Posted by: jeanne | November 26, 2010

the hipbone’s connected

just so you don’t think i’m dead, like i think whoever owns cancerblog is (correct me if i’m wrong).  when i was in choir, the only organization i belonged to after i got cancer, they used to call every now and then during the year after the mastectomy and ask if i was still alive.  it was cute.

you know how, once you get cancer, you wonder if it’s back every time you get a twinge?  i do, at least.  every twinge.  and at 54 you get twinges no matter how healthy you are.

well, i’ve always had this pain in my left shoulder.  the tip of my scapula, actually.  it’s been numb since at least puberty, which for me was 13.  i always slouched, and mom even had me in one of those elastic braces to help me keep my shoulders back.  i was a chubby kid, and my sister the beauty teased me, and i farted, and other bad things like trimming my toenails in public, with my teeth.

i know, they were right to kick me out of brownies.

and it hasn’t gotten any better.

anyway, this pain.  i’ve always had a pain in my upper spine related to this, t4 to be specific, and some chiropractor told me the rib head was out, which okay fine.  it’s been a chronic pain for (gasp do the years fly by) 40 years.  i don’t complain of it.  it’s the first you’ve heard, anyway, right?

a few months ago i started getting a pain in my left elbow.  and a few months before that i started getting pains in my wrists, both of them, when i made bread, which is like twice a week.  but now i had an elbow pain.  so i went to my sister the chiropractor (am i lucky) and she told me the problem was just an extension of my original shoulder thing, which i’d written off as part of my personality at this point.  but now it was developing a wrinkle, or rather, a system that had caused me irritation for years and years was now becoming more active.  she treated my clavicle.  she nodded wisely.

then i went off and lived on the side of a mountain for a few weeks, and some muscle at the bottom of my left foot started to tear any time i turned my foot a certain way, or rather a whole range of certain ways.

and my knees began hurting so i had to change shoes.  and my hips began hurting.  this has continued.

so, a few months have gone by, maybe six, during which i have progressively had the left side of my body doing strange breakdown things on me.  okay, both knees, both hips, both kidneys.  but everything else one-sided.

i’m a walking example of the hipbone being connected to the knee bone.  all the way from my instep to my neck.  it’s all flaring up at once.

this could be side effects.  arimidex.  and i’m only on it a few months.  first came the joint pain, but it wasn’t aas bad as the other stuff,  that was not standable.  they warn you about the joint pain.  arthritis.  at 54.  that means stiff and painful joints.  lots of them.  feet, hands, the large joints, the spinal joints, the bones in your head.  they all ache.

another drug for the arthritis.  what does that do?  not that i’d take it.  the fewer drugs the better, that’s my motto.  the farther cancer patients live from treatment, the longer they live, right?  aspirin’s my man for arthritis.

i self medicate with the herb, for the pain.  it helps relieve a lot of the bone pain, naturally and with no unpleasant side effects.

but these days there’s a lot of pain.  when i get up from typing this i will have to do it in stages, with groans and sharp shooting feelings in all the joints, muscles, and bones from my feet thru my hips to my upper back – in order – as i stand up.  i’m going to need a cane if it keeps up for long.

if i go to the doctor with this they’ll either proscribe pain meds or notate my chart that they suspect me of medication-seeking. either way, the side effect of pain meds for the pain of arthritis can’t be nice.

do you measure the seriousness of your ailments by how many drugs you have to take for them?  my cancer drug, the arthritis drug, the pain drug, whatever drugs to alleviate the side-effects caused by the other drugs, you know how it goes.

now, a little tale.  jim was diagnosed diabetic, with high blood pressure a few years ago, and they put him on two different drugs, one for each condition.  so we figured out what foods will deal with both conditions, and after he was stabilized we got the doctor to okay letting him go off the drugs, and we’re glad to report he’s managing his blood sugar and his blood pressure just fine.  he’s a little anemic, but since he won’t eat collards and spinach, he deserves it.

the point of the tale is that for all of his life, except when actively ill, he’s avoided taking medicine.  his body has always done it all by itself.  and so he’s not full of interactions and the long term damage daily pill use causes (which of course nobody’s ever studied).  i myself had basically the same experience with chemo and radiation.  i didn’t.  my little voice screamed no at me, and god showed me all sorts of damned signs, and so i didn’t.  so i still have that in reserve, should it prove necessary and my little voice allows it.

whereas, as my sister in law’s seventh hand surgery indicates, once you start on the slippery slope of surgery, it doesn’t end until they’ve got a piece of you in the trashcan.

here’s a complete aside.  i write unpublished fiction, as perhaps you’ve noticed from the sidebar.  my next unpublished (probably unfinished if my current count is anything to go by (it is)) novel is going to be “BAD GRANDMA.”  this grandma is going to lose chunks of herself to various surgeries as the story progresses, and will use this to horrid effect on the little tot’s psyche.  stay tuned.  i’ve just  put the blog up, but of course there’s nothing there.

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