Thursday, June 30, 2011

Battling the Big Guy

I had a rest-less (good word) night due to extraordinary pain that had me on Vicodin all day - sometimes I can go without even Tylenol except at night.  Pain in left shoulder and that damn left hip, which I hurt last Saturday at the health club by doing one small new back exercise with care. Let your pain be your guide, the sport-spine doctor's mantra, ran through my thick head, and I was careful, and thought yes, the little leg lift was a little painful, not bad.  But it turned out it was bad.  Now I think the SI joint on that side is inflamed.  I woke up with these two areas hurting, a bad sign, as being prone for some hours is usually very helpful.

But my mantra is, It won't kill you.  Also, Being in pain doesn't mean you have to be unhappy.  Also, Having limitations doesn't mean you need to be unhappy. I used to have ideas in my head that these things did necessitate unhappiness. No, unless you cling to your desires to do things you used to be able to do.  Things have changed, that's what happens to carbon-based life forms.  If you don't want to change, you should have been born a hunk of granite.  Then you wouldn't change very fast. (Wondering now whether granite is based on carbon.)

Often I read about someone's determination to find a cure for cancer. There's a big uproar now about women wanting the FDA to keep Avastin listed as appropriate for metastasized breast cancer, though there is no reputable scientific study that shows any benefit.  One warrior said she wanted every possible weapon in her arsenal against this dread fiend.  I thought, yes, but this is a gun that never hits the target and can backfire and kill you.  The problem seems to be that if the FDA does remove its temporary sanction, insurance companies can refuse to pay the $88,000 a year it costs to take the drug. The women want anecdotal evidence to reign; in other words, if one person taking it felt better, they want it.  You know I have many reservations about Western science and medicine, but it does have its uses.

Here's where I want to go on this:  The good old Five Remembrances (see sidebar on this blog).  I guess I should have them tattooed on my forehead.  Barring accident, we are all going to have pain, we are going to get sick and die of something.  If not cancer, something else. Doing your best to be alive - really alive - I heartily recommend, but accept reality, you'll be glad you did. As for pain, I am trying to befriend it, if you know what I mean. "Oh, there's my rheumatiz again" type of thing.

When things change, there might be a benefit in there somewhere.  The bad shoulder (Bad shoulder, Bad!) and back mean I no longer have to do the weeding.  So my dear friend and Grand Master of the Gardens, Karen, is coming this afternoon to pull many more oak seedlings and generally set things right in the front gardens. She earns money doing what she does so well and loves.  I feel relieved.  The neighbors are relieved.  I get to sit here and play with my photographs.

Limitation is okay once you accept it and stop yearning to never grow old, certainly to never die, to always be able to do what you feel like doing.  I posted a John Tarrant quote on that a while back, so I won't add it here. Grandmas do tend to repeat ourselves, maybe because nobody heard us the first time.  (Insert smile here.)


  1. Beautiful and thought provoking post! I am so VERY happy to have found you!

    With gratitude,


  2. Though not new to this thinking myself - though not entirely there yet - I am very very new to great people like Thich Nhat Hanh. I think he is my new hero at the moment! :-) P

  3. I got to be number 100 of your followers. A good omen.
    I am new to physical pain and have recently had a couple of gout flare-ups that were agonizing. I need to begin to accept pain since I'm 63 and this is going to be an ongoing thing.
    So, I appreciate so much everything you have to say here.