Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No exhanges without receipt

Today was a physical therapy day--not the special PT with Toni, but the mainstream kind with Phil. Phil manipulated my upper spine and neck. He was pleased with the results, but he approached the task like a man determined to win a recurring battle. He's a big guy, yet it took a lot of heavy physical work to get my ribs and spine in a position to stop tormenting my nerves.

Phil warned me that my back was going to hurt a lot as the day went on. The man knows his cause-and-effect physical therapy.

The liquid fire that pours itself down my spine challenges even my super-human pain tolerance. It gets worse when I sit, and worse still when I use a computer. I want to write, I want to clear my head of all of the words that are accumulating in the cranial space, and I want to read what comes out of my head so I know whether or not my mental health is intact or just an illusion.

It's hard to write when you're in pain. It's hard to have a healthy attitude about life when each new day reminds you that healthy is one thing you are not. I am not.

But I look OK

Tired. My pain is wearing me out. My pain is wearing me out but it seems to be part of a bigger fatigue. How can anyone be this tired and have normal blood work? The least bit of effort leaves me with an energy debt I cannot pay.

Last week, friends were visiting (and you know who you are). We went to dinner on Thursday, and we were out late. I got home at ten, maybe a bit later. Friday morning, I struggled to get up by 8:30. I had things to do.

I went to therapy and then to the salon for the previously discussed cut-color-highlights. Frank got home at 5:00 and 45 minutes later, we headed out to meet our out-of-town friends for an evening of wholesome fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I forgot to have too much anxiety or be self-conscious. I enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with people I truly like. I went to bed happier than usual, and not all that late.

Saturday. I could not wake up. Sometime after 9:00, I forced myself to get out of bed, and I stumbled down the hallway, stopping once to regain my balance. Frank made coffee for me, and after I drank it, I fell asleep on the couch. An hour later, I roused myself and stepped into the back yard. I tried to read, but couldn't. I watched TV, checked my email, and eventually curled up on the couch. I took a shower. That felt good.

Frank came in and seemed relieved that I had, at 12:30, finally changed out of my pajamas. He set about making lunch and chatted away throughout the process of preparing Kraft mac and cheese. I heard my name. I heard my name louder. And again. It startled me.

I had fallen asleep again. I had even been dreaming.

This continued until about 3:00 in the afternoon, when my body finally had rested itself enough to let me remain conscious. By then, the day was mostly gone and my long to-do list was an impossibility. My frustration was obvious.

I'd like to trade in this body for one that doesn't waste so much of my time.

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