Friday, July 22, 2011

Life IS Pain

"Life IS pain, Highness" - Wesley to Buttercup. 

I was quite irritated recently when a friend offered me sympathy, that I neither sought nor wanted, for some neck pain I have.

Yes, my neck hurts, caused by slight arthritis, by hunching over a computer, and from falling out of a window when I was two.  But I do not *suffer* from this pain.  It just is. 

Everyone I know, from 18 to 90 years old, deals with a physical pain of one kind or another.  I think it is part of the human condition.  If you take breath, there is pain.

I'm not talking the pain of disease - just your everyday, ordinary pain.  The pain from over-exertion.  The pain from inactivity.  Pain related to repetitive actions in your work.  Headaches, stomach aches, tooth aches, ear aches.  The pain from a sliver, a paper cut, a mosquito bite. The twinge of an ankle turned wrong.  The ache of a shoulder tugged by a anxious, large dog on a leash.

The expenditures for just prescription pain medication was $13.2 billion in 2006, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Granted, some of this could be pain from disease, but it doesn't count purchases of the plethora of pain remedies available at your local store.  Pills, salves, drops, wraps, heat wraps, herbal remedies - easing pain is a big business in the U.S.

I'm working hard, exercising to strengthen my muscles, being more conscious of my pathetic posture, and getting massages to counteract the hours at my desk. But I don't expect to become pain free, just exchange pain from bad causes to pain from good causes.

Life IS pain, Highness.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sometimes the cycle of life sucks

I love my yard.  There is a patch of grass for the dogs to lay in, room for them to run around, 3 trees and a raised planter.  My lot backs up to a retention basin and I put bird seed and water out, so I get a lot of birds, plus lizards and squirrels.  I used to get bunnies, but that was B.A.  Before Angel.

Yesterday I was out in the yard refilling bird baths and bird feeders.  I saw what I thought was a dead sparrow in the grass. 

I picked it up to throw it over the wall so Angel wouldn't eat it.. It lay limply in my hand, blinking.  I saw no blood and hoped it was just stunned from hitting a window.  It was covered with ants.  I blew and brushed the ants off.  

I do not have the heart, or the courage, to kill a wounded creature.  And I was hoping it wasn't mortally wounded.  I looked for a safe place to set it, where neither ants nor Angel would get it.  As I was looking for a safe spot under the acacia tree, it shrieked and flung itself from my hand, landing on the hard ground. 

The shriek nearly tore my heart out.  Still, I didn't want Angel to get it, so I picked it up and set it on the bird block platform.  But the platform was swarming with ants, and in the full sun at 108 degrees.  I picked it up again. 

It shrieked again and flung itself out of my hand.  Again, I didn't want Angel to get it, so I picked it up and set it in the crook of the Chinaberry tree. 

I still haven't had the nerve to see if it died.  If I don't look, I can pretend it got better and flew away.

Later in the day, I found a dead baby bird in the bird bath under the tree. 

Sometimes the cycle of life sucks.