A Verse To Pain

For the past seven days I have been in pain.

I am in pain as I hit these keystrokes.

Pain makes for short sentences.

Or long.

In Remember The Titans, pain, yes, is French! Bread! But this is pain of the older, pre-wordplay variety.

A week ago the pain came creeping around my right shoulder blade. It flames into my biceps and triceps. It makes raids down my arm, leaving behind a numbness and fear of return. It is a pinched nerve near my C7 vertebra. And that pinch has stolen sleep and altered mood. When I am on my feet, I move as if operated by a primitive joystick. I begged a friend at work for some extra T3s. I don't quite recognize myself.

I don't even know how it happened. That is the first search. What did you do? How did it happen? No clue. It was just there one day kind of like a hint and then a statement and then a yell and then a howl. And then a laugh.

Nothing is easy. Lifting a glass, turning a page in book, going to the washroom, doing nothing -- none of it is easy.

Tomorrow morning's visit will be the third in five days to the physiotherapist. And likely more time in traction. If tomorrow's is like other visits, there will be momentary relief, almost a rapturous release from pain, and then that knife will be back.

It has made me glimpse some things about those who live in more and longer pain, and also to realize some things about myself.

That we can get to where we want to go depends on our attributes and our drives and our goals and everything we grow in ourselves or is given to us. But we might also take too much credit for the qualities we admire in ourselves.

Or in the gentle curve of a haiku (L5-C7-L5):

"It's your C7."
Now I know that happiness
Walks a thin, white line.


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