Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day Pass

I left my house for the first time in a week today and found out that I need more tests.

I had to take car service into Manhattan because my aching back can’t handle riding the subway. Hell, I can’t even handle the subway stairs.

It was so strange being in the real world after my week-long house arrest. We rode by my office, by the street where my gym was located and I kept wondering why I wasn’t out there with the rest of the working stiffs, making the walk from my health club to my office building on Broadway.

People looking at me might have thought I was some big shot riding in the back of this car while the peons did the mass transit routine. If they only knew…

My doctor tells me that I am not responding to the 7-day steroid bomb treatment that he prescribed for me, so I have to get another MRI.

I had one of these tests last year and it was decidedly unpleasant. You’re basically sandwiched within this monstrous machine that takes photos of your innards. It felt like it was never going to end.

“I worried I’m going to be a cripple,” I blurted. “Am I going to wind up in a wheel chair?”

My doctor didn’t give me the vigorous dismissal I was looking for; the old “of-course-you-won’t” routine I so desperately wanted to hear. And, truthfully, that’s not his job. He’s a doctor, not a fortuneteller.

“Do you need a cane or a walker?”

A walker? Oh, come on. Yes, it hurts like hell every time I take a step, yes, I’m stomping around like Long John Silver on three-day rum bender, but, Christ, I don’t need no stinking walker….yet.

Both my parents had to use walkers in their final years, so the very mention of this piece of equipment scares the hell out of me.

Avast there, Matey!

My doctor said I should be prepared to discuss the possibility of such treatments as cortisone shots and surgery. Neither appeals to me, but my current state isn’t sustainable either.

It’s weird being out on the street and lurching from streetlight to park bench, while I fume and curse beneath my breath. Jesus, I’m starting to sound like a pirate.

I glare at the people around me, walking by as if everything is perfectly normal. Don’t they see how I’m suffering? Can’t they see how much trouble I have walking?

But then I realize that I’ve seen people in a similar or worse condition countless times and what did I do? I kept walking, of course, and pretended everything was perfectly normal.

The world is a hostile place when you’re not in top condition. A few years ago, brain dead teajahdist Ron Paul bitched that the Americans With Disabilities Act was unfair to business owners—yes, business owners—because it forces them to put in pesky things like elevators and ramps for people in wheelchairs.

Speaking as someone who now has a great deal of trouble walking, I want to know what kind of piece of excrement would have to be forced to make these accommodations?

Wouldn’t a decent business owner want all of his employees to be able to get around with relative ease? When did looking out for each other become such a terrible blow to capitalism?

I’ve been taking Oxycontin, Rush Limbaugh’s drug of choice, but I’m getting mine legally. This is about the only thing I have in common with that rightwing blowhard and I aim to quit as soon as I can.

I declined my doctor’s office to get a stronger dose of painkiller. What’s a good Catholic boy to do without pain?

I’ve been routinely deleting these various event emails I’ve been receiving. What’s the point? I know I won’t be able to go anywhere. Or, more accurately, I don’t want to be struck with crippling pain miles from my home.

So my exile continues and I don’t even need an ankle bracelet. I’m scheduled to go to a massage therapist on Saturday and I’m hoping I make some progress. And I hope it lasts.


Ron said...

I didn't realize you've been inside for 7 days, Rob.

That, plus all the pain you've been experiencing has had to have been tough, to say the least.

I've never had an MRI before, but just the thought of being placed inside something so close and tight, gives me claustrophobia.

"My doctor said I should be prepared to discuss the possibility of such treatments as cortisone shots and surgery. Neither appeals to me, but my current state isn’t sustainable either."

I guy I know here in Philly has had similar issues as you, concerning his right leg and lower back pain, and his doctor suggested those two things to him as well. He's decided to wait a bit longer and try some acupuncture to see if it helps.

Glad to hear that you're going to a massage therapist on Saturday because it will help not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

Just know that I'm here in Philly, sharing energy, support, and good thoughts that whatever this is will be healed pronto.

You take care, buddy, okay?

Rob K said...

"Just know that I'm here in Philly, sharing energy, support, and good thoughts that whatever this is will be healed pronto."

Ron, you have no idea how much those words mean to me. It's great having someone like you in my corner during these rough times.

I've been writing about my troubles a lot lately, but that's only because this condition has dominated my life. It helps to hear about other people, like the guy you know in Philly. And who knows?

Maybe someone with a similar problem will read my posts and get some comfort out of them. I certainly hope so.

Take care, buddy, and thanks so much!

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Oh no...

I was hoping you would gradually improve, especially on steroids. :( I've known people with horrible back pain, including my father-in-law who ended up one day lying flat on the floor unable to get up - he DID recover, by the way, and while he sometimes used a cane when he got older, he never had to resort to a walker.

A vet I used to work for had horrible back pain, too. In the end he had a laminectomy and that sorted out the problem for him. I don't remember him having any more trouble after that.

I do hope that the MRI can pin-point the trouble so that they can do something about it. I'll be thinking of you.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

By the way, I and OH have both had cortisone shots (shoulder, wrist and elbow) and my mother-in-law had them too in her knee. They are very painful, but they do work. Don't discount them.

Rob K said...

Thank you so much, Jay. I'm very touched that you are thinking of me. At this point I'll try any method that can free me of this misery. Cortisone shots may be painful, but if they get me walking normally again, I'll gladly take the plunge.

Take care!