I saw my new pain doctor today, and he loaded me down with Lidoderm, Cymbalta, and Butrans (I already had Dalmane, Ambien, Restoril, Neurontin, Dilaudid, oxycodone, Vicodin, Demerol, Fentanyl, Requip, and probably a few more that slip my mind at the moment). He also referred me for acupuncture, hypnotherapy, physical therapy, biofeedback, and a half dozen other therapies, and finished off by telling me to consider a TENS unit and a lidocaine infusion (I obviously looked wealthy). All this plus a new diagnosis. No, it’s not CRPD like my internist said, and it’s not even syringomyelia like my last pain specialist said, and it’s hardly a complete mystery like my surgical neurologist said. Oh, no, it’s CPS (central pain syndrome, whatever that means—I rarely even Google diagnoses anymore). I damn near fell on the floor laughing when he said that. God, I could diagnosis myself by closing my eyes, opening a medical encyclopedia, and pointing at a disease, so what the hell do I need these overpaid morons for? Oh, drugs. That’s it. I need them for drugs, man.
I’m going to rant—or should I say “continue ranting”? The son of bitch had me piss in a goddamn cup so he could fucking test me for drugs (“I told you what I’m taking,” I said. “Don’t take it personally,” he said). He even insisted that I bring all my medications so he could look at the bottles, but he wasn’t content with just looking at them; he counted the pills—or rather his nurse did. I knew that a drug test awaited me before I went in, so I hated him from the start, and tortured myself about whether to go at all since I didn’t really expect any good to come of it anyway (you lose faith after your 30th doctor). I agonized right up until the last minute, at which time I concluded that I would put up with his drug test shit until the first of the year when my insurance cycle starts over, and I have to start paying through the nose again. The whole time I was there, I kept wanting to slap him silly. If I were a hair’s breadth less stable, I would have too. Although I’m not entirely unsympathetic to a doctor's need to protect himself in the event of a lawsuit, I doubt that it sets well with many people to be forced to prove they’re not lying.
After I left his office, I went to another doctor’s office for an Orthovisc shot in the knee. He missed the joint three times, and kept having to jab that long old needle around. (Why, yes, thank you, it did hurt about as bad as it sounds like it would). I’m glad that I’m able to handle pain as well as I am. I’ve been so near absolute panic and/or despair so many times that I’ve lost count, yet I persist in believing that I handle pain better than most people. I’m probably a fool for thinking this, but it somehow helps me to maintain that illusion, if it be an illusion.
I’ve all but stopped smoking the medical marijuana (I’m still eating it in small amounts). After I poisoned myself (see August 8), it just never felt the same. When I smoke it now, the first thing that happens is that everything that makes me anxious or unhappy hits me at once and is multiplied by a factor of ten; and the second thing that happens is that I become a complete idiot. I can still write—I’m ripped right now in childish rebellion against the fact that the pain specialist told me not to mix pot with one of my new drugs—and it even makes me write when I wouldn’t otherwise want to, and about things I wouldn’t otherwise write about. Like now. Peggy’s off to New England for two weeks, and I had just as soon be working at a job that I started three days ago after postponing it for years for fear the pain would become unbearable. That job is painting the laundry room and building a new shelf unit for it. The work entails filling holes, moving heavy things, scrubbing the walls and ceiling with trisodium phosphate, cleaning up the mess, and then applying three coats of paint. Six years ago, it would have been a small job, but now it’s killing me. It’s also making me very happy because I do love manual labor.
With Peggy gone, I let Bonnie the dog and Brewsky the cat sleep wherever they please instead of locking them away like we usually do. Surprisingly, Brewsky has taken to sleeping with me in my twin bed. Two dudes together, you might say. I feel badly that Bonnie can’t join us, but it would be a bit much for me even if it wouldn’t invite trouble between her and Brewsky—it would also mean a move to Peggy’s double bed.
So, there you have it; I’m busy, so I’m not visiting blogs, and I wouldn’t be writing in one now if I hadn’t smoked that pot, because I really want to get this job done as a surprise for Peggy who after forty years still hasn’t learned that I’m dumb enough to do such a thing.