Is Anyone Listening?

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On the afternoon of my last post I did the laundry. It needed to be done in the worst way, and my back was feeling better…right up to the point when I hurt it again. Double whammy on this pain. In an eye blink I went from feeling good to right back in my chair, complete with gasps of breath every time I had to move.

And I learned something about myself. One day of severe pain isn’t a problem for me. Nor is two, nor three. It’s when I reached day FIVE that I lost my head about it, that my angst over my pain FINALLY got high enough it flooded over my fear of making a phone call to my doc.

I’m sitting on a cloud of Tramadol right now. The pain has receded, finally. Last night I could turn over in bed without pulling myself into that position by grabbing onto the far side of the bed to flip myself over. Still gonna be sitting on my arse today; I’m not STUPID. The muscles need more rest. Went ahead and scheduled an appointment on Friday with another doc because mine is on holiday. Shows how high my anxiety over it is, that I’m willing to see a new doc who doesn’t know me and who may not speak English well. I took the Tramadol because I needed SOMETHING, but it’s not the best thing for a spastic muscle. What I really need are some muscle relaxers, which is why I scheduled the appointment right away.

All I’ve really been thinking about – other than the odd fact that old films allow us to check the junk of men long dead – is that there is no WAY I could hold a job and have this happen – have my back just go out on me like this and put me down for a week. It’s not the only aspect of my health that’s so precarious, it’s just the most recent to shove that ugly reality into my face again. That bites. I keep hoping that things will get sorted here, that I’ll be able to find some sort of work so I could actually bring some money into the house rather than feel like the money sucking vortex with my high priced medicines and health insurance, but honestly -! Every time I think I can do it, something happens that puts me down. No employer would put up with that.

The worst part of everything is, of course, if I worry about my inability to work or my pain levels, it INCREASES my pain. That’s not a mental statement but a physical fact: anxiety sets off my RA. That’s a real problem. The loop goes something like this: have pain, can’t move. Go to the docs, medical bills. No money because I can’t work. Higher stress because this condition costs money, regardless of how well my insurance covers things. I have to pay more because I can’t do so many things for myself, or I need things other people don’t need access to, like making sure any hotel I stay in has a refrigerator available. The stress then monkeys around with my immune system, which then reacts with – you got it, more pain. Just worrying about not being able to hold a job makes me LESS able to hold a job.

It is a VERY effective existential circle of hell.

But enough of that. I could bitch from here to eternity and never get it ALL out of me.

As hinted to above, I’ve been watching old movies. The Magnificent Seven, The Mask of Zorro – that type of thing. My smart tv has a bunch of ‘new’ films like that this month. Old films have fascinated me, ever since I got my heart broke at the tender age of 10 when my mother took me to see Gone With The Wind for the first time and I fell in love with Rhett Butler, only to find out afterwards that Clark Gable was long dead. First time I loved and lost. Ever since then I’ve been a fan of old films, even if they’re not that good. They’re tiny windows into the past. Old color films are my favorite; they allow me to see how the sky and the land used to look. The sky used to be blue. Really blue. And they got it captured well in many old 60s films. Seems like almost every film I see these days they use a filter to give the impression that the sky is blue or pink or whatever, when it’s actually just a dull grey. And the land! When they actually took the camera out and filmed locations back then….I can see it. It looks cleaner. Less grey. Yes, I’m fully aware of the various filters used in modern post production film making. That’s not what I’m talking about. The difference, of course, is the air quality. Back then, the ozone layer was still strong. I know; I lived during it. Sun protection lotions came out when I was young. Before then, it was sun TANNING products, including oils. Well do I remember my sister oiling herself up every day, laying in the sun from 10 am to 3 pm no matter WHAT to get that golden glow. And you could do it. You could go out in the sun all day. I never heard of skin cancer back then. It wasn’t a thing. And the way the light looked! Sunlight today tends to be white, hot, harsh. Back then it was pure gold. It made the land look different. Things looked different. Today during summer it’s common to see some burning on grass and leaves. Some stunted growth because of weird weather. That used to be uncommon.

So I watch, and remember. At times I feel that’s all I’m reduced to: watching. Watching other people live their lives, do things, make a difference. Unlike all those fantasy ‘watcher’ races, I will not stand by idle and just catalogue the fall of humanity. I will have my say, speak my mind. I will TRY to make people understand.

I may be quiet about many things, but I am not silent. My only question is this: is anyone listening?

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