Saturday, November 27, 2004


I need to post something, if for no other reason than to bump that ugly little troll off the top of my webpage.

This week has been fucked, as my physio- and neurochemistry continue to engage in their little modern art project - right now I think my body is going through a Pollock phase, while my mind emulates Picasso. I just woke up 3 hours after eating sleep meds like M&M's until I fell asleep; 6 hours prior to that I had taken my usual dose and felt nothing. **Nothing**. The bottle cautions against taking too much at once (respiratory failure blah blah blah); I take twice the recommended amount and stare at the ceiling all night. Eep - I'm a pill popper. I was warned about people like me.

So Thanksgiving just passed? I celebrated by staying in bed in too much pain to walk, missing yet another chance to see some friends who, despite living only a mile away, I'm lucky to see once a year. I noticed a spate of "Things I'm Thankful For" posts on the various blogs I read, and after a lot of thought I was able to count the things I am thankful for on the fingers of one finger; later I added a few more things, one of which might be you. You know who you are. I hope.

Being the Brilliant Mind that I am, a week from today I embark on a ten day journey across the country... even though I am still recovering from a 3 day trip I got back from a week ago. Apparently I'm either less good at math than I once was, or my rational planning horizon extends no further than day-to-day living. Hey, live for today! I always thought that was a good idea. It never occurred to me I'd be doing so for lack of ability to see farther than the confines of this bed, this room, this day.


Blogger krishna said...

Hi Foobario!
Hopefully, this is a passing phase. What happened to your gall bladder operation? Have you got used to your pain so much that you do not want it to end? ( Sorry for being blunt. But, a friend is supposed to be blunt, right? ) I feel you are willfully stepping into a vicious circle. What is the point in abusing your body by taking sleeping pills etc.? Stop them and see. Perhaps, by sheer exhaustion, you may fall asleep. Sometimes, we feel that we do not have many things to be thankful for. But, there are people in worse situations. When I see a leper or a rag picker, I appreciate how fortunate I am. I am not pontificating. Believe me when I tell you that I have my share of problems. But, the more I think of them, the more silly they seem in relation to what many others are going through. I feel being with loved ones will make a vast difference to our perspectives. You have Marie-Anne. I suggest that you make peace with your mother( I hope she is alive) and siblings, if any. You cannot change the way your parents are. Forgive them. The pains and tribulations of the childhood have to be dispassionately viewed and discarded from the memory. I was apprehensive of posting these comments. You may be angered by them. ( Understandably so. What right do I have to give you unsolicited advice?
Let me tell you a story. One afternoon, a man stopped by a house and walked into it. The couple who lived there were about to have their lunch. The husband thought that the stranger was a relative of his wife and his wife thought that he was the relative of her husband. They invited him for lunch and took care of him graciously. As the man was about to take leave, the couple, who by then realized that the man was not known to either of them, asked him in what way he was related to them. The man answered as follows: "In your house, there is a berry tree. The wheels of my cart are made of the wood of the same tree. And that sir, is our relationship."
I hope that this story answers any doubts that you might have on the appropriateness of my comments.
We are related in the sense that your blog spot is called Mushika and I came here while searching for another Mushika.

Blogger Foobario said...

Krishna -

thank you for your kind thoughts.

After endless tests, my doctors decided that a gall-bladder operation had a less than 50% chance of helping; the second & third opinion docs advised against it. More Test Have Been Ordered. Lab assistants have been mobilized. The sum total of this planet's technological medical wizardry has been aimed in my general direction. And then wandered off, perplexed.

>Have you got used to your pain so much that you do not want it to end?

Believe me, I have given this issue much thought. What you describe is a sort of mental (perhaps emotional?) illness. I feel pretty strongly that I want the pain to end, but then again the nature of mental illness is such that self-reflection is not tremendously useful - since the tool being used to try and solve the problem is the tool that might not be working correctly in the first place. It's like if you only have one screwdriver, and its handle is held in place with a set-screw, and the screw is loose... what do you do?

Finding someone else who has the tool you need seems to be the only recourse. I've seen a number of objective sources (everything from hypnotherapist to psychiatrist) as well as bringing the issue up regularly with friends and family; and while there is definitely a psychological (and emotional) side to my situation, these appear to be effects, not causes. I have not dismissed the possibility, however; at this point any definitive diagnoses would be welcome. Anything but more of the same.

>What is the point in abusing your body by taking sleeping pills etc.? Stop them and see.

Every so often I do stop them and see, with similar results every time: my pain and cramping get worse the longer I am awake, and get worse with more activity. By the second day I am pretty cranky (I very rarely take anything for pain anymore, and it gets tiresome); the third day I start exhibiting pretty classic sleep-deprivation personality disorder; and sometime on the fourth day I finally fall asleep. For about 10 hours. Following that, I settle into a rhythm of about 42 hours awake, 6 asleep, and every ten days or so it all catches up with me and I crash and sleep a whole day.

I told my doctor I needed help, and she gave me sleep pills to help keep me sane. It was a sort of surrender for me - I never took any prescription drugs, except for when I was very ill and required anitbiotics. And admitting that I wasn't as in control of my life (an amusing conceit) as I would like to be was difficult for me.

I had major sleep problems before the pain started; my natural 'day' is longer than 24 hours, more like 30, so I have always either rolled in and out of phase with the rest of the world, or uncomfortably tried to force my schedule to conform to work, school, sunlight, whatever.

>Marie-Anne... mother... siblings... I was apprehensive of posting these comments.

Wow, you've been paying attention. I welcome your comments, though your advices are easier said than done. The tasks seem to be my life's work. The trick is to get them done so they aren't the *next* life's work too.
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