My cognitive-behavioral chronic pain therapist is brilliant at her work. She paid attention to me—the patient and the person—until she figured out how to nudge me, ever so gently, into a place where I could see things with my own eyes.
I’ve always resisted anything that involves the words: “You can’t do this or that anymore.” The aforementioned chronic pain therapist worked with me, gained my trust, let me see that she, too, believed that my opinion about how to deal with my body’s pain is as (if not more) important than what any health care professional could ever suggest. She watched me rage and shake my fist at the pain until I—not her; never her; never anyone other than me—was ready to say, “Maybe my body can no longer do this… But with a lot of work, I can certainly do that without hurting myself. All I need is some learning and planning until I find my balance.”
In the past, other physicians tried to feed me the I’m-a-Doctor-So-I-Know-What’s-Best-for-You approach. Even typing the words makes me bare my teeth and growl. Seriously, my Wicked Luvs, those doctors would’ve had an easier time convincing a jaded mule to moderate a symposium on the benefits of pliability, than getting me to accept a theory I can’t make sense of or to try a medical treatment I can’t understand.
When I started having serious shoulder and hip problems, about a decade ago, my doctor at the time suggested that I should stop writing. I submitted a request for a new doctor as soon as I got home. For me, writing is not just something I do… writing soothes my mind, keeps unwelcome thoughts and nightmares away, lets me go to all those places my beat up body can no longer visit in the flesh.
If I ever stopped writing, a bit of me would begin to die before I put down the pen… and the rest wouldn’t be far behind. No one who has known me for more than three days could miss this fact about me: words are my soul’s food and the way I share the best parts of my Self with others. If I had to keep all my tales inside, I would probably implode… worse yet, everything that makes me who I am would spill into the world without shape. I know me well enough, my Luvs, to know this wouldn’t be a good thing for anyone…
I’m sure the tone of this post has already warned your hearts; told you that this won’t be a happy entry. And it isn’t. I ramble when I’m nervous… when I’m sad… when I’m crying… Well, I’m grinning, too… mostly because my weird always finds a way to balance my pain… Anyhoo, I said I would stop rambling, right? So here it goes: the issues with my hip, shoulder, nerves (in the neurological sense), back, respiratory system and more recently, my eyeball situation, are forcing me to slow down even more.
A few months ago, I cut my writing productivity by more than half… Now I must reduce it to about one third of the original. Reading on computers must follow the same cuts—focusing on a screen for more than fifteen minutes, even with minimal or no illumination, hurts my eyes and gives me a headache. Reading paper books and electronic books has gone down to only three pages for the first and about five for the second. It’s not just my eyes… I haven’t been able to find a way to hold a book or ereader without aggravating my shoulder, lower back, neck or the left side of my ribs.
But all isn’t lost. Fate can be mean, even cruel, but she is never evil: I can do the audiobook thing all night long! (And all day long, too, but “all night long” sounds way sexier *tee-hee*).
So how will the changes affect my blogging? I will publish posts only twice a week. And I will visit your cyber-homes with less frequency than I’ve done it in the past. After today, I plan to post on Tuesdays and Fridays. My Tuesday posts will bring a short story… a poem… or a general entry about words and/or the writing process. Friday will offer a combination of poetry and living… which, if you think about it is actually the same thing. For what’s life if not a circular poem about the world and its creatures?
After writing this post, I feel one thousand and thirteen times better than I felt when I started thinking about my latest health issues. That’s what words do to me and for me: when my circumstances suggest that the world my body has always known is about to end, writing reminds me that “everything exists in the word.” While I have words, I will always be able to plot and shape my own tale. And my characters’ of course… ;-)
I’m smiling right now… Just so you know… Oh, if the Ellipses Police questions you about my whereabouts, tell them you’ve never heard of anyone matching my description. Then run fast.
this lacey shoe was made for writing;
try telling me otherwise…
and I’ll kick you