Monday, January 23, 2017

Bitter Pills

I tossed these pills out after I shot them.
By god, they kept the pain away.

I took pills so that I could walk without pain. They threatened strokes, heart attacks, at worst: at the least, there was a risk of upset stomach or diarrhea. I took them, and the pain went away.

Not completely away. After a long day on my feet, after I got off the weight to sit and watch TV or to write, or once I was in bed, trying to sleep, the pain would creep in—dulled, but present.

It was okay. I took the pills, upped my other dosages of pain medication, and carried on.

I didn't suffer a stroke. My heart was as strong as ever. But the stomach upset came—the troubles, as I started to refer to my frequent trips to the washroom.

At the same time, I began to listen to the urges from my health watch, at the office, when it reminded me that I had been sitting too long and should be mobile. The 150-some-odd steps to the kitchen, for coffee, or the 160-or-so steps to the washroom would become a minimum of 280 steps. Four hundred steps. Six hundred steps.

"Are you looking for someone?" a co-worker would ask.

"No," I would say, swinging my coffee cup in my hand, walking down a cubicle aisle in the opposite direction and far away from the kitchen. "I'm on a caffeine break."

I would pass the receptionist two or three times on my way to a meeting, when in days before, I would never walk near her on my journey to the same meeting.

I walk to stay healthy. In doing so, my feet hurt more. The pills that are meant to numb that pain become less effective, and the stomach upset continues.

So, I quit the pills.

I took nine pills every day to counter the pain and to ease my stomach. I've now reduced that number by two. Two fewer pills.

Bitter pills.

Not in taste, but effect.

Time will tell if my stomach recovers, whether the pain is worth the sacrifice.

I've contacted my doctor, told her that I'm wondering what the status on my impending foot surgery was. I don't know how much longer I can live with this, balancing my stomach over my feet, which also affect my knees and my hips.

My life of pain and/or discomfort can't continue.

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