I just got back from the orthopedist, and I feel a little like crying, but I’m not sure exactly why. (Doesn’t that sound so totally female? Most guys would never understand.) Thankfully, my Achilles tendon is not actually ruptured, so I’m not facing surgery on that in the near future. However, the MRI showed that my ankle is chock-full of scar tissue from more than a dozen sprains over the last twenty years. The tendons and ligaments are thickened and weakened by all the scar tissue, and the ankle just cannot remain steady and stable. The doctor put me into a walking boot, prescribed an anti-inflammatory, and ordered physical therapy three to four times a week for strengthening.
Of course, I’ll be paying 10% of the cost for the boot, probably $30 for the prescription, and $20 for each visit to the physical therapist. At three or four visits per week, that $20 adds up to something in the range of $240 to $320 a month, which is $3,120 to $4,160 per year. Of course, to stay in PT that long, I’d also need at least one doctor visit per month, and for specialists, that’s another $20 per visit, or $240 per year. All my scrips add up to about $150 per month, or $1,800 per year. So without even factoring in gas or the opportunity cost of my time, I’m spending somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5,000 to $6,000 every year, just to manage the symptoms of the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. That doesn’t include braces and splints, doesn’t include ice packs and bandages, doesn’t include surgeries that become necessary, doesn’t include time off from work. It doesn’t include counting danged spoons every day, doesn’t include the refrigerator and freezer I just bought secondhand to put in the garage and hold frozen meals, doesn’t include the calls to the delivery guys when I don’t even have enough spoons to nuke a Lean Cuisine. It doesn’t include having to pay someone to do things I used to be perfectly capable of doing, like mowing the lawn and trimming my hedges. It doesn’t include my feelings of imposing on others when I have to ask for rides or other help. It doesn’t include the wakeful nights, spent worrying but trying not to obsess over tests and doctor visits, and it doesn’t include the zombified morning after. I’m getting pretty doggoned tired of this condition.
So, um, yeah. That’s the update. It’s another of those days when about the only prayer I can think of for myself is this one:
God? ……………………………………………………….. DAMN!
I think that sums it up pretty succinctly. I can pray for others, but for myself? What would I say? I mean, I know God can handle being called all the names I’d like to call God – God is big enough to hear himself called a turdbucket and still love me – but I really don’t want to go to that place. Yes, I have anger. Yes, I have fear. Yes, I would love to not be advancing in decrepitude. But today? I just can’t ask for it. I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, you can.
Thanks be to God for people who pray for each other, especially when we don’t feel capable of praying for ourselves. Thanks be to God for the Internet, without which, I don’t know what I would do. And thanks be to God for a job I can work via distance, by telecommuting.