Staying Alive! My Body, My Self.

I’m back to taking Percocet waiting for my carpal tunnels to be scraped and my ankles replaced. The last Percocet post on my site was January 2014, not as long ago as I thought. The last full post regarding my depression and mental health was in 2012, a lot further back than I thought. This photo is at least a year old. I have round glasses now. No longer have a beard, still wearing the splints.

Photo on 2013-05-08 at 2.41 PMMy disabilities continue to get in my way. I issue this disclaimer noting most disabled people do not like to be held to different standards than “abled” people. Disabilities are not reasons for even excuses for bad behaviour, but sometimes can be an explanation.

My depression was first diagnosed as acute when I was 19, first treated when I turned 26 to prepare for the arrival of my first child. I did not lose work time to it until the mid nineties . Excellent help – a really good shrink, and a med cocktail specialist had me back out in the world in 2000 when I started over revitalizing the Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association, with 1/3 of the salary I had before I got sick. Has developed into a chronic condition, and I am still in treatment as the saying goes.

I have never stopped being productive (I founded Rhubarb magazine in between work engagements). Different strategies work for different people, but I am impressed by well trained talk therapists (who actually do not have to do much more than prod, listen and prod some more, and then maybe repeat back you what you said..and you say, I said what? ) and better living through chemistry.

Now for the physical stuff
– osteoarthritis, gout caused by arthritis (not the toe kind, just inflamed joints)
–  polyneuropathies, first in my legs and now in my arms – but NOT MS, I know people with MS….I can’t complain…but I do.
– carpal tunnel syndrome, & carpal meta-carpal arthritis, related but not the same – and I wear splints on both wrists,
– a pinched nerve (pain in neck, arm pain, pins and needles etc consistent with a “C7 distribution”…, MRI revealed a back full of arthritis but spinal column and discs ok
– my ankles that were fixed (bone fusion) in 2012 and 2014 are going to be fixed again,
initially with braces, my first ready on May 22. Big ugly footwear to follow, and now 4 – 6 painkillers daily.

And finally ankle replacements. Yes they do them now, but reluctantly for younger people as they only tend to last for 10 to 12 years, and they haven’t quite figured out to do them a second time.
Glad of our healthcare that will cover it all, but I’m really sorry I have to do it all over again. I’m no longer happy to be precocious, and do my best just to be. Never realized that staying alive could be a full time job.  I mention better living through chemistry and painkillers…the Oxycontin  helped me cope with incredible pain for one year, and allowed me to keep working.

I was able to stop taking them in two weeks, with just a few headaches. The downside of the oxy was behavioural. Still not sure whether it was the environment(situation I was in) pain, or the medication but I have several emails to back up claims, and a loving partner can concur, that I can be mean as a junk-yard dog when I’m taking painkillers. There is often a “failure to communicate” and unlike Obama I don’t have an “anger translator.” Confusion, coastal fog inside my brain, and a wearing away of inhibition, and all the frustration that comes along with that can make me that difficult person I took those short-courses about.

Last time out I lost a lot of friends, and I’m still in Coventry with some organizations to which I belong.  So I offer this disclaimer:
If I say something stupid or offend you, tell me. I have apologized more since my surgeries than at any time in my life…and I’m a Canadian, and Mennonite raised…I don’t like the telephone much, in person conversations and emails are preferred if you want to let me know I’ve been uncivil and discourteous or downright rude.
If I don’t make sense, stop me, and tell me, and I will try again.

For my part I’ll take it easy on Facebook and emails, especially as the day goes on. If I must rant I’ll try to keep it to my site, where people can decide whether they want to see it.
Thanks for your consideration and patience. Now back to the Envoi Poetry Festival!


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