Friday, July 19, 2013

Needlework

I feel like I’m walking with someone else’s legs.

I got my cortisone shot this morning in an effort to relieve the dreadful pain that has defined my life for the last three weeks and, well, so far, so good…

The doctor told me it would take anywhere from three to seven days for the effects to kick in, but I have to say that right now—knock spine—I’m feeling better.

While I feel some numbness in my legs, I’ll gladly take that to the agony I’ve been forced to endure since the beginning of the month.

How long this condition will last is another question and I may have to get a second shot in the next week or so. I’ll do whatever’s necessary short of selling my soul to Satan to avoid surgery. And I’m not entirely ruling out a deal with the devil.

God, it feels so good to move around without wincing, moaning, and swearing.

It’s hard to believe I’m the same guy who was limping to the bus stop so badly this morning that a little girl walking with her father stopped and stared at me as if I were the Mummy stalking out of Universal’s backlot in search of fresh victims.

I was torn between giving her a reassuring smile to show I meant no harm and screaming, “don’t eyeball me, you obnoxious little monster!

I decided it was probably best to just keep walking and pretend I didn’t notice her.

Tip of the Spear

The ride into Manhattan was horrible as the anguish—and my reaction to it—got progressively worse. By the time I reached Union Square I was running on pure self-pity and cursing anyone with a working set of legs.

And then I walked into the hospital and I saw...people. People in wheelchairs, on walkers and on crutches--people who were in much worse condition than I was.

Moments later I was facedown on a table with my hindquarters exposed and my doctor was going in for the kill.

“Tell me if you feel any pain,” she said.

Oh, yes, on that you can rely. I was ready to shriek like Fay Wray in King Kong at the first hint of discomfort.

I closed my eyes and tried to think about anything but a needle penetrating my lower back.

The procedure was over in a minute and I was soon walking—not limping--down the hallway. I felt so good I chatted with a woman in the elevator as we rode to the ground floor.

“You’re done?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “It’s painful, but I’m glad I came.”

She was wearing shorts in response to the hideous heat we’ve been suffering through and I looked down to see terrible scars on both her knees.

“Here’s hoping we both feel better,” she said, and blew me an honest-to-God kiss.

Now here was someone worth emulating. No childish complaining, no “why me” whining, this woman was able to see beyond her own problems and show compassion for a total stranger.

I left the hospital feeling humbled but happy. I’m walking normally now and I’m praying the Mummy returns to his sarcophagus and never comes back.

10 comments:

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

YAY!!! I am SO happy for you! Long may the cortisone-induced pain-free state continue!!

The lady in the lift - it's amazing, isn't it, how some people who suffer horribly can overcome their pain and reach out to others? I think it is to do with empathy: you have it, or you don't, but if you do have it, your own pain will not stop you from reaching out. If you don't have empathy, that's when you become a self-pitying person, I think, who curls up in a corner and curses the world. Seems to me that you have it, Rob, or you wouldn't even have noticed those scars. And, of course, you can write about your experiences with such humour!

"I was torn between giving her a reassuring smile to show I meant no harm and screaming, “don’t eyeball me, you obnoxious little monster!”"

Hahahahaha! You could probably have got yourself arrested for either, these days, but my money would have been on the 'reassuring smile'.

'Moo-oo-oom!! The crazy man is leering at me!!!'

Hahahaha! You don't want to be doing that, mate!

Bijoux said...

Thank God something worked for you!

I'm often humbled when I see someone with worse situations than my own. Unfortunately, it's a brief humbling; then I go back to my complaining mode!

Hope your weekend only gets better!

Rob K said...

Hey, Bijoux, thanks so much. I confess I'm guilty of the short-term humbling. I slide back into "woe is me" at the drop of a hat. Have a great weekend.

Rob K said...

@Jay, how's it going? Thanks so much for your concern.

I really hope you're right about my ability to empathize. Sometimes I feel I'm so terribly self-centered. Maybe I'm a fairly decent guide who just needs reminding every so often.

I certainly wouldn't scream at a child, but I confess her non-stop staring was starting to creep me out!

Take care!

Ron said...

Rob, I am sooooooooooo happy to hear that you got relief from all the agony you've been experiencing!

Isn't cortisone amazing? I bet you feel like a whole new person.

All last week I kept sending you lots of Reiki in the hopes it would help in some way.

"Now here was someone worth emulating. No childish complaining, no “why me” whining, this woman was able to see beyond her own problems and show compassion for a total stranger."

God, my mother was the same way while she was going through her cancer last year. She never complained or whined - not one bit. And like you, I was utterly humbled because instead of focusing on what she was going through, she turned it around and would reach out to help others. And she never lost her sense of humor through it all.

"I’m walking normally now and I’m praying the Mummy returns to his sarcophagus and never returns."

Amen!

Have a super week, buddy!

P.S. I LOVE the photos and movie references you used in this post!

Rob K said...

Hey, Brother Ron, welcome back.

Thanks for your good wishes and your Reiki vibrations. I knew it couldn't be just the cortisone!

I love hearing stories about your mom and I feel so cheated that I never had the pleasure of meeting her. I'm not at all surprised that she was so selfless and considerate.

Take care, buddy!

CrystalChick said...

OH, this is such good news and I'm very happy to hear it!! :)
Humbled but happy and walking normally... can't ask for much more than that. Well, okay, yeah I'm sure our lists are actually a little longer some days but after what you've gone through I'm sure it's more than enough for now.
Be well, for a very long time!

Rob K said...

Thanks so much, Mary! And I hope things are better with you!

v said...

glad those shots worked and hope they continue. i feel your pain and know (almost) what you're going through. it sucks, but things are looking up for you i hope.

Rob K said...

Thank you so much, V. Hope things are improving for you as well.