07 February, 2008


Yesterday was my first day of physical therapy. According to Dr. 9 and my physical therapist, the best thing for a fibromyalgian to do, because they are in so much pain they practically cannot move, is to move. To exercise.

Which offends logic so thoroughly it seems like it could make a Pee-Wee perverse kind of sense...

I bruised a kidney -- good ol' lefty -- when I was skiing one day when I was about sixteen. Eventually I pissed pink in the ER's bathroom (blood. Gross), and was told not to ski for a month or so while I healed. But I was out on the hill two days later because we were having a good season. The only problem was I couldn't put any weight on my left leg without experiencing horrible pain, not unlike the pain I experience when I walk now. But the good, then, was I could ski using only my right leg, having done it before now and again to showboat.

Proof: Showing off can sometimes do more than help get you laid and/or demonstrate that you are an asshole and/or make you look like you lost a ski.

I took a few easy runs, and was actually starting to find respect for the ER doctors' opinions because the pain in my left leg (stiff, straight, immobile) and my right (lactic acid lactic acid lactic acid) was getting to be too much when BANG -- I ran into another skier. She turned into my line and I couldn't turn away in time because I simply wasn't that proficient a, basically, one-legged skier.

The next thing I knew my eyes were closed, I was scared and crimson was on my eyelid-projector-screens. Had I perforated my kidney?

But I couldn't wallow in my fear. I had hit a girl. And a hot one (very small ski hill in a very small area, hard to not have previously noticed her). So I opened my eyes and tried to stand so I could see if she was OK. To my amazed amusement my left leg could take about 75 percent of my weight.

And the girl was just fine. Although I didn't get so much as her name.

Plus, my anecdote is another example of Dan 1 Doctors 0.

I love it when a good analogy comes together.

So I have no problems with trying to do too much too fast, with trying to tough it out, with living by the wicked-awesome slogan no pain no gain and all that rot, especially when it comes to recovering from an injury or treating a disorder. It's a big part of why I wants me drugs and I wants them now -- so I can get the fuck on with my life already.So today I saw Dr 9 and had pain off the charts from stem to stern. I received trigger-point injections in my shoulders in a vain attempt to relieve the tension caused there yesterday, a GI cocktail in a vain attempt to settle my stomach because the pain I'm in makes me nauseous, 20mg Maxalt in a vain attempt to get rid of my migraine, a prescription for 60mg Maxalt in what I hope won't be vain attempts to get rid og my migraines this weekend, and a script for a refill for tizanidine which I shouldn't have bothered mentioning because it has no relevance to this story whatsoever.

"Dr 9, what should I tell the ER doctors when I go in Saturday because I can't stand the pain brought on by physical therapy Friday?"

"You won't need to tell them anything because you won't need to go.

"You'll get through this. It's tough now, but you have to get out of this mindset. You're really close to feeling a lot better."

My eyes naturally darted to his script-pad.

I can't imagine my doctor not being thought of as an optimist.

George W. Bush is routinely referred to as an optimist.


I typed up another anecdote while I was creating this post (yeah, I actually edit these things...), and now realize it isn't necessary, but I just can't delete this one.

So let's go gonzo: It's below, without much of what made it relevant to this post, but it's still along the same lines. Basically, too lame for its own post. So kinda a freebie. And freebies are always crap.

I apologize. I had to include it because I'm an egomaniac, plus I simply find the image of me jammed into the middle of a street like I half-dove into it riotously funny, and hope you do too.

I Rollerbladed for about fifteen years (tricks, not fitness; I wore jeans that could fit two people, not spandex that shows two balls). If I ever missed a trick I would make myself do the exact trick again. It was a good way to overcome fear.

...Well, no. Not at all.

But it was a good way to progress, quickly, as a skater. Doing the same trick I had just failed, often painfully or scarily (once I slipped out of a grind on a 20-step handrail and caught myself upside down, my hand somehow gripping the same rail, my forehead an inch from a sharp concrete step-edge) meant I could do most of my tricks while, at the same time, barely suppressing mortal terror. And when you can keep doing something that scares you whiter than Conan O'Brien, eventually you get good enough at it that you can maintain your melanin.

The story below shows how high my pain tolerance is and, therefore, how bad my fibro must be for it to reduce me to an inconsolable, petulant child who acts as though his older brother just ate the last of the ice cream right in front of him (smearing most of it on his face for maximum effect) while his favorite toy was chewed to plastic tatters by the dog, followed by his dad announcing that grandma "has gone to live with god," prompting the child to ask if it was the grandma who gave him a lousy sweater last christmas or the one who always tries to kiss him on the lips and if they have to visit her on christmases and easters still. And now the kid's soiled himself because of his frustration, anger, confusion, and the look his dad gave him because of the questions.

All at once everything is wrong and the child can't help but think that if he had been raised by androids this wouldn't be happening at all or, at least, if his mom hadn't died when she was C-sectioned when he was born, she might walk in and tell everyone to shut up for five minutes so she could change him and then tell dad to stop crying like he does when he drinks grown-up juice and looks at pictures on his birthday and shoot the dog already! It still has what's left of SpongeBob's arm in its mouth...

...Was I writing about skating?

At a favorite skate spot in college a ledge projected straight out from a ten-step descending staircase. The ledge ended six inches short of the road, which ran perpendicular to it. The ledge was seven feet high where it was closest to the two-lane street. I wanted to jump from the end of the ledge, clear the street and land on the sidewalk on the other side. Between point A and B: a mute grab (right hand grabs left skate) 360 (one revolution in the air). I wasn't too bad a skater then.

So I gave myself about fifty yards and skated as fast as I could to the ledge and hopped onto it -- it was just a few inches off the sidewalk -- going about fifteen to twenty mph. The ledge was just wide enough for both my skates if I kept one slightly behind the other. The ledge was only about ten feet long, so with my speed I didn't have much time to land from the hop-up, bend my knees and position my arms to throw the 360, all while having to worry about whether I would clear the opposite sidewalk's curb to land safe and clear.

...Maybe I was thinking too far ahead.

Toward the end of the ledge my right skate slipped off and I ended up twisting 90 degrees as my arms carried me through some of the spin I had planned, but tried to abort. Though my right leg slipped down, I was already jumping with my left, so I didn't fall straight down, but went out, becoming parallel to the ground and then threatening to go vertical. Your head is your center of gravity in a spin. I rotated slowly counterclockwise (my preferred way to spin) and my legs crept toward the sky.

Luckily, seven feet is only seven feet, and I hadn't jumped with all my strength -- not even with just my left foot. It's a good thing falls like that seem to happen in slow motion, because I was able to tuck my right wrist and elbow to my stomach, out of the way, where they didn't get broken. (Wear wristguards! Not every fall can happen in slo-mo! ...Don't wear elbow pads, though. No one wears those. There's literally one nerve ending per elbow. Take some sandpaper to one, see if you can feel it! ... Couldn't, could you!) All the while my shoulder and head were diving straight for the ground as though they were the only parts of my body drawn to it.

And then I was in the perfect middle of the street, on my bleeding, engraveled cheek and jammed shoulder, the rest of me in the air as though suspended by piano wire, my sight line perfectly aligned with the street's yellow dashes.

...Before I could think about how I was going to get my shoulder pulled back out and into its former, upright and locked position, and if I would ever be pretty again, I was in the air, my torso facing the ledge I had jumped from, centered directly above the road where my red blood was smeared on a yellow-paint lane marker.

Having done a mute 360 with similar speed and a similar amount of air many times before, muscle memory carried me through the rest of the rotation, and I had enough speed to clear the curb on the other side's sidewalk. I rolled away, wiping pebbles and grit out of my cheek with my left hand.

But I still think the fall must have looked a lot more cool than nailing the trick did.

And I have a hundred stories like that. So does every skater who's been pretty decent.

Taking a dive face-first into the road from more than ten feet (for my face it was seven plus about seven (my height, plus height of small jump = fourteen feet) didn't faze me, but fibro has completely shattered me.

What in the flying fuck should doctors learn from this?

To give me a lollipop and send me on my merry way.

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