I have a very high tolerance for pain, as evidenced by the still-full bottles of Oxycodone in my cabinet. I have had a total of 20 surgeries, 6 of which were considered “major.” I do not like pain pills, I don’t like ANY pills. I am sure this stems from my inherent distrust of Big Pharma. And don’t patronize me, you idiots of Big Pharma and make pills into little gummies so I will take them. How fuckin’ old do you think I am?
So weird my dislike for pills as I probably kept Lily (Seconal “Reds”), Rorer (Quaaludes), and British Pharmaceuticals (LSD) in business in the 70’s and 80’s.
Now, I use medical marijuana for my “pain”. As an amputee, my main pain is called “phantom” pain. My left leg was taken below the knee (BK surgery they call it). On occasion (maybe once or twice in a day), I will feel my left foot aching and throbbing like hell. I’m looking down at this plastic molded foot they attached at the end of my prosthetic leg and yet, it still hurts. A lot.
There is another pain for amputees: the pain of “othering” or marginalization. There was a gentleman from the Amputee Coalition who visited me at home after I was released from the hospital after a lengthy stay during the Christmas season. He told me of stories where he, himself suffered that (“embarrassment” he politely termed it) when a stranger, smiling as he introduced himself, asked “Excuse me, I don’t mean to embarrass, but do you mind letting me know how you lost your leg? Are you a veteran?”
“No, I am not a vet. I am a diabetic and lost my leg to surgery.” He extended his hand to the stranger. The stranger’s whole face shifted. The smile was gone. He looked at the man like he had committed some crime or something. Like it didn’t matter unless he had valiantly lost his limb in the service of his country. Then, without another word, he abruptly turned and walked away. Now, THAT my friends is total bullshit. What the hell is the matter with people? How do you get beat down so much that you are unable or unwilling to take part in the human race? Don’t say no one cares.
I care. My wife cares. I can point to so many good people I have known throughout my journey that would help. As screwed up as this planet can be, I still believe there are more good people than bad. No shame in asking for help, only in the denial of such.
Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to attach a video of a practice sesion. If unable (I suck at technology), I will still post another original song.