Even with M keeping me in bed it’s dark after ten even on Canada Day. Deefer Dog is shaking between us until he’s not and the bangs stop banging. I start my journey into the night my body and my mind insisting on separate rips. I wake as my arm sweeps the tall lotions off the night table on my first pass, and see my arm dislocated, barely attached to my shoulder and twice as long. Second pass I get the water and nearly everything else, struggling into consciousness with a deep affirmation from M to put up my side bed rail to corral my chaos just enough to let her sleep and stop scaring the dog.  

I scare myself when I scream ten out of ten and a pain generates upside my neck bending over to take off my fake leg. The aftershocks in pieces of my mind send me to the hospital emergency, but only when I throw in the crying towel a week later. Taken, and taken seriously for a brain CT scan and an appointment with a doctor at the TIA (mini-stroke) clinic. The vascular neurologist shows me my brain, unremarkable except for as small mass on my third ventricle. My body memory choses the day my son had his mass in his fourth ventricle removed in an eight hour brain surgery to press rewind replay remember I scare myself.

The neurologist does point out one of my arteries to the brain is narrowing. Meditarraen diet he says, eat more vegetables! I nod in pain. I breathe, again. Then he moves down to the scan of my cervical spine. “Oh, my,” he says as I want him to speak, “your neck is horrible, horrible!” Those words, the word horrible exact as much as anything in this world that scares me everyday I open  my eyes. My cervical spine curves the wrong way and the small tab-like disks have crumbled like feta. Still me, parts of my body scare me.

The pain I feel belongs to me, something I’ve held as my own since I was a child. Friends, relatives even doctors, exclaim, “no idea how you do what you do so much with all your injuries and ailments, you are absolutely fabulous! I wish I could have such an interesting life. Considering all your challenges you are  absolutely THRIVING.” This is why I need a new psych, to build some perspective; reality checks sure, but ignoring the temptation to fervently believe my achievements outweigh my pain.”

How hard it was and is, to explain to my families and friends that I can be in severe mental distress despite success dogging my steps. I am not worthy, I am unclean, I do not deserve to be let off the hook. So I dangle like a participle waiting for a psychistrist to take me down to listen when I scare myself.

[1] Borrowed from Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks






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