It’s been a month. A month since the election. A month since I’ve been able to run. A month of increasing virus rates. So long and so short. It could be a year instead. But only a month.
We Thanksgivinged in an unorthodox way. It was a little less stressful from a cooking perspective. We swooped into a friend’s house, exchanged food while wearing masks and went back to our homes to eat. With our unmasked mouths. Commando Thanksgiving.
My mom has been in pain. Pain that had her screaming out. I took her to the ER. I question that. Should she be in there? With the COVID? I knew that they would not really do anything for her. But they did prescribe an opioid painkiller. Maybe that is what I was after. Luckily she does not really like them. I worry that she will take too many. She will forget if she took one and take another. And then maybe drink some wine. I took them away.
She got an injection on Tuesday in her spine. She had one just the week before that did not work. This one seems to be better. She is no longer screaming in pain. She is not spending long days laying on the heating pad. But she can’t walk her dogs. She can’t groom her dogs. She is not happy. And for some reason, with all of the doctors she has, none want to help me manage her pain.
The shot guy told me that his shots should take care of the pain. When I tried to make an appointment to actually sit down and talk to him, his office told me that they were not having appointments due to COVID and that they were not allowed. I know that this is not true. I know that this is not true because we saw a spine surgeon on Friday. In the office.
So since no one will manage the pain. And she can’t manage the pain. I have become the pain manager. I am the one she calls to ask if she can take two Aleve (probably not a good idea). Or I tell her to try to mix it up with some extra strength tylenol. Do you know what I am not? I am not a doctor. I do not feel good about this. Tomorrow we should get the pill tracker thingy that I bought on Amazon. I will lay out some random assortment of pain killers that may or may not work. That may or may not destroy her kidneys. Or her liver. The lady from the shot guy who told me we could not have an appointment told me she could take two Aleve a day. But I knew that. It says it right on the label. But it also says not to take it for more than ten days. Then what? What if she keeps taking it? Telling me what is on the label is not helpful. Although I am not a doctor, I can read.
We are going to see her doctor on Friday. I will ask all the questions. We may go to a different pain doctor for a second opinion. The spinal surgeon could only offer her a total spinal reconstruction which would put rods and screw in her back with an extremely long recovery time. I’m certain that would kill her.
The weather has turned cold and the days are short. The muscle I pulled behind my knee seems to slowly be getting better. I took a janky run/walk around the neighborhood today that was not entirely terrible. Mostly. But not entirely.
Maybe we all just need more time. To get better. To heal. To get it together. The light at the end of the tunnel is like a pin prick but it is there. I can feel it more than see it. I hold on to that.