Bella

I called Mark’s office (Mark is my orthopedic surgeon) on Tuesday saying that my pain level was through the roof, and I needed to see him. His assistant called back and said that Mark didn’t think that would be necessary. I was seriously perturbed, but decided to give the pain another day or two before I insisted on coming in.

Peggy went out of town on Wednesday, which was just as well because I was awake nearly all night Wednesday night. I repeatedly lay down, but each time I did so, the pain drove me up again before I could get to sleep. Over a period of five hours, I took twice the prescribed dose of Dilaudid plus the maximum doses of oxycodone and Neurontin. I also drank some vodka, but I still couldn’t quiet the pain. It was a long night indeed, yet I wouldn’t say that it was an altogether bad night because, over the years, I have discovered within myself a fortress of serenity and optimism that the pain cannot penetrate. I don’t mean to brag, or to say that no amount of pain could reach it, yet I often stand amazed by my ability to remain upbeat against such a raw, unremitting, stabbing force.

I called Mark’s office Thursday morning, and was told that he could see me at 1:00. I worried about driving after taking so many drugs, so I asked Bella (at 87, she’s the oldest member of my atheist group) to chauffeur me. Mark checked me over pretty good, and then said that my excessive pain was probably caused by two things. One was overdoing my new exercises last week, and the other was the fact that narcotics simply don’t work for me anymore.

“You’re saying what I hoped you would say,” I offered (I had been afraid he would have to redo the surgery), and then I told him about all the drugs I had taken the previous night. Before I could finish, Bella chimed in, “Tell the doctor about the vodka. He’s not supposed to wash his narcotics down with vodka, is he doctor?” “Oh, my god,” I thought, “I’ve found myself a Jewish mother, and I’m not even Jewish.” (I think Bella was disappointed that Mark didn’t give me a hard time about the vodka or about piling on the narcotics.)

As we were leaving the office, Bella twice observed, “He’s really good looking, isn’t he?” Well, the truth is that I almost didn’t go to Mark because in his picture, he looked like what he is, a jock. Yet, I get along with him about as well as any doctor I’ve ever had. Two hours after I got home, Bella emailed me a list containing everything Mark had suggested. My new Jewish mother is just too cute.

28 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

AAAAAARGH. In case you hadn't realised thats me screaming on your behalf. Excellent that you don't need more surgery on that shoulder though. I swim for the pain and it mostly helps. (As well as drugs) On the days it doesn't I am seriously pissed off.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Bella sounds adorable! You're lucky to have a friend who can drive and take notes!!!

Feel better Snow!

Snowbrush said...

Thanks, Child. I tried swimming, but if you're got shoulder problems, swimming just makes them worse.

Creek/Hiker, riding with Bella was a trip, but it soon became VERY obvious that when other drivers saw how old she looked, they gave her a very wide berth.

kj said...

this is adorable and so are you, snow. i know you are going to give me a hard time for calling you adorable, but every time i look at your picture on your sidebar, i think, 'he's adorable.'

:^)
&
hearts;

studio lolo said...

I've been reading and lurking here and there Snow, not leaving comments because I often don't know what to say. I feel bad for all the pain you feel, but I have to say this Jewish mom makes me smile! :)

And somehow I have the feeling you ditto that.

Snowbrush said...

KJ said: " i know you are going to give me a hard time for calling you adorable"

Darn right!!! Be nice to me, will you, KJ!!! I don't have to put up with that, you know.

Lolo said: "not leaving comments because I often don't know what to say."

Oh, Lolo, thank you for telling me. I simply delighted to hear that you think my blog is worth visiting.

River said...

Lesson One: don't overdo the exercises.

Lesson One: Learnt. A+

Snowbrush said...

River said: "Lesson One: don't overdo the exercises."

I just wish it was obvious how much is too much. I never do anything that hurts me at the time, and everything I do seems appallingly woozy, but oh how much--and for how long--simple little things can hurt later. This is one of those situations that's hard to understand if you haven't experienced it.

The Elephant's Child said...

'I just wish it was obvious how much is too much.' Snap. And I wish the price for exceeding the hidden limits was not so high. It essentially means that I need to stop earlier than I like or feel is reasonable to be almost certain that I won't be paying the bill. Too many variables. Frustrating.

Strayer said...

Bella is going to take you over. A Jewish mother without a son is like day without night. She has you now.

So your doctor is good looking, eh? I met this couple, helping them with cats, and then, after 17 years together, they split.

So she's seeing a new doctor and says he is good looking and she's on the prowl and he might be too, she thinks. She was debating how best to test the waters on whether he'd want to go out. I suggested just going for it, when naked on the exam table. She wasn't sure about that venue.

Snowbrush said...

Child said: " It essentially means that I need to stop earlier than I like or feel is reasonable..."

Yes, exactly! I'm forever hearing people say, in effect, "Well, duh, if you're in pain from overdoing it, then maybe do a little less next time?" I know they mean well, but they have no clue. It's nothing like being a healthy person who can sorta tell what's too much, and who isn't going to suffer more than a day or two of minor soreness if he's wrong. On the one hand, I have doctors and therapists (although it's too soon after surgery for me to see a therapist this surgery) telling me that I've got to push myself lest my joint stiffens up and leaves me in real trouble, but on the other hand, if I push myself beyond a line that seems microscopically thin, and that I can NEVER precisely locate even after years of practice, I'm MISERABLE, sometimes for weeks.

Strayer said: " She has you now."

Yes, she does. You know, I've greatly enjoyed hearing Bella talk about how important her Jewishness is to her despite the fact she's an atheist.

Strayer said: "I suggested just going for it, when naked on the exam table. She wasn't sure about that venue."

Why on earth didn't she like your idea--is he a podiatrist or maybe an otolaryngologist?

Natalie said...

Hope the pain backs off for you, and your new Jewish Mum takes real good care of your sarcasm. Whoops! I mean symptoms. xx

Mim said...

A Jewish mother is cute...if you're not Jewish....which I am. Altho I love my Jewish mother, sometimes I just wish she would act like a goy and keep quiet. That said...it's never boring around our house
Keep your shoulder quiet for goodness sake.

And yes, I agree with KJ, in your own way you are rather adorable

rhymeswithplague said...

As a person who grew up with one, I emphatically declare that one thing you absolutely have been in need of up till now is a Jewish mother.

Snowbrush said...

Natalie said: "Hope the pain backs off for you, and your new Jewish Mum takes real good care of your sarcasm. Whoops! I mean symptoms. xx"

Boy, Natalie, you're not the first one to confuse the two words. I wonder why people have such trouble keeping them straight--and only on my blog, no less.

Mim said: "A Jewish mother is cute...if you're not Jewish....which I am."

I know nothing first-hand about such things other than that the stereotype of a Jewish mother is that she's always pushing food on people, and is bitterly disappointed if her son doesn't become a doctor and her daughter doesn't marry one.

Rhymes said: "As a person who grew up with one, I emphatically declare that one thing you absolutely have been in need of up till now is a Jewish mother."

Rhymes, you're a Jew turned Methodist?! Or a half-Jew turned half Methodist? If I'm correct, for immigration to Israel purposes, you're counted as a Jew if your mother was Jewish, the lineage following the mother's genes. Is that right, or did I dream it? Bella, by the way, grew up in an Orthodox household, and has nothing good to say about it, yet she very much treasures her Jewishness.

I've seen a great many documentaries about WWI and the Holocaust, and I honest to god experienced the desire to rush out and become a Jew because, as I saw it, if everyone became a Jew, then who would the Nazi bastards kill the next time they gained power? Yet, I recognize that such reasoning wouldn't be enough for a synagogue to want me.

rhymeswithplague said...

By the time I came along, my mother was a non-practicing Jew and my father was a lapsed Methodist. Go read Chapter 8 of Billy Ray Barnwell's book.

rhymeswithplague said...

P.S. - I think you meant WWII....

Stafford Ray said...

God (when he last bothered to do anything) was a Jewish woman. Just what you need... Seriously, what that level of pain needs is heroin. Shame it is dispensed by criminals but not doctors!

Chrisy said...

a wife...friends...a goodish doc...well you are rich my friend...and congrats on being able to maintain a little centre of serenity in the pain - tho I'm sure you've worked bloody hard to achieve this...

ρομπερτ said...

Wishing you first of all soon relief of the pain and secondly thank you as well very much for your kind visit !

Due to various problems, ranging from envy towards jealousy, and and and I had to close me former site; leaving me now with this daily impression of Athens, Greece - which is a challenge as well.

Having many memories about Vodka me own, I'd like to wish you a wonderful start into the new week and hope to see you soon again.

daily athens

Cloudia said...

Do hope you feel better soon..REIKI has worked wonders in my life. try it.




Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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Snowbrush said...

Chrisy said: " congrats on being able to maintain a little centre of serenity in the pain - tho I'm sure you've worked bloody hard to achieve this..."

Not at all, my friend. I suspect that my experience is biochemical, and that almost anyone would experience something similar if they lived with pain long enough. I therefore take zero credit, and I have no thought that my experience is at all mystical, as some might suspect. Also, I wouldn't have you make too much of it, as it only occurs at times, and only then when I'm alone and in great duress. My suspicion is that my stress over being in pain is greatest when Peggy isn't here to support me--if only by her presence--and so my brain is more likely to cope in such a way especially when my actual pain level is well above what I've come to think of as normal.

Cloudia, if you have any sources to prove a scientific basis for Reiki, I would welcome them because it just looks like the "laying on of hands" to me. I will admit that some things might work despite the fact that they don't presently have a known scientific basis, yet this doesn't mean--to me--that other things might work which not only lack a scientific basis, but appear to make no logical sense. I'm also suspicious of anecdotal evidence. We all give it, and we all use it to an extent, but it's not proof, and a person can burn up a lot of dollars on alternative experimentation. All that said, you say that Reiki has done you good, and I'm glad for it. Whatever works, works.

lyptis said...

Bella sounds sweet, so cute!
Sorry to hear you're still in so much pain.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Whoa, washing pain medications down with vodka!! Sounds like a prescription for potentially "permanent" pain relief!

dana said...

At her age and her memory is sharp and she sends emails!!

Over time, we get so accustomed to the pain killers that even tequilla doesn't make a difference.

I'm not being nibby but....have you ever tried marijuana? I never have, but I am getting curioser and curioser in my old age.

All Consuming said...

I'm obviously empathising with you and Elephant's Child about the pain and knowing when is too much. My brain keeps thinking I can do things I perhaps shouldn't if I don't want to be in agony for hours/days afterwards. It's like I forget I'm ill,perhaps because this is who I've been for so long, and my mind has throwbacks to being able to do lots of things from the past. It can be somewhat disheartening, then again I'm glad I still blindly try. xx

*I'm still laughing at you being described as 'adorable' hahaha, not because you aren't just because I can imagine your face if someone calls you that hehehe.

Snowbrush said...

Robert said: "Sounds like a prescription for potentially "permanent" pain relief!"

I could accomplish that so easily. I figure 15 Neurontin, 15 Dilaudid, and 15 Dalmane all washed down with vodka ought to be adequate, but then I haven't researched the prospect because I have Peggy to consider, and I also have hope for a better future.

Dana said: "have you ever tried marijuana?"

My dear, I used to look upon hallucinogenics as a window to a higher perception, but only once did I ever smoke pot for pain, and that was when I ran a drill bit through a finger, baring the bone and taking the nail off. The pot didn't help with that, but I know it helps with some kinds of pain. I don't, at present, have a source for it, and I'm pretty pessimistic anyway.

All Con said: "*I'm still laughing at you being described as 'adorable'"

I rather like it, actually.

All Con said: ". It's like I forget I'm ill,perhaps because this is who I've been for so long, and my mind has throwbacks to being able to do lots of things from the past."

I guess there's an element of hope at work here. People do get over many all kinds of things without explanation, and then there are always new treatments coming out. A big problem that I have is that I simply can't get enough sleep, and pain combined with exhaustion is a formidable enemy of hope, hence my thoughts about suicide that I expressed to Robert. The image of lying down once and for always to rest without hurting is not irresistible, but it is ever so tempting. If I didn't have Peggy, I really don't know if I would go on.

nollyposh said...

Unfortunately i can relate to this story sighhh...