was part of the dress code if you wanted to sit near the tree. All of us, my friends, my sisters and I, still prefer live trees. The house needs to smell of fir. The lights and decorations on the tree glow and shine and seem to warm the winter nights.

My parents often couldn’t agreed on a tree. My dad preferred a cheaper tree which always had gaps between the branches. My mother wanted the perfect tree. When I was little, it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted the tree. Besides, we always found something to fill the gaps. I remember we had a cardboard Santa drinking a coke, and it always hung down and hid a good portion of the gap.

A friend told me no tree should be more than $15.00, and he knew how to solve the gap problem. He’d cut off most of the back branches, drill holes in the front part of the trunk and then he’d put the back branches in the front holes. The tree went in a corner. It always looked full and beautiful.

My trees never have gaps, and they are as tall as my room. My mother taught me that.