today has not been the easiest day. and that is especially frustrating given that my weekend was one of restraint. i sadly skipped the mermaid parade, a coney island institution that like the tattered, gaudy astroland, will not return next summer. instead of the murakami exhibit at the brooklyn museum, i went to kung fu panda. which is completely awesome. but still, i went to bed early, i ate well and stayed in the neighborhood. i thought it had paid off, since sunday was the first day since my surgery that i went without any painkillers.
but by sunday night, i wasn’t doing so hot, and i struggled through a sleepless night (likely a symptom of withdrawal after six weeks on pills). i woke up feeling like i’d fallen down the stairs. and having fallen down a staircase five years ago, i know what that actually feels like. i woke up at 6:30 – wait, scratch that, i got up at 6:30. i was up at 2 am and never fell back asleep. after a soul-sucking trip on a crowded, un-air-conditioned express train, i dutifully reported for radiation, sore and exhausted. even after a calming session of morning stretching and yoga, i felt as if i’d been simultaneously kicked in the stomach, kidneys and head. after leaving me with a blissful, pain-free day, my nasty headache returned with a vengeance. the radiology computers crashed and my five-minute appointment took an hour. and then i headed to work.
i made it through half the day before heading to physical therapy, which was actually rewarding and engaging, even through the increasing indigestion, exhaustion and pain. by the end of the session, returning to the office seemed pointless. how was i supposed to work given the state of my body?
so here i am, thinking about bed at 9:00, my tummy rumbling in incomprehensible murmurs, drugged up to cut the headache, and feeling much older than i would like. worn down, that’s a good way to describe it. i hope to get to sleep before the latest round of pills wears off and the pain in my head returns.
this pain has been with me for a week now, and if you, dear readers, are a bit concerned, you are not the only ones. i have an appointment with my doctor on wednesday morning, and if the pain is still present, we’ll schedule an MRI. this battle with my head is not an easy one, most of all because it is an unexpected setback. skin irritation and digestive issues from radiation? fine, i was warned about that. continued soreness in the leg? well, yes, but my leg is stronger every day. all in all though, i am losing this war that my head is raging against itself. at times the pain is debilitating, insistent, blinding waves of pain crashing at my temples, pounding at the screeching of every atlantic avenue delivery truck, the wails of every long island college hospital siren, the screams of the subway.
sorry to darken your virtual door with this – as i’ve said before, it’s cathartic for me to bitch a bit sometimes. it’s a rough patch at the moment, but this too shall pass. i’m hanging in there and am brightened with the knowledge that a number of GROINSTRONG bracelets are presently on their way to some of you. for those of you who don’t have one, just a reminder that you can order them through the GROINSTRONG store. if we’ve previously discussed your bracelet-related needs, please don’t assume that i will automatically send some out – i know there are some of you out there who would like bracelets, and i would love to get them to you. but i probably don’t have your address! it’s also possible that after six weeks of painkillers ravaging my memory, i’ve forgotten that you would like some. if you have any questions about getting bracelets, please email me.
to end a moderately unpleasant post on a particularly sour note, i received a request for a picture of the clamshell, the device that protects my testes during radiation – while simultaneously pinching and tugging at my most utterly sensitive bits. the large ball splits in half, and testicles are placed inside. staring at this tortuous device, i am drawn to the hard fact that for the next month, i will begin every workday with my man-parts tenderly cradled in the clamshell’s cold, lead-lined embrace.