Monday, April 25, 2011

I went to the doctors and all I got was this lousy anti-inflammatory

I am writing this from bed.

I have spent a lot of time here lately.

In bed, that is.

It's a long story that can be summed up in a few short words.

My Neck Is Fucked Up.

It's been that way for almost as long as I can remember. Probably from all of the times I got hit in the face with stuff. Or drove into things. Or fell down. (I fall down a lot.)

As with most things medically-related, I am precocious. I have arthritis in my neck. It never fails to amuse me, when the doctor looks at my medical record and says "Huh. Given your age, I ever would have thought of that." It happens all the time with the menopause/hysterectomy conversation, which is always a crowd pleaser. But the neck is really special, because a lot of the time I will be heaving into a trash can from the pain while they casually avert their eyes and continue to discuss their next plan of attack.

This morning, when it became clear that not only could I not turn my head, but I also could only open one eye, Sam took the day off and drove me to the doctors. Clearly, driving was not on my list of things to do today.

(Don't worry, the doctor totally gave him a note for taking the day off.)
(Which made me feel even more like an invalid.)
(Thank god I can still wipe my own ass.)

And basically the doctor reassured me that there was absolutely nothing that could be done, and the best that could be hoped for was to find a drug cocktail that could keep me comfortable.

How reassuring.

It felt like the human equivalent of being put out to pasture.

She handed me a prescription for a muscle relaxer to take every day forever, and an anti-inflammatory that is also now part of my daily regimen, and then a refill for the one drug that they have found that seems to knock me (if not my pain) out and allow me to sleep. That last one is my golden ticket. The medicine I carry in my purse at all times JUST IN CASE. The pill I know will work when things get desperate.

So I walked straight to the pharmacy window at clinic, and handed them my paperwork, and then settled into a seat to wait. Then I went outside and we drove around, because sitting with all of those sick people was making me tense. A good call, it turns out, because when we returned to pick up my prescription, someone had just thrown up all over the welcome mat inside the clinic door.


And instead of being totally grossed out - okay, IN ADDITION to being totally grossed out, I was totally relieved that I had not been the one responsible.

Carefully avoiding the puke trail, I saw my name on the screen and approached the window while pulling out my ID for all of the bottles of fun that I had waiting for me.

And that's when I got the news.

The medicine I depend on to be a fully-functioning human being with the ability to turn my head to the left has been discontinued. Also discontinued, my ability to look over my shoulder before changing lanes. Fuck. Me.

"What do you mean it's been discontinued? I LOVE THIS STUFF."
In retrospect, perhaps I should have dialed down my enthusiasm for a controlled substance but fuckitall I have found something that works and I want more of it.

"Let's try this one!" the pharmacist said. My husband reluctantly paid for it, but he, too, knows that this drug - this discontinued drug - was my magic bullet.

We took the new medication home, and stared at the label, and read the accompanying information. I googled it, read some more, and decided to try one. Then I climbed into bed with an ice pack to wait and see what happened. It's kind of like being Alice in Wonderland. They give you a pill and you take it, and then wait for the side effects to kick in.

So here I am, an hour after taking this replacement medicine.

It's okay, I GUESS. But what I really feel right now besides slightly less stiff and sore (and let's be honest, a little high) is defeated. I feel like a science experiment. I feel old. I worry about how I am going to function when I am 80, if I feel this shitty at 36. I am pissed that this body of mine started giving out so early. I have had to accept the prematurely gray hair, the menopause, and the fact that I can't participate in any sport where I could get bumped or fall down. I have learned to deal with the fact that I cannot turn my head, touch my toes, or lift anything that weighs more than 30 pounds. That I will have to take some sort of medication or follow some sort of plan of care (holistic or otherwise) forever.

Forever is a long time. Never again seems even longer.

I just want to hang out and enjoy my life with my loving family and amazing friends in this beautiful place.

So while I sit here and pout and contemplate crocheting tea cozies and making bibs out of hand towels (which I will probably need myself in the not too distant future) as is apparently my lot in life, I would like to share Lewis CK's point of view. After my experiences today, I think he sums it up nicely. At least he can be funny about it. I am having trouble seeing the humor in this right now.

No comments: