CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Even I’m Tired of It All

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto
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(In view of the Haitian catastrophe, any extension of CR2S’s continuing travails hardly seem worth mentioning. But we soldier on as best we can in the face of hardship, no matter importance or significance.)

Try, if you can, to remember what you were doing Monday noonish? Unfortunately I was caught on the Santa Monica Freeway with the rain pouring down in proverbial buckets. So much so the windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the downpour. Adding to the danger were speed crazies going like 60! For protection and preservation I maneuvered over to the slow lane into a safe(r) position behind a FedEx truck.

At least, for a moment, the thought of getting caught in a monumental traffic accident held my attention and focus. But the reason for being caught in the deluge to begin with returned front and center. Anger replaced fear.

After a wait of 79 days, I had my long awaited second appointment with a doctor who was supposed to salvage my remaining days on earth sans pain. On his recommendation I had a steroid epidural procedure (by another surgeon on Nov. 2). There is nothing to be gained by repeating the horror story of falling through a medical floor board. I was returning to Beverly Hills to start over because the needle pusher never consulted with me nor, I find out this morning, did he ever confer with referencing doctor to determine what to do next!

With typical WTH kool(aid), I did not lose it. When Dr. #1 explained he would contact Dr. #2 immediately and straighten out the fiasco, I nodded my thanks and asked what I should do in the interim as the agony level continues to hover around 8. “I’ll have him call you at home today,” [“And if he doesn’t, you call me,” Nurse Jessica added emphatically.

Well folks, it’s late afternoon and the promised call has not been received. When I called for Jessica I got that old medical bugaboo, a recorded message: “If it’s an emergency call 911 . . .”

This would not be a complete tale of woe without an addendum concerning CR2S and driving. [I really don’t mind refurbishing my image of being automotively clueless except once in awhile even I wonder why?]

For the 9:45 a.m. doctor’s appointment I turn on the ignition at exactly 8:30. There had been a steady rain since early morning but I’m figuring light freeway traffic due to MLK holiday. Especially toward Bev Hills. And I’m always early no matter the appointment. (I’ll probably be in my coffin a day early.)

Everything’s copacetic until I get off Santa Monica onto Wilshire east. The rain is a deluge by now but no excuse, I’ve been to the medical building twice. For some unfathomable reason I wind up going west/east and vice versa twice before eventually finding my destination. It’s 10:05 when I finally arrive! (I don’t know about you normal humans but my skin tends to tingle and adrenaline even reaches my toes in times of stress.)

Tack on an hour waiting room time to the 95-minute drive and it adds up to much too much continuous gluteal maxima strain. It has become more than a routine “Oh, my achin’ back!” The subsequent 5-minute session with the Doctor was not only senseless, it rendered my readiness useless (I had not taken aspirin or pain medication for 72 hours and no food intake since Sunday breakfast.)

Despite the less than comforting medical treatment I didn’t receive, I can’t help but marvel at the outpouring of others willing to share and suggest via e-mail.

The bulk of the back, leg and groin pain sufferers are male, to be sure, but for so many staid and reserved Nisei to take the time to share is surprising. At random there was a photographer, bartender, gardener, businessmen and retirees, golfer, friend of a brother-in-law and OB/Gyn.

It’s interesting how the gamut of “cures” range from the usual (chiropractors, Shiatsu, acupuncture, surgery) to more exotic remedies and exercise. The personal experience closest to mine belongs to the doctor. If I get no surcease from my current unhappiness, I’ll be getting back to you, R.N., for sure!

Meanwhile, I’m sure you have your own inventory of aches and pains and grievances. Would it make you feel any better if I claim to commiserate and console? Consider it done!
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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo

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