Thursday, May 17, 2007

Self-pity has a visitor's pass

My mind is definitely playing tricks with me. The other day I looked at this beautiful poster of a skier taking flight over a deep abyss and the title said, "Infinity Blows" - that's what it said. Until I looked back and read, "Infinity Below", so now I wonder why I'm thinking that way.

Normally I'm able to recover quickly from my "health hiccups", as I call them. The last hiccup was more of a large, stinky belch - kinda like Booger did in "Revenge of the Nerds". It seemed to go on forever and was more disgusting by the second.

Sometimes I get infections in my leg - most of the time the infection will go away in a week or so. This last infection was a non-stop ride on the pain train. Do you know that song, "...nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I'll go eat worms...big ones, fat ones, small ones, skinny ones, oh my how they'll squirm..." It was if those worms had taken up residence in my leg and brought along hot fire irons for shits and giggles. For three weeks I felt those little buggers moving all over my swollen, discolored, painful leg. And I felt their little hot friends, too. Lightening zaps of fire pressing out of my skin or sometimes, when I was completely unprepared, there would be a ring of fire, dancing in a staccato performance, from my toes to my thigh. Nights were the worst. Couldn't sleep. Mostly because the pain was more intense at night, if you can believe it.

I didn't know how to deal with the pain. I tried crying like a big baby. Felt good for an emotional release but otherwise, unproductive. Cussing, well, I like cussing for the sake of cussing, only it didn't really work here (GMAFB!!) Plus, my mother started to pick up on some of my favorite phrases, "Shit! I really need to get my ass moving!" Bitchiness doesn't work in my family because it gets thrown right back at you, times ten. I gave myself a pity party but had to clean it up in three days. That's all we're allowed in this family. Three days of self-pity then you have to pick yourself up and move on. At that point I realized I was going to have to deal with the pain.

It was horrible. Totally and completely off the pain scale. Antibiotics took care of the infection. Painkillers couldn't help with the pain. I slept a lot during the day. Told my friends I was in a self-imposed exile. It took most of my energy and focus to deal with the pain.

I felt vulnerable for the first time. For months I'd been strong, been told how strong I was and here I lay, unsure and scared.

Finally, by the end of April, the pain began to subside. The wormy feeling disappeared as did the hot fire irons. My leg is still swollen but then, it always is now. Thankfully, though, I can see my kneecap again. The skin is more light pinkish red than an angry rhubarb. I'm not feeling the tight stretching pressure from my muscles and tissues as if they were about to explode right out of my skin.

So, yes, I'm better now. Wish I could say it won't happen again or that there aren't any residual effects from the infection, but I can't. I looked over the abyss on this one and I didn't like what I saw. It definitely blew.