Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 202: I’ve come to far to go back now

Posted on July 25, 2013

It’s been 6 weeks since my second RFA and I’m still a bit of a mess. This isn’t easy to write. I feel like a fucking loser.

My pain isn’t as bad as it was before my initial treatment back in January, but I had 4 months made of seasoned-curly fried gold. No limits to activity. No vicodin. Minimal injections. I even stopped taking all of my daily meds. I was free.

In May things started to backslide. I had RFA a second time. It worked so well before, but my recovery has not yielded the same immediate and miraculous result. At six weeks out, I’m still in pain. The nerves are dead but the muscles are aching, burning and tight. I’ve been struggling to keep things together. New meds. Vicodin every night. Having to pace myself… again. Counting spoons and tracking every detail of my day. The stressful and sad minutes deciding whether it’s really worth it to go for a walk, see friends, try to go back to sleep or just count the hours.

My doc asked today if I’m depressed—

Before, when the chronic pain was at its worst, the act of living really came down to this: I couldn’t let myself feel. There is a place for emotional self-assessment with chronic pain, but it must be done carefully and at a distance. Merely an observation, like checking gauges on the dashboard while cruising down the highway. Eyes on the road. On rough days, all that kept me going was momentum. If I stopped, everything stopped. I would just clutch my knees on the floor and rock and cry and babble and pound my head against the wall until my partner or meds or the cold light of early dawn would draw me out of it. I first believed in the soul because I was trapped inside of body inside of pain inside of a world that couldn’t see me.

I exist in here. I promise…

And then this year, I was set free thru might and magic and research and lasers and compassion and tenacity and health insurance. Those four months were real and I’m going to get myself back.

So no, I’m not cured and I never was. I was merely in remission. This is a temporary falter in a lifelong struggle. Every morning I rally strength and every night I toast to the long night and a better tomorrow.

— I’m not depressed. I’m on a mission.


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