Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Illness

Women's diseases: arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, TMJ - did you know women more than men experience pain? Yes. There's research.

Would you care to see a tomogram of my jaw? A year ago I didn't know the word existed. Nor "arthritic changes" and it means pain and discomfort and spasm in non-medical jargon. Even the word spasm. To those who are healthy. I salute you. To those who are healthy, spasm should sound orgasmic, 18th century French description of it, a "petit mort."

Instead a little death is to me a little death, a big gorilla, wearing out the joint. This is supposed to be kind of thing that "makes you stronger," as they say. Illness. Seeing the positive. Suffering. Counting the muscle relaxers, I mean blessings. But as the late cancer patient Christopher Hitchens said, "Bullshit."

The Old World is out of sight. I read Hitchens, nod my head. The New World looks like gorillas on the beach, damp heat, malarial, infested. We're supposed to make camp where?

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad you have this space, Elizabeth.

    It's difficult to explain, and words will never paint a clear enough, graspable picture, of how pain becomes the center as well as the backdrop to the entire day.

    I hear you, sweet, sweet woman.

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  2. *sigh*, Poor, sweet thing. I wish I could do something to help.

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  3. huge, therapeutic hugs, my dear.

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  4. I had Maxillofacial surgery over 20 years ago and remember well the 'spasms' my jaw experienced when forced into its new position. Bloody fecking agony.

    I haven't had a day without pain in over a year. A good day is a day when the pain isn't my main focus. I feel like a rock on the beach, the pain are the waves , grinding me down daily, til all that is left of what I was is a pebble.

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? That was said by a healthy man.

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