I was having a good morning.
Unlike most mornings in the last couple of weeks where its either like I tried drowning my skin in Icy Hot from head to toe or not being able to feel anything at all, my knees cracked and popped when I got up to pee. Running late, as usual, I didn’t have time to eat anything other than grabbing a couple fig bars to stuff my face on the drive.
My appointment was nothing out of the ordinary - they actually let me bring my iPad in so I could watch music videos this morning so I had it all disinfected and primed for my personal public enjoyment while they poked, prodded and pumped me full of liquid death.
About a half hour in I started to feel sleepy, also not unusual for me during these things. I have my headphones in to drown out everything going on and I usually get so bored of looking at the liquid pumping into my body that I doze off. This day wasn’t like any other and I fell asleep until my nurse, all masked and covered with a head shield, poked me in the face with three fingers and I startle awake staring into her eyes, like she knows how I liked to be revived. They detach me from the chemical web of lines and hoses and I take a couple deep breaths, examine my bruised and burnt groin and thighs, look at the nifty scars I’m developing on the inner bends of my elbows, something like junkies I’ve seen but never befriended - at least that’s what I am thinking in my head - and I pull my pants back up.
Ever since my bout with testicular cancer, I’ve developed some pretty inconsistent yet painful arthritis. There are days where I can’t twist off a beer bottle with a twist off top. Tasks like writing get complicated; some days I can’t grab a pen, and some days my hands lock into the pen like someone is trying to rob me of my last pen ever. Shuffling a deck of playing cards and dealing a round of poker for friends sometimes feels like as much of a workout as when I would skate for hours this winter. After the last few times I’ve gone through similar processes like this my joints and their flexibility seem to get worse and worse. Aging, drinking Dr. Pepper like its water and three meals of candy a day clearly don’t do anything to help me but I’ve tried to change up some of my behavior knowing how my body struggles.
As I was buckling my belt and slipping on my shoes so my fat, battered ass didn’t have to bend over and tie anything, I noticed I felt woozy today, but nothing unlike other days. I was good and on my way out the door and ready to crawl back into my bed and binge watch season three of The Wire again. I was humming to myself, with my headphones still in, looking at the stairs and thinking about how I’d have any day back from four months ago when I could skate for hours without feeling tired. Walking a mile around the neighborhood is an enticing feat and mighty struggle as it is right now.
My right foot was on the second step down when I totally lost all feeling in my body. My body was telling my foot to move and my eyes saw my hands just go limp.
I fell down the whole flight of stairs.
Staring up into the well light, knowing full well I didn’t just lose any consciousness, I saw my feet slide down the whole staircase while my back careened between the base of the guard rail and each step, I laid there, realizing I did not feel a single thing. Am I bleeding? Can I stand up? What the fuck was that, Posso? The conversation I was having with myself was out loud. This big pile of blob must have made quite a sound because it seemed instantaneously as I was talking to myself there was a hall full of people surrounding me. The scene in my head was like out of movie when you have tunnel vision and all you see are masked doctors and nurses and the colors of their eyes. There was quite the collective effort to get me to stop struggling as I willed my shitty sack of a body to stand up. After a through physical examination and a verbal examination that consisted of me telling them repeatedly that I was fine, just light headed and them refusing to let me go without someone to pick me up, the staff finally caved and told me they’d let me go after signing my waiver out.
I couldn’t grab the pen. I used both hands to make an X. My favorite nurse just shook her head at me and said, “See you tomorrow, you buffoon.”
Hope you’re all surviving. I’m trying my hardest. Instead of walking today I forced my hands to write this fairly short story. It took me two hours to type this and three of my fingers now know where the delete key are. Be grateful for the little things.