If she walks like a bitch, and barks like a bitch....

She is a bitch.

Rather...I am a bitch.

Chronic pain robs me of any grace that I may have left in my body or in my personality.

I have lost all patience for the game of "Have you tried...?"

A brace.
A new chair.
A new desk.
Ointments and gels.
Anti-inflammatory diet.
That thing your mother once tried.
That quack doctor who aligned your whatevers.
The treatment you saw on the web.
The thing they were selling at 3am on tv.
Physical therapy.
More rest.
More time.

I am also tired of the platitudes and truisms and subjunctive tense. I know people are well-intentioned (especially friends/family). But I have grown increasingly defensive. Yes I have had some help and some witnesses, but for all intents and purposes, I have been alone with my spine injuries for the past 20 years. Most every doctor's appointment, every terrifying moment when I am falling, every moment curled up around a pillow crying because if I screamed from the pain surely the cops would be called. Every time a needle has been shoved into my spine it is my body alone that endures the pain and my heart/mind that endures the terror of "what if this doesn't work."

So hearing even a well-intentioned "things will get better" sends me into a rage. My version of better is making it to the bathroom in time so i don't pee on myself, or being able to walk the three blocks to work without having to use my cane.

Jack and Ginger just sit on me until i am done crying (Jack is on my shoulder now). They don't tell me that it is okay to have a bad day and that it is okay if i want to curl up in bed and fade away. They know i do not need their permission or blessing. All the same they seem happy for my company.

Friends say they will help. That all i need to do is ask. But having someone pick up cat food or help me dust knickknacks feels so trivial when i am lying alone at night shouldering 100% of this -- all of the fear and hopes that maybe surgery is the right thing to do at the right moment in time.

The cats have no answer for this. But Jack purrs in my ear and Ginny bites my toe. Tomorrow is another day.

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<3 Robby