I had been living with pain for sixteen years, and it had begun to be unbearable. Re-fittings were all that was offered. Never did a doctor or anyone suggest a period of time off the limb to promote healing. After all, with employer paid insurance they seem to be reluctant to suggest such a remedy. Who's buttering who's bread is always in play on one level or another. There is also the consideration that time without a prosthetic may lead to a costly resizing and re-fitting regime, also not a very popular solution in our hyper productive age. As workman comp professional once told me, “Once the lazy bastards stop working they never want to work again.” So stuff some newspaper into a good solid lace up boot and get back to pounding the pavement and delivering optical elements like you were before, and stop your whining was the unstated message. So I had for the past sixteen years. No charity for me , thank you. But then pain and festering became intolerable. The solution from the medical experts was that if the infection couldn't be beat, they would have to amputate more of what remained of my poor mangled appendage.
So I did the unthinkable and took my treatment into my own hands. I followed there recommendations and took the antibiotics, and soaked the stump. But I also took a leave of absence from work, and instead of wearing a prosthesis 16 hours a day, I stayed off it and only wore it a few hours each day to do laundry and clean up after the Planets spinning. Two weeks later, on the visit to the doctor, he seemed pleased and said things were looking good, patting himself on another save. But of course there was the precautionary not out of the woods yet. I took it to heart and extended my leave for a total of two months. Was it the antibiotics? They never worked before. Or was it the combo platter of the pharmaceuticals and pedestrian prudence that saved the day. Well, research shows that research works and this will never be researched. Who knows?
My leg had never felt so good after that time. I felt rejuvenated and was walking and feeling better about than since the date of the accidental dismembering. I was in heaven. It was the best I had felt walking since my foot and I were separated by a Checker taxi. I felt alive. I was a mobile mono ped without alternating interior winces.
But the planet didn't like me being around that much. I should have noticed. Me being there was interfering in the arrangement with her girl Header, as the young lads Clark and Addison dubbed her. Even though her business was never a money maker, I always heard how her Director had explained you have to have things in place so you can focus on your goals. That meant money out of pocket to create conditions conducive to opening the abundance the universe has to offer. Priming the pump , so to speak. It was nineteen hundred and ninety six, six years down the South Shore path of Indiana, and we had already refinanced once and had taken out a home improvement loan. Half went to improve, the other went to pay down Planet incurred credit card debt. Or as we used to call it, "The Saturday Morning Supprise,” being the time I would sit down to do bills and books for the household. This was before internet access to account statements was prevalent, but with me being home statements were no longer as likely to disappear from the mailbox. There was more to quickly follow. But the Planet wasn't worried. The Planet's trajectory was hooked into the cosmos. I was frantic and insecure while feeling quite full of my ability to heal myself. Those were heady times and long before I even had an inkling that the Planet and I were never on the same page. For that matter we were never reading the same book.
I was reading from the the " I don't want to be crippled and alone at fifty" script of post Rene Abuduh and pre Planet days, whereas the Planet was reading the current version of what these days is called "The Secret". The Planet planned and little else occurred during the day. The Planet did not like having anyone other than toddlers and Header around to witness her day to day routine. Once revealed the Planet wisely sought professional help leading to the many diagnoses's of everything from ADHD, to Thyroid distress and everything in between. Plus the depression and the most importantly concealed manic part that was never caught or revealed, with the ensuing multitude of chemical concoctions du jour in the search of the magic combination of legally prescribed drugs. In the meantime I had a beer or three, but no longer to take the edge of the physical pain, but the edge off the other pains and anxieties. Excuses abound. It was no secret that there was trouble afoot.