Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate

I’m tired of screaming about my pain. I’m tired of screaming and you’re surely tired of hearing about it or reading it.

But that’s what I do. Why do you think I started a blog about life inside chronic pain, because I’m a detached observer?

I’m tired of bitching, whining, and complaining about pain which is unceasing from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. Every waking hour is a horror, a form of living on a mini-rack, and I’m starting to convict myself of seeing treason in the very body which constantly afflicts me. In Merrie England 500 years ago, the period of the Tudors, male traitors were hanged alive, castrated, disemboweled, and finally decapitated. I don’t imagine any of this felt too good, but at least that agony would end within a half-hour [see the clip below], depending on the skill or intent of the  executioner. Chronic pain, however, doesn’t have an end-date that I can figure out. As Sir Richard Topcliffe, Queen Elizabeth’s principal torturer and executioner, told one of his Jesuit victims, “No man is silent on the rack.” No kidding.

I’ve come to recognize that I’m bound to a life in which I must follow Dante’s injunction: abandon all hope. That’s not quite reassuring.

I’m also stuck in the heart of the opioid issue in New England and, I gather, most other places. I cannot get opioids because what I can get is so tightly regulated that I have to go months at a time living on Advil. Right now I can’t even “score” marijuana (my preferred analgesic) unless I can dig up another $200 to get a certification for medically licensed pot. And I’ve heard that the distributors price the stuff so high that it’s actually cheaper to go out and spend a minimal amount on heroin. No, I’m not going to do that, but I’d also be lying if I said it never occurred to me.

Right: take two aspirin and call yourself in the morning.

The thing that people who don’t suffer from chronic pain can’t get is that that a life inside chronic pain takes you over and rules your entire life. In order to go to a market a half mile from my house, I have to take a local bus. More often than not, I wind up crying while waiting or crossing the street. That’s how much it hurts.

Go ahead and call me a “pussy” because I have issues with living in constant pain. I don’t care what you call me. I’ll just suggest you perform a physically impossible act.

I’ve had it suggested to me that I “give the pain to God.” Really? I have done that more times than I want to admit. I’m not interested in being crucified. The “turn it over” suggestion comes from people who can walk without suffering. I’m not one of those people.

Well, I got a call to go to the pain center in Pittsfield, MA, on Tuesday afternoon. I might get temporary relief. But I’ve got to own that this is it for the foreseeable or unforeseeable future. And it’s a horror of fear and pain.



About Ken Wolman

Sit still, shut up, and listen. We might both learn something.
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1 Response to Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate

  1. “Abandon all hope,” eh?

    I wish I had wisdom to offer. I wish I had solutions to offer. I have neither. But I am here, and I hear you, and I grieve that you suffer so.


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