I am a body divided. I have been partitioned and parceled out to several orthopedists, each of whom treats only one specific body part, like a paint-by-numbers kit. Or packages of chicken parts at the butcher's. Don't they know the thigh bone connected to the hip bone, the hip bone connected to the back bone? (Now hear the word of the Lord.)
Last week I saw a neck doctor for a stiff neck which has been hurting for at least two years and makes noises like a car that needs brake pads. He sent me for x-rays: Degenerative disk disease, herniated disks, osteoarthritis, and a couple of disks facing the wrong way. No wonder it hurts. He prescribed physical therapy and Aleve, which I decided not to take after I opened the bottle and then read the warnings. Anti-inflammatory drugs are contraindicated for those with bleeding disorders, and I am such a person.
I went to the drugstore for Tylenol and they didn't have any gel caps, only tablets. I am a poor pill taker. Tablets are harder for me. They did have Walgreen's brand Acetaminophen in a gelcap, and it was even on sale so I took a bottle to the register. The sale price was one for $3.99, two for $5.98. I only wanted one. The clerk rang it up for $8.99. I told him what the sign said. He went to look at the shelf and returned, saying it was $8.99. I peeled the sign off the shelf and took it to a different register. The second clerk said, "You have to buy two."
I said, "You never have to buy two just because it's offered. See, it says One for $3.99 or two for $5.98."
"That's for a different product," he said. "24 count." "This is a 24 count," I said. "$14.99," he replied. I walked out and went to the other Walgreen's a few blocks away - yes, I live in a two-Walgreen's neighborhood - where the clerk rang up one bottle for $3.99 plus tax. No problem. She even wished me a nice evening. It's hard to believe those other two people have jobs when so many with working brains do not.
Today I visited a shoulder doctor because my right shoulder hurts so much that I am trying to become left-handed. This may be even harder than switching ones sexual orientation. The condition has persisted for at least a year. He also ordered x-rays: Osteoporosis, a probable torn rotator cuff, inflammation and tendonitis. He gave me a cortisone injection and a prescription for physical therapy. All roads lead to
This is a song with many choruses as I also have bursitis in one hip, for which I was given 8 or 10 cortisone shots by an orthopedist in 2009. I haven't yet made an appointment with a hip doctor, but it will not be the same one. He is on my permanent shit list, and I don't think he liked me either.
The whole thing is absurd. Last time I looked, I was healthy, young and strong. And now I need a whole body transplant. How did this happen? I am trying to keep it in perspective by reminding myself that I would unhesitatingly choose body over brain issues. We have all heard the old homily about how if all the world's problems were in a huge pile, we would pick out our own. It always made me sneer, but when I think of what Flip is enduring with Alzheimer's Dementia and Parkinson's, physical pain doesn't seem all that bad. Of course, it doesn't seem all that good either. On the upside, it's nearly Halloween and Day of the Dead and I am the best skeleton costume ever. I need to figure out how to light myself up in the dark.