The Long Lapse or How an Imagination Took a Leave of Absence

Several things made my imagination go awry.  At the beginning of the lapse, my mind was consumed by the events that seemed to have America on a strange and sliding path.   I felt I had a front row seat to the demise of America. For those of you who love President Trump, I apologize for any hurt feelings I may cause.    Under Trump, the truth became trapped in a constantly shifting maze. We were bombarded with daily news from the White House that was often not completely true or truth one day was not the truth for the next day.  The staff and new laws survived at the pleasure of the revolving door of the President’s mind. The America I knew was disappearing to a world where immigration was frowned on.  Admittedly Mexico,  points south and Muslims from certain countries took the brunt of the heat.  We are a country of immigrants nobody is a native and those who truly are Native Americans saw their rights slipping away.  Up rose the ugly head of racism, never completely gone, but now made more blatant and freed from constraints.  The presidential tweets and caustic remarks had my mind whirling on a merry go round. I was left in a constant state of disbelief.

Just when I thought I might be capable of poetry again, the doctor’s who never used to want to deal with my disappearing leg strength and the burning pain in my feet, all of a sudden stood collectively up and gasped.  From the moment the MRI of my hip revealed that I had been walking on a injured hip for years, my complaints of pain and difficulty were taken seriously.  It is tempting to go through the long story of my world on the way to diagnosis.  But I won’t-probably boring. Forget writing.  My husband drove me from specialist to specialist.  Finally the last doctor, only because he diagnosed the problem, ordered an EMG.  He had found a severely pinched nerve in the lower left of my spine.  At the end of the EMG, I asked when I would know the diagnosis.  He made it clear he could tell me now.  The nerve damage in my left calf from the pinched nerve was so severe that my calf had atrophied.  Furthermore I had dead or dying nerves all over the place from a poly neuropathy.  Since I didn’t have diabetes nobody knew where it was coming from.  Tests were run.  No source found except plain bad luck and genetics.  It seems I have severe denervation of both my sensory and motor nerves in my extremities.  As if I hadn’t lost enough time, all doctors felt I must be falling, I don’t.  Physical therapy was ordered for motor stability because, obviously, anybody with an atrophied calf must be unstable.  It took me five weeks and severe pain in my legs and spine, but the therapists were finally convinced I was stable.  (In motor function that is.  Nobody said anything about the brain.)  

I now have a nerve pain medication that lets me sleep most nights without dreaming of walking into burning houses.  I can’t take it during the day.  That stuff messes with your brain!  I’d rather burn and tingle than go into day time brain death.  

The following are the only images my pain filled brain could come up with after one really horrible night.

March 2, 2018

My caged feet push the molten gold across the floor.

It tightens, burns, slows me.

I tingle, burn inside the cage.

The hot gold moves up.

Distance grows.

That’s it.  I wrote about pain when I was first diagnosed with arthritis in my 30’s.  I’m done with it.  There is a wonderful and beautiful life all around me and that I will write about.  

About Winding Stream Press

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge, M.F.A. is a poet who worked for over a decade as a poet-teacher for California Poets in the Schools. Helen Shoemaker, Ph.D. L.M.F.T. is a university professor who teaches in the areas of child development and counseling. She is also a therapist in private practice.
This entry was posted in American History, Illness, Imagination, Observation, politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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