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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

12 days pain haze daze

taking my breast shot

12 days pain haze daze.

To go through massive flesh pain to get rid of constant pain?
Or avoid new pain by living with forever increasing old pain?
That is the question.

Every time I’d tell the doctors I’d gone through hip replacement surgery, they would darkly hint how much harder a shoulder replacement is, so I figured I was in for a bit of a slog.

Started down pain road during prep when one doc said she’d gone through two shoulder ops, one with a neck nerve block and one without, and the one thing she knew was I did NOT want to be cut open without a block.

So they brought in an ultra-sound machine to help find my phantom neck vein, injected a bunch of uncomfortable stuff in through a needle while saying things I didn’t want to hear like “you don’t want to miss this because that’d mess with his heart.”

When they were done I told them it hadn’t worked because I could still feel, but they said it was too dangerous to do twice and maybe it’d kick in later. Never did. Never worked. Never blocked pain, which was nasty because they assumed when I was coming to in recovery I was pain-free when in fact I hurt so much I thought something had gone seriously wrong and was trying to explain to them through the anesthesia that the block had failed.

Once recovered they gave me percoset or oxy-codone every 4 hours which got rid of most of the pain, followed 2 hours later by a shot of liquid Dilaudid (Elvis’ favorite drug) which zapped all the pain and made me happy for 2 hours.

I was ecstatic I’d woken from the operation because of course had had small thoughts of not making it, so the day before just in case I did the dishes and a couple loads of laundry to tidy up.

Talked myself out of the hospital 24 hours after operation.

Doc said it was particularly difficult session because my arm ball-joint had holes in it, more than half of it worn away, and it and my shoulder socket somehow had wedged together, which doesn’t compute because I don’t see how I could even move my arm from what he showed me.

First nine days were pretty bad. Pain. Trapped in arm sling. Sleeping upright in chair (12 nights so far) because horizontal hurts. Kept getting chills, uncontrolled hypothermic shaking rattling my teeth and skeleton, often while stuck on the toilet with massive constipation from pain pills and body trauma.

Not a lot of fun.

But it turned the corner three days ago, every aspect getting better, except it’s rather like those nested matryoshka or babushka Russian dolls where each doll breaks open to reveal a smaller doll inside — every level of pain reduction after a brief celebration reveals itself to be another vast sea of just slightly smaller pains and discomforts, so you’re happy you feel better except you still feel bad.

Now feeling near human, running out of pain pills while heading for painful rehab in a couple days, but at least the bad bad’s mostly done while the bad’s good is waiting somewhere down the lane.

But I’m tired of this. Four operations in four years is enough.


I’ve been often bit,
but will not again by these
particular teeth.

– Smith, 10.12.2014

One nasty note: after 4-5 hours of operation, they called Lady into a special room so the doctor could talk to her. This hadn’t happened before, and when she saw the box of tissues, she assumed something had gone real wrong. The doc just wanted to explain that once they’d gone in, they saw I was too far gone for normal repair so they’d had to turn my replacement ball and socket upside down to make it work. They’d wanted to explain a difficult operation had gone well, while she thought they were trying to tell her I was gone. Not nice.

Thanks to Lady for her loving care, thanks to the docs for their skill, thanks to the pain pills for getting me this far, and thanks to grass for easing the potentially too much bodymind distress over all.

better day down the line

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