Full disclosure…I’m writing this kind of doped up (so the content may get illogical).
Two weeks ago, I threw my back out emptying a tiny bathroom trashcan. I tried to gut it out, but the next morning, when I could scarcely walk more than five steps without holding onto the wall and then dropping to my knees in pain, Goodwife took me to the ER. An Xray didn’t show much but some suspicious compression low in my back, and then sent me away with a shot of morphine and another of tramadol, along with a referral to a spine specialist.
I use the VA for medical, so everything has to go through their system. Yesterday, I finally got an MRI, which showed some bulging disks and some age-related deterioration.
In between the ER and the MRI, I limped along on various meds, only a few of which were prescribed specifically for me. Goodwife Alisa, bless her, had back trouble a few years ago, but there were some left over RX which helped me struggle through the days and even work the day job.
I’m pretty drug sensitive. I don’t like the feeling I get from opiates or other “downers.” In fact, every time I end up taking drugs for pain, they have the effect of dulling everything: the hurt, my energy, my motivation, and my ability to follow a train of thought. And each time I’m experiencing those things, I muse to myself, “And people pay to feel like this??”
It was a long two weeks. This morning, I’m still stoned on the pain blocker and other stuff I took. My back is still way iffy (it’s like, waiting for me to step hard or bend over to pick up the cat, and I can feel the whirling spasm/wrench of pain lurking there, ready to punish me for my insolence), but it’s not crippling. However, my eyes won’t quite focus on distant objects, and my thinking…well, it drifts.
One thing my mind drifted to was famous writers (say, Hemmingway, Phillip K. Dick, or more recently Stephen King) who were known to write when they were wasted. I can’t imagine (stoned as I am) how it would be possible to create much of value while in this kind of haze.
Anyway, next up is getting the VA to send me to a spinal specialist so we can go forward. While it’s painful and irksome for me (haven’t written a damn thing, see above), I know many others struggle with far, far worse maladies. Thus, I choose to view it as “inconvenient.”
But life is what we pay attention to, so now I turn to the good.
First, there is “Moses.” He’s a dog I noticed was being neglected (left outside in the cold without even a damn blanket, fed irregularly, etc.). Goodwife Alisa didn’t want any more critters, as she grieves so much when those little furry bundles of love pass on. But when she saw this poor dog’s condition, she said immediately “We have to get him.”
As you can see above, he was dreadfully thin. But he’s a very loving dog, who needs less and less reassurance as the days go by. He’s integrated into the pack very well, with only a few harsh words exchanged early on with alpha dog “Goldie,” also pictured above. And he’s putting on weight, too (see below).
Other things of note:
Fun podcast interview, with a slightly subdued me (my back was hurting. Pretty much the only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’m sitting perfectly still). The interviewer, Blaine Pardoe, is an accomplished novelist (New York Times best seller, I believe), who really “got” my first Cthulhu, Amalgamated novel, The Thing From HR.
You can see the interview here:
And speaking of nice things about that book series, just received a lovely review of the audiobook:
“Overall, this is a book that is a must-listen especially if you need to relax, need a breath of fresh air, or coming off a horrible week – this book is guaranteed to make you at least smile, if not break down belly-laughing! I have to say, the HR references at first threw me as I kept waiting on the story to have something to do with Human Resources only to discover it meant something way different! What a hoot! From beginning to end, Griffis kept the audience entertained with his sense of humor and wit. I have heard other books written by Griffis but I have to say, this is by far my favorite! A must-listen!”
I hope y’all are managing to find the good in your world these days, as well.
2 thoughts on “Taking The Good With The Inconvenient”
Nice column Grif. Do you write this regularly? I haven’t seen it before.
You and I were at Airsta SFO at the same time but we did not interact very often. I also have VA access but I don’t use it currently. Put me on your mailing list.
Frank, dang, I remember the name. Were you a Flight Mech…AET or AT?
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, my December/January was kind of wiped out.