So…where have I been lately? Good question.
One of the things that I have learned in my 48 years on this planet is that the Universe has many constants. The polarity of a hydrogen molecule is always the same. To our knowledge, the speed of light cannot be exceeded (unless of course, you enjoy looking like a big, flat, infinite pancake). Old Faithful erupts between 42-125 minutes every day. And I have learned to tell what the weather will be and what time of day it is by the pain in my back. Yes, I can not only tell you if you should bring an umbrella, but if you’re late for an appointment (so long as your appointment is scheduled during my own pain eruption times of 5-6 hours when my medication wears off). Trust me on this.
As most of you know, I used to do dumb, stupid things in my youth: driving cars while on LSD; jumping off cliffs into a river just for the hell of it; and most daring of all, I used to climb and hike…mountains. Not knolls, nor hills, nor even big piles of dirt and rock…mountains. You see, while everyone else I knew in college was busy skiing (I went to school in Vermont for a time); I decided that I liked the feeling of having some sort of control over the force of gravity rather than having me careen out of control down a frozen, snowy, adult version of a slip and slide. I decided that facing the mountain head on by going up and then down by the force of sheer will was much better than doing a Sonny Bono on the links. On one of my frequent excursions, I took a bit of a fall and landed square on my backside…operative word being “back”. I now have two degenerative discs in my lower back that cause my almost daily pain as a result of my youthful indiscretions and adventurous spirit.
So last week as the first heavy spring rains came upon the Great State of New Jersey and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard, I was seeing entire constellations of stars at two in the afternoon. It was like when Bugs Bunny gets his over the head and things start spinning around his cranium. They want to talk about “enhanced interrogation techniques”? All they have to do is somehow siphon the pain from my back into a patch, and this so-called War On Terror (or whatever it is these days we call it) would be over in minutes. Metallica at ear splitting volume; sleep deprivation; confinement; and other nefarious techniques used by the previous occupants of the White House would pale in comparison to one of “Doctor Ken’s Back Pain Patches”. Trust me, this is not what I bargained for when I came into this world 48 years ago. I also didn’t bargain for alcoholism, bi-polar disorder, and Acute PTSD either…but those were my cards in the hand I got dealt. This one, though was the deuce of clubs from the pack when I was running a royal straight flush of diamonds.
Sure, I could type…but what good would it have done? I was too busy enjoying my Pink Floyd collection thanks to those very nice pain killers every time I sat here to write this blog. My Yes collection never sounded this good. In other words, there was no way a coherent thing was going to come forth from this keyboard. So I stayed away from the blog. Oh yeah, and there was TOO MUCH to write about as well! Could you really expect me to focus on ONE topic in the past week or two without going crazy? Pandemic Flu, wars, Chrysler going bust…these were just too much. Add to that the syncopated pandemonium of my daughter’s First Holy Communion Party (run in part by me, the non-Catholic in the house) no less; with my mother and my in-laws and kids and other assorted guests dithering about. So as the weather improved, so did my back…and hence this post, all because I joked with my wife about being able to tell the time and the weather by my back.
Right now it’s almost midnight, and the front is moving in. Yup, it’ll start raining by your commute on Friday morning. My last dose of assorted M & Medications was taken just after dinner. And I will gladly let in the “Spanish Inquisition”…so long as they bring along the comfy chair and the soft cushions.
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong