These are excellent tips for coping with any kind of chronic illness from Danny at Dream Big, Dream Often.
I say ‘gizmonic’ because it has a computer that monitors heart rate and caloric output.
It also has games.
I brought it home and slipped some batteries into it and
It looked like the computer was broken.
The fix was simple.
The springs that held the batteries in place weren’t making contact
with the batteries.
I stretched them and Bingo!
A fancy exercise bike for the time it took me to stretch
My favorite game is the ‘Calorie Destroyer.‘
The faster I pedal the more ammo and mobility my gun has.
Last week I raised the seat for better leg extension.
As I reached level four I felt a twinge of pain in my lower back.
Did that stop me? Of course not!
I was taught to ignore pain.
The twinge became a sharp pain.
The next day I felt stiff.
Friday I walk across the City to therapy.
I began to dress.
There’s a small chair in front of the door to bedroom closet.
I needed a jacket so I moved the chair and felt something pop; a jolt
of pain raced up my spine and down my legs.
Did I decide not to walk over five miles to my therapist, most of it up hill?
Of course not!
I was in so much pain that when I got home I took two aspirin and a double dose of ‘Clonopin.’ Most docs use benzos to treat severe spasms of the lower back. (I don’t advise anyone else to ever do this without consulting a doctor.)
I laid down and entered the world of pain.
Survival in the world of pain means finding the ‘right’ position: a way to arrange one’s body to cut severe pain.
Finding the ‘right’ position and holding it for as long as possible was the focus of all of my energy and concentration.
I’d find a position only to have to find another position five minutes later.
This meant having more pain to find respite in less pain.
For all my emotional pain I have never had to deal with severe medical pain.
After it was over I had a deeper appreciation for the suffering and courage of
people in chronic pain.
Rob Goldstein 2015-2018
First published November 2015
Revised November 2018
she wasn’t like them, so they didn’t like her
to her face they smiled and said ‘nice things’
which she knew were lies
behind her back they laughed
and made dirty-lezzie jokes
because it made them uncomfortable
to think about what they thought she did
it made them feel a bit disgusted
like when you stand too close
she looked like them in superficial ways
wore at times, nicer dresses and had longer hair
the fact that she liked girls wasn’t in their
when it was summer time they had
BBQ’s and invited all the neighborhood kids
wondering if she would be safe around minors or
would do something inappropriate
when they started a mommy running club
she wasn’t invited because she was neither
a mommy or someone they wanted to
bare their secrets with
what would she understand of husbands?
maybe their husbands liked her
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Poetry from ‘The Feathered Sleep