Everyday is painful for me. I don’t have cancer. I’ve not been in an accident. I don’t have arthritis. But I feel pain, every hour of everyday. The pain is very real. And, like those who need something to ease the pain for their cancer, or their accident, or their arthritis, I need something to ease the pain too. Those who have cancer have a legitimate excuse to use drugs to ease their pain – they’re “unlucky”, they “couldn’t’ do anything about it”. I can’t seem to do anything about it either. I know what you’re wondering. Why am I in pain? How do I cure it? I know why I’m in pain. I’m still trying to figure out how to cure it.
Why I’m in pain, that’s easy. I bear the crooked forearms from a tormented childhood, which, contrary to the doctor’s opinion, I don’t think will ever heal. When I move my arms, reach for something, I don’t feel pain because they have been broken – it’s the sight of them that causes pain, unusual parabolic limbs, a result of only one thing. Adolescence was no improvement. I thought going to school would provide me with some time away from suffering, a sanctuary, a place of safety, like heaven, or whatever a safe place feels like. I thought my teacher would be the first person to listen to me. I thought I might be able to make some friends, hang out with them. Instead, the suffering continued, something I didn’t even think was possible. When I think of the tough times at school, it’s not the broken jaw I sustained from a stray fist that causes me pain – it’s the memory itself.
My dad jumped when I was sixteen. I didn’t know why, at the time anyway. Now, I’m beginning to understand just why. It was his way of curing the pain, maybe his way of reaching that sanctuary, ending the suffering – for good. Me, I don’t think I’d do that, especially with the little one on the way, but if the pain goes on for much longer, I can’t rule it out. Bitter sweet really. The pain I’m about to go through with my little one will keep me going longer. Keep the pain going longer. At least the pains of labor are insignificant compared to the pains I experience everyday. I know – I’ve been through it before.
As for the cure…my legs also bear the evidence, as well as my arms. The right side of my groin holds what has become a permanent crevice, remains of previous attempts to cure the pain one injection at a time. After getting infected, it nearly took my life. I experienced a new sort of pain. A throbbing. A burning. A sweat unlike my usual sweat when a hit is wearing off. The only cure in this instance – antibiotics – the intravenous route. Easier said than done. I had to show the doctors where to find a suitable vein on me to get the line into me. Inside of the right forearm – could never inject with my left hand very well. That was after eight attempts by a so called expert. Eventually, the antibiotics got the job done, thankfully, I guess.
I sit here now, again, draped in crisp white bedding, alarms going off every minute or so, and again, with the evidence of multiple different IV attempts. Surrounded by ladies four times my age. They wonder why I’m here. I shouldn’t be here, their eyes tell me. I can see their disgust. They talk amongst each other – but never to me. Not even interested. I guess I don’t blame them, but it would be nice to have someone to talk to. I’m worried. Worried for my little one. When he’s born, I’ve been told he’s going to go into opiate withdrawal. I never meant for this to happen. Apparently if it’s bad enough he might even need some drugs to calm him down when he’s born. I never meant for this to happen. Imagine that. A baby getting drugs. All because of me. I’m not worried about labor. Just the bit afterwards. The bit called ‘his life’. There’s no way around it. I’m passing the pain on to him. And I can’t stop it now.
I fear being discharged, once my little one is born, for out there – there’s nothing. In here, there’s hope – hope to get better. Hope to improve each day. Hope that I might heal. But my pain is permanent. I know they can’t cure it in here, but just being in here makes me think there might be a way. It’s just that no one has found it. Out there, there’s nothing. The warmth, the food – that’s obtainable – even if it’s from the street. That’s not what I’m worried about, even though a place of warmth with a bit of food would be nice. It’s the absence of hope that worries me. Hope is much more difficult to get a hold of.
You know, someone once told me about something called faith. I can’t remember who, or what they were talking about, but I think it involved a church. So I went to a church. On a Sunday. I was received with frowns. My looks. My reputation. The story of my first child. I’m not sure. But I didn’t stay. Not even to get that free instant coffee, well, that’s what I presume they’re drinking anyway, whenever I pass by and see them in the window. I was just hoping to find that place of safety I was yearning for. Hear about this thing called faith. Hoping, that faith would bring me more hope. Not there. Not sure if it would help me anyway, but I wouldn’t mind finding out more. I’ll just go about my days as normal, and in a few hours, I’ll bring another one into this world, to take part in it with me.