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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Monday, January 23, 2012


Yesterday I went to church. Because the stimulator is still not helping (or working, not sure which) I knew that would be at least a one codeine hour. The pain got bad enough to need another half a tablet, but I refused to take it because the congregational dinner would start in another hour. That would definitely be codeine time.

I did good during the dinner. I guess it is habit now talking with one, two tops, people at a time, concentrating on looking directly at only one. I got away with not taking any pills.

Then there was a concert a friend was giving. Every time she invited me it was always at night and I could not go. Once it is dusk I am unable to safely drive (well I could if everyone else got off the road but the chances if that are pretty small.) This time the performance was at 3:00 in the afternoon. I could get there, even if I would only be able to stay for an hour. I was very excited, and very nervous. Would it be pain time? Probably.

I got away without taking anything. I had to fight the pain but it was not horrendous. I knew an hour would be about the most I could tolerate.

Luckily the group took their break at the one hour point.

We had not seen each other for some time. We were able to talk for a few minutes before the other concertgoers came out and wanted time with her.

Sadly, I was kind of happy to be leaving because the pain was breaking through. I did not want to take a pill or leave thinking about the pain and feeling the pain and the ick of the narcotic.

It was one of those good news, bad news times. I was glad to be leaving and not doing anything to make the pain worse. I was terribly sad that I was losing a chance to talk with and hang out with people who looked to be interesting and fun.

I was kicking myself emotionally as I walked to my car. Look, if you stayed the pain would have been terrible. You would have lost a lot of what people were saying because of the way the codeine makes you feel. You would have enjoyed and been miserable at the same time. What fun is that?

The damn pain!. That was my mantra. I kept repeating it. If it wasn't for the pain I would not have to be leaving already. If the eye just stopped being so annoying and unable to tolerate the headlights...well.. I heaved out a gigantic sign of resignation and anger - at myself and my situation. The damn pain. THE DAMN PAIN!

Oh, wait a minute It's not the pain. I forgot. I have a baby cataract in the right eye. That's what makes the glare so bad I can't tell one car from another once it's dark and their headlights are on. Oh. Right. It's not the pain. Well *^$%^*).

I have often said to doctors "Boy, it would be nice for you to just say, I know what you have. You have the flu. It is so frustrating that I don't just have something that everyone gets."

But I do. It is that 'what everyone gets' that makes it impossible for me to drive at night, to go to school or seminars or groups that meet at night. It has always frustrated me terribly. Going out at night is one way to meet people. I would take extra codeine for that.

It used to be the pain. My left eye was always blinded momentarily when a headlight came at me. The pain was the reason for everything wrong, for all the things I could not do.

And now it is not.

I sure am glad it is not the flu and I wish I did not have the cataract (It is in the good eye and small, no reason and possibly dangerous to remove it) but it feels good, as strange as that may sound, because now I am one of the many.

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