I am not sure what to make of it, this, this, pronouncement or whatever it was by my neurosurgeon this week. I have read for quite some time the dangers of opening pandora’s box or in this case “Kerry’s box” the number of times it and I have been opened. Its just a danged lot people and I am trying to go back now and retrace my footsteps as to what led me to my decisions and if I am not careful, I can get to kicking myself something awful.
We inherently trust a valued medical profession. The results of my surgeries have even baffled my surgeons with one saying to me some 6 weeks after one particular surgery, “Do you mean to tell me that my surgery did not help you?”
You must understand what is at stake during this time. I was declared disabled the first time of my application process, and that was partly due to the staffer in the disability office looking at my case and literally calling me every few weeks to urge me to complete the paper work for disability. On the one hand, I am so disabled. It has all now impacted me to the place where there are few places on my body that do not hurt. But do I think of myself as disabled? Heck no! I often find myself as a spectator to my own body. It is like I am watching a wrestling match between the warring factions under my skin.
Yet it is not just the physical war; It is the mental, spiritual, emotional, social, and everything underneath the skin kind of war. To sit down and get into a zone for an artist, to the complexity of the detailing work that I do is now fleeting because of the sheer magnitude of it all. I could picture being some old guy sitting around a fire at the ripe ole age of 90, way in the winter of life, whittling and carving. But not at 50 something. I am too freaking young for this yall!
No, I am not dying and I have some friends who are dying and they now look at a period to the sentence of a life God has given them here on earth. I suppose a period may be worthwhile, a blessing so to speak, an end to the suffering a person is going through. See I am not sure when this will stop nor do any of the doctors I am seeing. They just don’t know. No one knows which is where I am. The only thing, the only thing I know is that I live in pain. I sleep in pain. I used to be able to sit down at my work bench and enter a place that is untouched by pain. That time is no longer and I now do my artistry in pain if I can do it at all. The pictures of my art work I cherish! I love to hunt and fish, but now those places are filled with pain. Sitting, standing, lying, all of it, in pain. The pain meds that they have prescribed me now have affected my digestive track so look soon for me to write something about trying medical marijuana. Oh, and that too has some issues. See, each month, I have to give a urine sample and if I have traces of anything in my blood stream that they have not prescribed me, they can stop seeing me as well as any other doctor and I am done with any kind of pain meds. So, once I try Medical Marijuana in the great state of Tennessee, given that it is illegal, I am done with the professional pain treatment option. Damned if I do; damned if I don’t!
Why am I writing this? No this is not my attempt to find pity for what I am going through. That boat sailed a long time ago. I could just as soon ride this internal horse off into the private sunset. I could privatize what I am going through but see, all those years ago, when I decided to live a life with some type of ownership given to a God far bigger than me, I gave up a really big part of me and that is navigation. And so do any of us when we chose to follow the likes of a God who came and lived life quite publicly. We give up navigation or rather should give up navigation. Our personal compass that we assume can get us from point a to point b is off. The directions meaningless. The maps askewed. All direction is wrong for living life the way our society says we should live life if indeed we have come to follow a traveling carpenter oriented towards another world.
I have to finish this because, my hands are hurting. My neck is hurting. My head is hurting. My eyes are hurting. My back is hurting. My hips are hurting. My legs are hurting. My feet are hurting. And my heart and spirit and mind are hurting even more because my babies and the woman I love deserve better. At times, so does my world. But friends, I conclude with this one thought. I am not God. I sometimes think that I am. Or at least act like it. But I am not.
Tonight I watched a show on the Discovery Channel about the Hubble Telescope and was reminded about my place in the universe. The number of planets and stars are beyond our comprehension and the more we see, the more there is to see. It is infinite and beyond our scope of reason. Because I cannot see those planets and stars does not mean they do not exist. I just can’t see them. And if in my pain and suffering I have come to understand anything, it is this: because I cannot figure this out, because I cannot find an answer to this suffering does not mitigate for one moment the love of family and friends nor does it cover up the love of a God I cannot see neither does it take away my capacity to love and express love. And for these things, for these things I would never have come to understand unless I went through this pain, for that, I am grateful beyond words.