What’s the line between discomfort & pain? I’ve had a sort of bellyache all day that’s made me feel depressed, but it only developed into pain later in the day, at which point I took medication for it. My oncologist says I have a high tolerance for pain (though she probably says that to all the old guys), but the pain I’ve been dealing with lately seems mostly manageable with extended release morphine twice a day. I never know quite whether I should take the short-acting Oxycontin when I feel twinges of extra pain. I guess what I’m trying to sense as accurately as I can the difference between chronic & acute pain. Not that one should feel the need to tolerate chronic pain for moral reasons. How far, then, does one go in treating chronic discomfort? Existing is suffering & all that. There are reasons for not numbing one’s self out, but there are also reasons for not allowing one’s mind to be filled with the distractions & fear of pain. Admittedly, I’m anticipating a time when my pain will certainly be greater. I want to know how best to navigate that coming landscape, which is why I’ve been going over the maps ahead of time.
. . . of the body deteriorating in the most minor ways. Left eye chronically waters, but is it just age or the disease? Same goes for a twitch in the neck, a secondary ringing in my right ear. What’s normal? What’s extraordinary? What’s acute & what steady state decline? Does sorting all this out make any difference? It’s a way of being alert, I suppose.
. . . I was a teenager working in a paint store & got caught huffing Nitrous Oxide. (We actually did this.) Must be feeling guilty about the mild euphorias of opioid pain medications.
& the dull normal rain-gray seconds
& subdivisions of seconds
& somehow sentences.
Very deep physical / mental fatigue beginning around three o’clock most afternoons, extending through until dinnertime when I begin to pick up a bit. Slight tingling in scalp & neck.
Just being phenomenological.
Typical late-Autumn weather for our part of the country. Cold & sodden. When I first got sick & was posting to the blog I found myself in a highly discursive mood; these days I have very little interest in explanation & for the time being at least these posts will be more like chart entries, though without any of the imposed regularity implied by the traditional notion of a chart. Loose, intuitive, even impulsive charts of perception & interpretation, then. Sending out signals. Do you remember spinning the dial on your grandfather’s old room-sized short-wave radio? Foreign languages? Static. Radio beacons. Morse code. A world, a room, filled with mysterious voices mediated through curtains of rain.