[Tripping On…] Neither Broken, Fixed

When I plan things to do in life, invariably, my spine health is there to interrupt. I wouldn’t quite blame my physicality on my physicality, which sounds a bit like a riddle, but, what I mean is that when my body is broken, I want it to be fixed, but it’s not as easy as applying a bandage or doing the right stretches. Much of it comes from a slow, steady progression of gentle working.

I equate my health to an ailing car, gingerly driven to a mechanic.

Years ago, I got off work to see that one of my tires was slow. I normally didn’t check my tires, so I’m not sure what inspired that – maybe I saw the tire a little low out of the corner of my eye? The first place I went to said they could put air in my tire, but, they couldn’t remove the nail that had punctured the tire and patch it up. They advised me on two options. They whispered that the place across the street would try to rip me off, which I later confirmed, but the other place was happy to help – except they were busy for a few days, but they said it was safe for me to drive around on it.

I drove the backroads, carefully, until I found another place.

During that drive, I decided that if I needed to replace the tire, I would, and so when I went to that place, I did. It was easy and affordable to replace the worst two tires, as I recall, or was it four? I give this analogy at length because there are pros and cons throughout this entire process. A patch is the easiest and cheapest, but if the tire is worn down, then I could find myself in the same situation or worse later on. Buying expensive tires is a nice thought until the car explodes for some other reason, right? I sold my previous car for basically the price of its wheels, but, I also didn’t take care of it well enough.

Did I take care of myself well enough?

I did the best I could both before my spine problems, during my spine problems, and now. So when I woke up to worse spine problems than I went to bed with, and those pains wouldn’t go away, I had to face a very real decision. I’d gone without taking any of the pain management medicine I’d been prescribed by the doctor that I had trusted with my care, who did nothing other than prescribing Oxycodone – and, with whom, if I had advocated even the slightest bit about my health, he would get agitated in the sort of way that I’ve seen in many online and offline interactions that lead to arguments.

How can I argue for my health after being discharged for arguing?

I firmly believe that America doesn’t have a drug epidemic. It has an epidemic related to unchecked power related to the doctor’s responsibility to patients in treating their problems. All I was given was Oxycodone. I was told by this doctor that because I was well enough to drive to his appointments, I was well enough to work. What he chose to ignore was how much pain I was in because of the inflammation built up from months of me ignoring doctors’s advice, sure, but I wasn’t ignoring my body’s advice. No doctor up until recently saw me as a human being. They wouldn’t care whether I died right then and there, if that death could be swept under the rug, or thrown in the trash.

So I did what my body told me to do in order to minimize pain sensations.

I’m fairly used to doing that now. It’s unfortunate that this has resulted in a body that is unable to swing a leg forward more degrees than necessary without pain. This is a body that may never fully be able to do what it was able to do some 14 months ago. I may have most of my body’s health recovered, at best, but never will I be able to casually hike for a weekend without carefully calculating every step of the way. The most I can hope for is some degree of mobility where I can feign health well enough to walk around without a mobility aid, either crutches or cane – to “pass” as non-disabled when needed, like, during job interviews.

I had to take 5mg of Oxycodone today.

I don’t consider myself addicted because even though an additional 5mg crossed my mind as a good idea a few hours after I took the one, I don’t consider these Oxycodone to be a sort of “get high quick” scheme. They are nothing more to me than righting the wrong that my body experiences. No matter how much I do, in terms of chiropractic exercises, stretches, or muscle movement, I don’t believe I will ever be without these sorts of pains again. The most I can hope for is a minimal amount of this, and so, that’s where the most I can hope for is some degree of feigning it as society as a whole is unable to accept a seemingly healthy adult white male, 30s, as anything but completely able.

Most would expect me to do yardwork on the weekend.

I don’t have the confidence to even pick something up off the ground, and I remember weeks ago when, after ordering pizza that was neglected outside my door, I had to drag the box along to the sweeping broom I bought years ago – not realizing it would come more in handy than I would think. So, although almost all of my doctors treated me like garbage, didn’t care about me in any capacity, I do. What that means to me is that on days like today, if I need to take medication to feel better I will.

When the medication runs out, I’ll inactively wither in bed all day.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: The more I think about my situation, the more my mind feels like this is how it’s going to be, and not so much in the sort of fatalistic “it is what it is” but more in the sense that this is my current lifestyle – and I need to do what I can to break free from that.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2021 May 08 [10:27pm to 10:49pm]
Last Edited: 2021 May 08 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.