Wednesday, June 24, 2015

No More Silver Bullets

I recently met with the neurologist who'd been helping me fight my disability. Twice, using radio wave ablation, I had burned the nerves on my neck and in my lumbar region. This last time it didn't work. She had been a great doctor and done everything she could. She explained to me that the speed at which arthritis was taking over my body, meant she had no magic bullets left. I was left with a cervical spondylosis that felt like a vise tightening around my neck. In addition, every day it was  getting harder to walk.
After I become a professor emeritus, I began writing novels until I couldn't use my hands on a computer anymore. (I can still dictate my blogs) It seemed I was having something taken away every day.
Then I remembered why I believed the magic bullets would always show up. When I was seven, I and my two brothers had fevers that lasted a couple of weeks. However, because my father had osteomylitis (an open sore on his leg which would not have been there if penicillin had been discovered when he was young,) he caught polio from us and died in five days in an iron lung. The three of us emerged unscathed..
My father had died at 37, so all of us, independently, felt relief when we turned 38. We lived in different parts of North America, but the movie "Field of Dreams" had a strong impact on us. "Build it and he will come" had grabbed all of us. However, before I questioned both of them, we didn't know we'd all been so impacted by the film.
But now there are no silver bullets left. The last time I saw my grandfather, his arthritis made it impossible for him to move anything on his body. As the oldest, I'm the first to look into the swirling sinkhole that will pull me down. I  hope that I'll be the only one to see the ground open up.

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