Thursday, September 13, 2007

The words escape me

A longtime wordsmith, it bothers me so much that I can't describe what central nerve pain feels like.

Yes, I am back up tonight, again with central pain, this time in my feet, which I so often have. How to describe? The words allude me. Somewhat burning. But more like it's a burning aliveness, an offbeat throbbing but not exactly throbbing. Nerves on end, never ending, end to end, end all to end all, when will this ever end? It's not a stabbing, crying out kinda pain. It's a silent, still waters run deep kinda pain.

It cannot be ignored. It will not go away. There are no medications that seem to help.
I take Cymbalta which is for depression and also for nerve pain. Some people write that it helps a lot for that. I wonder what it does for me in that department. I could only find out by quitting it, and that's a thankless experiment I'll do without, thank you.

I talk to doctors and friends, trying to explain, believing, wrongly, that they actually want to know. That they might want to understand. With doctors, I hope they will fill in the blanks, but instead, they give me blank looks. I hope they will say, "Ah yes," as they thoughtfully chew on a pencil. "I've heard this aptly described before, it goes like this:"

But instead, I get looks of disinterest.

So, words do not exist for something so existential. No words are in the vocabulary for this sensation that erupts from the very core of our anatomical being. The Central Nervous System. Central to Life. Central to being. And when it is disrupted through spinal cord injury, it is wires-crossed, sparking and shorting out. gives a very intellectual look at CP. The following is from their site:

You cannot fit a square word into a round vocabulary.
by Elizabeth Mitchell

Let me introduce myself
I’m a very insulting person
You might not put me on that shelf
But trust me, you won’t meet a worse one

I offended my mate and keep doing it
My minister can hardly face seeing me
The parents who raised me frown “Please quit”
Citizens of the world hate nonsense, don’t we.

Well, ions overflow in channels
The acids get out of hand
Growth factors light burning hells
Can’t you see, don't you understand?

It won't work. I can't make it plain
They’re people, not chemical nerds
And my greatest insult was to central pain
to think I could frame it with words

A contest, a battle, Job’s awful game
and Nature’s hardest hit.
Stifled, my tongue finds terror and flame
But cannot speak a word of it

Humans can say how subtle is love
have language for piques and for teases
But only devils and God above
can be fluent in dysesthesias

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