Open Your Mouth and Say Ahhh!


“I got this PAIN doc.” Bet that’s what our man Obama heard  from 20 different places the second he walked into the Oval Office today and boy don’t we ALL have pain.

I have a steady pain in my neck that requires me to see a specialist in ghost-buster gear at the world-renowned Mass. General Hospital. He puts me on my side like a horse, covers my face with a cloth like I’m dead, then takes a lethal-injection needle left over from the Dead Man Walkin’ wing at Alcatraz and slides it THREE TIMES into the wee facet joints of my neck, the teeniest places imaginable where the delicate shell-like bones of the cervical vertebrae touch together – tap! – like the baby teeth of the littlest children.


The needle has in it this super-steroid called astroglide, no analog, no no wait I know, kenalog that’s what it is and the first time he gave it to me in the fall I nearly threw up on his shoes. Two weeks later when he asked how it felt I had to give it to him straight. “How did it FEEL? It felt like gray death entering my body! Tell me, Doctor, has anyway ever done this to YOU!?”and he blinked a second, not really getting it, the joke of it, a doctor having a taste of his own medicine, but then burst out laughing: “NO no one has ever done this me! I’m about the only guy who knows how to do it!”


So off I went today to have this second injection because I was desperate. My man was desperate. Even my cats were desperate because no one wants to be around a person with neck pain.


The Doctor finally admitted today he could give me a couple of little pills ahead of time to take the edge off, like what people take before that big Roto-Rooter Exam everyone over 50 has to have and as I swallowed them I thought of our shiny new friend walking into the Oval Office for the first time today to see 300 million patients just like me lined up at the door.


“I have this PAIN Doc, I lost my house, my kid is both fat AND anemic and I’m out of work…”


If we had a cloth over our eyes for a while during the last eight years it is sure enough gone today, and we can finally SEE how bad things are….. So now here comes your medicine; just open your mouth and say Ahhh!




2 thoughts on “Open Your Mouth and Say Ahhh!

  1. Is there anyone who ages along with the rest of us who never experiences any of the things most of us do? My neck pain is between c4-5 and c5-6. The flexible collar I can wear to stretch the sinking neck holds my head so high, that my neck begins to hurt in the back. A contour pillow I use doesn’t help because my neck curve is reversed. After about a year of being scared by the doctor telling me I could turn over the wrong way some morning and wake up paralyzed or dead, I decided to just live with it.
    This stuff you get injected; is that comparable to Synvisc – I worked with a woman who had that to lubricate her knee joints and she swore one shot a year was all she needed. Saw a chiropracter who wanted me to sign a paper releasing him from liablity if during the course of having my bones manipulated, I either became paralyzed or died. After he gave me the paper to think about and sign, he came back bearing sniffable evidence that he’d had a snort of brandy or something while in his office. Made me run like H to get out of there!

    Having done massage therapy, you are more familiar with how the body works but knowledge doesn’t help with the pain, does it? No wonder we are so wise when we are old–we learn to bare anything (whoops, was that a Freudian slip?). I’ve had an intestinal bug that likes me so is sticking around but I was loathe to miss any of my classes (which I caught the darned thing to begin with–ironically, we are studying Pharmacology in a lab complete with two exam tables!) so I carry a barf bag with me and learned the short cut to the ladies’ room which my teacher told me I would have to leap over desks in the darkened room but it IS a short cut!! I have been going everywhere sans bra, such comfort with nothing tight around my duodenal area. I figured as long as the pinkie tips were not showing under my long tunic, it’d be okay as this is a new comfort I tend to use often. Who cares anyway? Looking for my paper, I opened the door to the freezing cold just as a delivery man was passing and saw me in my warm fleece robe with hair hanging down to my shoulders. My saying good morning was only to be friendly, not an invitation to the nice looking man who said, Hi, honey.
    The bug is still with me, I have plenty of good food in the house, yogurt, bananas and ginger tea as well as chicken to make some chicken stew (tossed all peanut products except my jar of peanut butter) so no need left to go out in the freezing cold. Once I can focus, I will do my homework for class ahead of time and then indulge myself watching movies on TV.
    My laundry basket ready for ironing or folding and putting away gives me “whassa matter for you?” looks that I ignore.

    Here’s a Reader’s Digest story to relate to your cats. “When my daughter and I caught only one perch on our fishing trip, not enough for even a modest lunch, we decided to feed it to her two cats. She put our catch in their dish and watched as the two pampered pets sniffed at the fish but refused to eat it. Thinking quickly, my daughter ten picked up the dish, walked over to and ran the electric can opener for a few seconds and then put the fish down again. The cats dug right in.”

    I sent in to RD a mistake I saw in Help Wanted for a phlebotomist. At the end of the list of requirements, the last line read: “Weekend and holiday rotation required as well as flexibility to travel within the area to provide courage as needed.” I was tempted to respond that I could provide the coverage but didn’t have the courage to use the needles and would probably wind up drawing my own blood!

    Stay warm my friend. One treat for today while treating my achy body is to listen to disc three on your audiobook and then will send you the “book” I have written in response to almost every entry. Such fun and I feel comforted as well as entertained listening to it.

    Love and hugs, Andrea

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