The problem with you, Pain, is that you are a sneaky bitch. I never know exactly when you’re going to come slipping in the door and kick me in the head.
I’ve had a few good days in a row; this is an extreme rarity. I’ve gotten things scratched off my to-do list that have resided there for YEARS. I’ve cleared more than 500 books off my bookshelves and dusted five years of dust off those bastards as well. I did six loads of laundry. I shaved my legs. I started this writing project. I finished editing my mother’s will, which includes a Special Needs Trust to keep me out of the poorhouse when she dies and I’m still … well, this. But the moment Pain opens that door, I’m reduced to this.
This lump of screaming pain. I’m laying on the couch right now, counting down 20 minutes. That’s the magical amount of time I have to wait to see if the last handful of Dilaudad and Xanax and Tramadol and muscle relaxers have done anything to take the edge off this horrible mass of lightning strikes exploding across my skull. The pain is crashing, and smashing, and awful. I’m being banged about by pots and pans, they slam against the outside of my skull.
What was that, doctor? You’d like me to enumerate my pain on your convenient, oh-so-sterile pain scale? Where 0 is no pain, and 10 is being eaten alive by angry sharks with acidic saliva?
It’s about a Fuck-You-point-five. Did you hear the part about the lightning and the pots? Jeezus.
There have been billions of dollars poured into fighting breast cancer. We can give old men a pill and they can have an erection that lasts all day. Are your eyes too dry? It’s now a disease, with a prescription. Heaven forfend you have wrinkles, but we’ll shoot you up with bovine toxins until your face freezes into a caricature, and then don’t you feel pretty.
But no one seems to be studying pain. No one seems to be inventing better drugs for pain. Every illness brings pain. Every injury brings pain. The consequences of long-term, chronic pain are enormous and devastating. Why aren’t we doing something about it?
That’s 20 minutes, boys and girls.
You’ll find me back in the pill bottle, but always,