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hating pain

i spent the first 40 years of my life in really good health. and, while i’m not by nature a complainer (although those of you who know me may beg to differ; and you will have to beg, to differ…) i have this to say.

the first two years of life after 40 have not been a picnic for me.

it just seems like i spend half my life going to the doctor for one thing or another. and i think about it all the time, or at least a lot of the time, and i’m starting to hate myself for it. and i’m taking all these pills every day:

effexor–half of the lowest possible dosage every day, to make me happy. or at least not cranky. people tell me that off this pill, my facial expression precedes my vocalizations by about a half-second. so even if i catch myself and don’t say what i think, my face gives me away. so people think i’m mad or cranky or whatever when i’m actually not, because of this expression on my face that i don’t know is there and apparently can’t control. and on this pill, this evidently doesn’t happen. i want to get off this one, and i think my doctors want me off it too, but everyone likes me so much better on it that it’s hard to make myself get off it. and i tried once to taper off of it, and i was a lunatic. at some point, though, i’m going to taper off again, and, although i will try very hard to remain nice, everyone will just have to deal.

propecia–it makes the hair on my head stay on my head, and very well. i’ve taken this since it came on the market, and while i haven’t grown back volumes of hair, it’s filled in here and there and i don’t lose hair anymore. so, to me, it’s a great success, even though insurance doesn’t cover it which means that it’s ~$40 out-of-pocket each month. when i go to a doctor and mention that i take this, the invariable response is a curious “how’s that work for you?” either they’ve never spoken with someone who’s taking it, or they can’t believe what a sap i am. but, you know, what can i say. i’m vain, and it works for me. although i’d like to say i’m the type that could go bald and say “fuck you” to the world, i am not. so there.

lipitor–my cholesterol drug. my general practitioner doctor put me on this for a couple of years to “clean out the pipes” as he puts it. both my mom and my dad have alzheimer’s, and i read that these drugs may prevent the onset of symptoms to some degree, so i asked and my doctor wrote.

various heartburn crap–i never had heartburn until a couple of years ago. so this stuff is temporary, but this is my second round of this stuff. my doctor thinks i have some bacteria or something that’s causing it. we’ll see.

and, in addition, i’m taking ibuprofen nonstop because the pain in my leg, for which i had to have surgery not six months ago, has returned.

i’m a physical mess. and i take pretty good care of myself. i eat relatively well, i exercised or was at least active–you can’t live in new york city and not walk a lot.

i’m about ready to just stop taking everything, and go bald, and be in pain, and let the alzheimer’s set in if it ever even does. damn, damn, damn. i mean, would you listen to me? even i can’t believe i’m writing this, and that you are having to read it.

i’m tired of thinking and talking like my grandparents did, when the only thing they ever talked about was the doctor they just went to, and the doctor they were going to, and what was wrong with them. ick. and although i’m not to that stage yet, i’m going to have to have a major attitude shift. and soon.

i guess, as awful as it sounds, that i’m going to have to accept a more flexible baseline of how i define “feeling good.” maybe days with not too much pain will be good days, but the pain will always be there.

i feel better now. a little, anyway.

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