Kage Baker didn’t like taking drugs. She felt it blurred her edge; and unless blurring her edge was what she wanted to be doing – as sometimes it was – she didn’t want to take anything that just incidentally melted her brain.
Consequently, she’d rather suffer pain than take a pain killer, even one as mild as aspirin. She always insisted on waiting to “see if it goes away on its own.” Which it never, ever did, of course – I learned how to treat pain with accu-pressure and massage, because she would not take pills. Even in her final days, it took the argumentative skill of a Caesar or a Cicero to get Kage to take a pain pill. Sometimes I felt like Cato the Elder instead, fruitlessly hollering at the Senate to please do something, anything, about Carthage …
I honestly think she only took the damned meds because she knew it would soon make no difference. Stubborn, stubborn woman.
Me, I can tolerate a high degree of pain – but I’d rather not. Pain sucks. Its only virtue is in its ebbing, and I do not believe it has any practical use at all. It doesn’t build character, it doesn’t teach you patience, it doesn’t assist your mind to a higher level of consciousness. Algesis is not an aid to spirituality unless you’re a masochist. Put that in your pipe and poke it in your eye, Teilhard de Chardin!
My kidney decided to kick up again tonight. It started during a showing of The Avengers; which, I must admit, was wonderfully distracting. What a great film! I challenge anyone to succumb to any physical or mental discomfort in the face of such splendid heroics. Especially while watching Hulk imbed Loki in a tile floor, like a huge green cat tossing a horned mouse around.
Anyway, after the movie it became obvious the kidney was in full cry. What this is (this time) has not yet been determined – scar tissue, stones, the old kink rising from the dead? A plague of little razor-clawed hamsters? Who knows? Not me, not yet; but I had an ultrasound yestreday, from a charming little girl who looked like a pea-pod faerie and had the pressure capability of a boa constrictor in her dainty little arms. I think she etched my ribs. That may be what has set the miserable kidney off tonight … I’ll find out next week.
My dear little doctor, though, is not one of those physicians who believes pain is good for you. She gave me a prescription for Percocet should the pain resume – and I’ve taken one, and whoo wee! I can’t even feel my waist or flank, let alone anything nasty in the vicinity. There’s a nice cotton candy and velvet void where an hour ago it felt like Prometheus’ liver-eating eagle had moved in.
Of course, my mind is dissolving. Kage was right – pain killers that work also eat your brain. But in some cases, like vicious demon-possessed kidneys, it’s worth it. I am going to eat leftover Chinese food and watch a couple of episodes of I, Claudius, and luxuriate in the absence of pain.
Tomorrow, when my mind comes back on line, maybe we’ll talk about The Avengers. Kage loved super-hero movies. She’d have liked this one immensely.
But for now, my damned kidney is apparently dissolving in chocolate syrup. Oh, lucky, lucky me!