Wednesday, February 11, 2009


[Spinning wheel, Blood, Sweat and Tears, posted on YouTube by flutooth.]

I was going to write a post on my current experience with steroids titled "Two weeks in another town," but it is looking like more than two weeks. Before you kick me out of the Football Hall of Fame, let me explain.

Two weeks and two days ago I let the musculo-skeletal doctor ("sports doc") inject my ankle and hip with two half-doses of a gluticosteroid. I know I'm reactive to steroids, and I won't take them orally, but I had gone in limping with what turned out to be a magnificent flareup of arthritis and bursitis in two locations. And this doctor has done good things for me before. So I took the shots.

And my, I felt good, once I got over two nights of serious sleep disturbance. Interested in life, creative, generous, and - this is important - the pain reduced radically. I didn't mind a bit that my instructions were to "take it easy" the first week. As a poetic type, I've spent my life looking for an authority figure to tell me that.

I didn't realize I was up until after my mood switched. A couple of days of being too apathetic to run the Roomba found me telling Tom, "I have a sense that I'm coming closer to death, that I don't have long." Then the mood switched back last Sunday night, around 9:00. Hello, come on in!

As moodswings go, this one will. (I couldn't resist.) Seriously, as moodswings go, this has been okay, more like being a boat in a lock, the water rising, then back down, not like the biggest roller coaster in the world. There were also days in this little trip where I found myself in the blue lagoon, balanced, calm, happy, interested in everything, tending to use the adjective "beautiful." Sort of like we feel on those magical days in spring.

I once saw moodswings as a demon that popped its trollish head into my pleasant cave, or more accurately, did a home invasion. Now I think a mood is a mood, and the demon is more general than that. Around its neck it wears a name tag that says Attachment. Attaching to the high, attaching to the peaceful moment of balance, attaching to the idea of how I like to feel, seeing that preference as terribly important.

Shunryu Suzuki says we are given just enough problems (83). This morning I picked up the results of my last blood tests. My serum creatinine is high, which indicates lowered kidney function. Tom reminded me that this has happened before, and I recovered from an incipient drama that stars me being reintroduced to dialysis. The good thing, Tom reminded me, is that things always change. Yes, and sometimes for the better. In this case, my fresh problem took my mind off my mind.

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