I still really have no idea how much longer I have to be around this tired old planet. I’m not kidding about the aches and pains; new ones seem to arise every day while old ones fade away or take a back seat. The theme for most of this week has been pain across my lower back, where my left kidney used to be. (The bastards took it out and didn’t even give me anything useful in return for it, damn them, leaving me with a hole good for nothing except collecting the occasional ache, sometimes acute). This week the major line of pain has dissipated somewhat, but in its place are spiking pains descending my side in paths parallel to it. These pains can be quite sharp when trying to get up in the morning, or when I get up in the middle of the night to answer one of my pain alarms.
A pain alarm, in case you’ve missed it in one of the previous narratives, is a smart phone alarm that goes off reminding me to take a pain medication, of which I have three – Oxycotin delayed release, Dilaudid for short-term pain relief, and Lorazapam for pain and anxiety. The anxiety is no laughing matter; if I let that get out of control, that’s when I start feeling shortness of breath, which is a truly awful feeling. The medications are set on a schedule, the theory being that if you stay on top of the schedule it’s much easier to deal with the pain than if you get behind and have to play catch-up. As far as I can tell the theory is sound, but it does require me to get up every four hours on the maximum (sometimes every 2 hours) to take the medication. A good morning is when I wake up feeling at least somewhat refreshed, with no lingering pain. A bad morning falls short of that to one degree or another, and a really bad morning falls short by several degrees. There have been more bad mornings of late than I’d wish for, which is why I say my condition may be deteriorating. But if so, it’s deteriorating now on the government’s clock, which suits me fine. (Now here Social Security defenders may be tempted to point out that this is my money, not the government’s money, because I invested it for my benefit it over a period of many years, etc, and so on. I won’t argue except to point out that if such statements were true then the system would not be in the process of going slowly broke, which it most definitely is doing. Besides which, at one point it definitely was my money. I saw it there listed on my pay stub, where they had to acknowledge that I’d earned it before snipping it right out and making off with it to give it to someone else, those sly devils. Now I’m getting money that they robbed from someone else’s paycheck to give to me. See how that works?)