Friday, May 14, 2010

If you had one wish

If someone gave you one wish today, what would it be?  For a few years now, my wish has been to walk pain free.  And today, the wish has materialized.  Yesterday I went to Massachusetts General hospital in Boston, and guided by x-ray cameras, the docs injected my ankle with dye, lidocane and cortisone as a diagnostic test.  Today, still numb.  I love it.

It makes me sad that for so long I have not been able to move around easily, from doing laundry to walking across the yard to the car. Today I feel like I've been deposited into a new body. I know the effects of the procedure, which was diagnostic, will wear off. But today, I could dance. Or walk down a trail. Leave my cane behind. Go up and down the stairs as many times as I want. I can abandon the behaviors developed by being in pain. . . including bracing myself for the pain when my feet first hit the floor in the morning. Today, all cringing muscles relaxed as I realized it did not hurt to cross the bedroom floor. I would not need my cane to make it to the bathroom.  I can probably walk into the post office with my old stride.  Let's dance!

We went to Montana last week to get some work done before this round of medical sessions, which will lead to either total ankle fusion or to amputation.  How wonderful to be there, in spite of April snow and wind storms.  How wonderful my husband was with me to load the wood stove and carry things for me. But I didn't go out to the barn once. I could not walk that far. After the winter of pain that I've had, whatever is best according to the docs is where I will go. 

But right now, today, what should I do?  I have my routine. I am doing laundry.  I have a writing class. It is raining. But,  I think that I should go run a marathon or something this day.  A fairytale, epic day has been given to me. What epic thing will I do?  Walk down the beach, probably.  I have not been able to do that for soooo long.  And maybe will not be able to do it again.

PAIN is so invisible, and yet affects people so strongly.  I know it as changed my personality. I am upset that I have lost so many of the things that I once did so happily.  I fell in love with my husband while we were dancing. But I have not danced once this year.  I fight against becoming a martyr, a couch potato, a person who orders my husband around in a cutting voice, ala Ethan Fromm.  I try to have everything that I will need located next to me when I sit down, so I won't have to drag myself across the floor to answer the phone.  My husband suggest that I crawl around the house.  I would if my knees were not so bad.

Today, he is having a normal day. I kept exclaiming to him as he left for work that I CAN WALK and IT DOES NOT HURT. He had to go. He cannot celebrate with me.  I hope it lasts a for a few days.  I really want to be be me again.  So maybe an ankle fusion, maybe the amputation and new prosthesis.  Whatever it takes, I will say as the pain returns. 

Medications? they do not work.  Neurontin, Lyrica, Codeine. . . they take a little edge off, that's all. I've broken through morphine in my dreams. . . nightmares of doberman pinchers chewing on my leg. I feel so badly for the people who endure pain. I understand suicide. I have fought that off. Many times.

And so, I am getting off this computer, standing up, and walking away. I have things to do, places to go, people to see.  I want to go be me. I do thank you Ellen DeGeneres, for cheering me up most mornings, but I won't be watching you today. You rock, though.