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The New High in my life

My new high is when I’m in that sweet spot.  When it feels so good and I chase it again and again.

I’m not talking about alcohol or any kind of illegal high, but I crave it just the same.

No, I’m talking about that sweet window…just an hour or two when the ibuprofen stacked with a pain pill kicks in and I’m pain free for a short time.  I can walk without Candy’s help and I feel normal again.  Candy, in case you missed it is my cane.

Until I try to change direction, attempt to pivot on my bad leg or sit for too long and have to get up.  Then Hazel screams from the bowels of Hell and I’m right back to the white hot pain of my every day.

Hazel is what I’ve named my hip. That way I can say things like “Hazel is being a real bitch today.” or “Man, Hazel kept me up almost all night last night, that crazy whore!” What ever we have to do to laugh some times, amiright?

I’ve been gifted the loan of a really nice walker from my friend Donna.  She was the office manager at my Oncologists office when I had cancer and has been one of my special, dear friends from down in the trenches.  She recently had hip replacement surgery too and knows what I’m going through so she kindly loaned me her walker while I prepare for surgery.

I had a really visceral reaction to taking possession of the walker.  I cried.  This experience of chronic pain has made me feel so bad.  I feel old, tired, weak, ugly, so not sexy and much like my body is betraying me by not doing its part.  I felt like this with cancer too. It was as if my body had voted me off the island and I didn’t have a say in the matter.  I have a new understanding for why people who suffer with chronic pain commit suicide. It’s overwhelming and humbling to say the least.  Then Donna texted me that she named the walker Tom….for Tom Selleck.  This isn’t why we’re friends but it should be, she totally gets me.  I mean I’ve named my body Pillow Bruce and my cane Candy, and now I have a walker named Tom.

Not to worry, I’m not suicidal.  I’m one of the lucky one’s.  I have a solution that is just a little over a month away.  I think it’s important to write about how this feels, not only for my ability to look back with gratitude after I’m mobile again, but for anyone out there reading this who is struggling with pain of whatever kind, be it mental, physical, emotional, you aren’t alone.  Let me repeat that, you are not alone.

Just like there is an after for divorce, there will be an after for this too.  I just have to see myself to the other side of this too.  I will nail it and live every second of it and chase these windows of practically painless moments of gratitude.  This time while I wait for surgery day is giving me an opportunity to slow down, not date, get to know the friends who are with me every minute of the day and be good to myself.  I can practice the art of being still – which I’ve never really been good at, but I’m learning.  It also gives me the opportunity to decide what’s important in my day.  So what there is dog hair on my floor, peeking out under my couch and my bathroom really needs a good cleaning.  When I have moments of the sweet spot I will choose one of those things to tackle but every other moment in my day I allow myself the opportunity to not give a flying fig about them.

I sometimes look around at what other people are dealing with and wonder why some people are given so much to handle, while others seem to swim through life with what we perceive as very little struggle.  I’ve been given a lot in my life.  Two painful marriages, betrayal, cancer, abuse in various forms, a job that requires me to see the ugliest parts of the way we hurt one another and now hip replacement surgery.

It would be really easy for me to turn inward and really wallow in self pity, woe is me, pity-party central but that just isn’t me.  I choose to see it as I am strong enough to handle all of those challenges and rise above, dig deeper than some and come out ready to be an example of walking through shit with dignity and grace.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have my moments, usually in the shower, where I let the tears roll out of me and ugly face cry into the water.  We all have to allow ourselves a little bit of self pity and vulnerability.  Then I dry myself off and put my big girl panties back on and put one limpy foot in front of the other.

Because damnit, I’m going to see this thing through with dignity and muthafluffing grace.

In the classic words of John McClane in Die Hard, Yippee-Ki-Yay Muthafluffah!

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