My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Friday, October 28, 2011


As I sit in choir, stand behind someone at the cashier's line, let someone get in front of me at a redlight I cannot help but look at their necks.

Almost all are pristine, not a scar to be seen, maybe a line of two of age but nothing...egregious. Not like mine.

The back of my neck has seen a lot of scalpels. In 1980, entering through the nape of my neck, Dr. Hosobuchi tried to cut the trigeminal nerve at it's root. For a few years it took away the spontaneous pains but a lot of the TN remained. Once it completely failed, a few years later - back to the drawing board.

The next surgery was the first dorsal column stimulator implant. It was placed in the same area where Dr. Hosobuchi had been, and a new scar was born. It became infected a few months later. Dr. Barolat removed it but the knifeprint remained and a new one added. The next dorsal column stimulator was placed in the same area, a new scar posted. Then it was removed, another knifeprint heard from.

The back of my neck has a wide ribbon of white where all those hands entered and departed. I hate that I have it. I am jealous when I look at those other necks.

And yet.

And yet a part of me wants it to be seen; hoping that maybe my story reads there and people who see it will have a better idea of what I have been through, what has happened to me. Probably not. Probably more of a 'geesh, will you look at that?" if it is noticed at all.

The other side of that is the hope, ridiculous in it's thought, that a doctor will be walking behind me. He will be close enough to see it. "Miss, Miss." He calls after me. "I saw your scar. I know what you have. I know how to fix it." One of those nonsensical fantasmagorical figments of imagination: the delusion of hope, the killer of the 'this is forever' fear.

We all have so many scars, internal and external. They have so many meanings, a hope here, a hate there, our lives laid out, and played out, in indelible lines.

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