So, I’m on steroids. Haul me in front Tom Davis and I’ll say it for the cameras. I’m on steroids.
My back has been a source of pain and frustration for about as long as I can remember, but last May things took a pronounced turn for the worse. Shortly before Lisa and I tied the knot,Â the occasional aches and spasms were replaced by constant throbbing with the occasional stab, and a healthy dose of leg tingling and numbness. The symptoms have varied in their intensity, but the general trend has been a downward one, so last week I once again visited my orthopedic doctor.
I don’t know if it’s lingering guilt from days spent fakingÂ colds to miss school or something deeper and more freudian, but there’s a real sense of righteousness that I get when visiting a doctor for a problem that feels serious. Like the guy is sitting around all day thinking, why must I see this constant stream of scraped knees masquerading as ACL tears? Did I go through medical school for this? Who out there is worthy of my incredibly expensive time? And I’m like, See here, doctor! Observe my crooked spine! Issues, I know.
Of course, then I get there and wait forever, and the doctor’s assistant (nurse?) escorts me to the x-ray room, and when I finally see the doc he has a look and says, yeah, doesn’t look like too much has changed since I saw you last [about 18 months ago]. Does it hurt here? Or here? And I’m like, no, but it hurts a lot in other places! Seriously! And he’s like, well, I don’t think this justifies any serious course of action. We’ll get you back in PT and give you some scripts to see if we can get rid of this pain. Come back in a few weeks. Ta.
Hmph. So now I’m on steroids during the day and vicodin at night, neither of which is helping with the pain, though I am sleeping like a dead log. But it’s the damnedest thing about pain. I was convinced, convinced that something was seriously wrong with me. I hurt all the time, couldn’t concentrate, drove Lisa nuts with my complaining, but the doctor tells me that nothing has really changed, and while the pain doesn’t go away, it makes me think that the pain isn’t actually that bad. I don’t know, after all, what serious pain is like to others. What I think is the worst chronic pain I’ve ever experienced could be a minor annoyance to everyone else. So not only do I hurt, I’m also sitting here convinced that I’m a complete wuss.
Can’t concentrate or complete a thought during the day, drug-induced stupor at night, I’m working on my pain, substance-abuse, redemption storyline, those things always sell, right? Actually, I’m just hoping to explain my general ennui and occasional, unpredictable fits of rage, as well as my increased slugging percentage. Come on modern medicine; help me out here.