Saturday, April 3, 2010
Spring and My Doctor Wears Cowboy Boots
What a gorgeous Saturday in New York. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most people look forward to winter's end. To me, winter is great in the beginning. I love the holidays, the winter wonderland, the coziness... I really do. But after a while - as soon as the slushy/brown/grumpy phase of the season hits - enough is enough. Today it's like the city is alive again. I woke up to birds chirping, people whistling and kids laughing. But when winter ends, I believe I feel a sense of gratitude much greater than the average bear. I am thankful for Spring in every muscle, joint, tendon and ligament of my body.
My body is usually ecstatic about the lack of precipitation and cold - it means greater mobility, less pain and having the ability to be active for the first time in months. However, due to the infection in my toe a few weeks ago I had to stop taking my Humira shots. Unfortunately, that's the trouble with the medicine. While it keeps the inflammation at bay and stops the progression of my disease, it also makes me extremely susceptible to infection. Because of this, it's almost impossible to stay on the shots for an uninterrupted period of time and then I get these bad periods. So that's where I am today. One week of missed shots is okay, but four is trouble.
Luckily, my toe is all healed up now and I just got the "OK" from my doctor to start back up again, but by now the Humira is out of my system. So I'm having trouble with basic tasks like bending over, opening doors, breathing deeply or walking. When I'm feeling this way, it's easy to forget that I'll feel better again. But I always do. It's a cyclical disease and I have to believe this is just a phase - otherwise my mind will go nowhere good. And I wont let that happen. Not only am I spending the majority of the weekend with John, but my parents are visiting the city this Sunday and will bring the shot then. So I think the combination of my boyfriend + parental love + meds will do the trick. I'm really looking forward to being out of this pain soon.
In the meantime, I thought I'd keep on the subject of poetry and share another piece - this time about my illness. Interestingly enough, the end of my senior year of college was the first time I was able to write about my battle with Spondylitis. It went through so many drafts that I lost count (the way it should be, of course). It's the first time I tried to describe the nature of the pain, so I'd be curious to hear if it resonates with other people who might be dealing with chronic pain. And by the way, my doctor does wear cowboy boots. Every day. I still don't know how I feel about this piece, but thanks for reading and enjoy this beautiful weekend :)
Following An Unpronounceable Diagnosis
From A Doctor Wearing Cowboy Boots
I’m sure I was plucked from some infant
field in the sky with wild limbs set to scare
my young parents. I wish I had warning
for pain like dry stones knocked together,
blue joint-flint, always angry fires
never burning low, about hands
like cut–string puppets or this ragged body
I’d drag behind. But after so many years
of needles and coddling, I understand
now that when you plunge pink
and needy into a world that’s too afraid,
all you’ll ever hear until you forget
what health tastes like is: Forget
this pain, child, your name means flowers.
You’re our undulating miracle.