Autumn’s Chainsaw

October 17, 2007

A picture for people coping with Ehlers-Danlos or other chronic illness.

by Susan B Spitzer, PhD

I’m not sure who painted this mornings picture, but who ever did it, she is a very gifted artist!. It appears that autumn is finally here as the strong light of the early morning sun pointed all attention to emerging colors of orange and red amongst the rolling hills of green trees. This is the sight that this morning’s artist treated me to as I rode to the airport, on my way once again for a day in New York for a little crunch and grind with Dr. Chainsaw. The bone infection has been debilitating since I got back from my last treatment two weeks ago. I won’t go into details, but its really gross! In the meantime, my body’s overall inflammation level has skyrocketed. At the risk of sounding like a kvetch, the first wakeful sensation of yesterday was pain in my fingers, accompanied by stiffness. Neuropathic type of pain plagued me throughout the day with hits along my arms and legs, as well atomic strikes on my hands and feet. By nightfall, I was back to the feeling of battery acid pouring down my arms, similar to what I felt a year ago before I received some relief through nerve blocking procedures. I’m sure anxiety over the possibility that the nerve blocks wore off didn’t help. Nerve blocking is not usually a permanent solution to inflammatory problems of spinal nerve roots such as mine. Oy. I’m back on some serious non-steroidal anti-inflammatories which I have permission to use for a maximum of three days, after which I will start to increase my risk of stroking dramatically. Jeeze. Give me a break already! In the past, when the bone infection has become very active, it sometimes triggers my body into an inflammatory state. I’m hoping that this is the situation and today’s crunch and grind will help to wash away the ‘battery acid’. Otherwise, I have to go on the hunt for a doctor to perform new nerve blocks. While I’m very happy to have moved to this new state and have access to a wonderful new pool of medical professionals, not to mention a whole bunch of nice people, its difficult to be in critical need of a skilled doctor and not have one already in place, not to mention not having the slightest idea of where to begin to search! In light of the fact that it’s hard to start all over with new doctors when you’re sick and in pain, I’m going to root for the bone infection’s driving the body’s inflammation hypothesis and settle for fixing this problem when I get off this plane in half an hour. Regardless of today’s crunch and grind outcome, I will be relying on just enough local anesthetic to allow me enough sanity to direct the driver to my favorite bakery (that’s why I don’t like to do this on Mondays, this bakery is owned and run by an Italian family and is traditionally closed on Mondays) to pick up a dozen of the world’s finest prune hamentashen before catching my flight back home. With God’s help, I’ll be back on my bike within a few days! Thanks for keeping up with me and for all the e-mails and, well, not so many lately, guestbook messages! Later!


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(c) Susan B Spitzer, PhD 2019