Well, it's a few days after the news from Dr. SecondOpinion that I probably won't be becoming a professional salsa dancer any time soon, and I'm doing my best to be positive, since a) it's the holidays and b) there's no point turning "Young and Hip" into "Deep Shit I Would Have Written In My Lisa Franks Diary Circa 1998 During That Phase Where I Used to Wear Capes And Once Composed a Poem Dedicated to My Eyebrows, Which I Had Recently Had Plucked For the First Time." It has, however, been a rough few days: disappointing news at the doctor's office; a close friend who is apparently tired of my endless barrage of bad medical luck and wants out; Christmas stress; oh, and I went to my family doctor today and apparently I'm also anemic. (I had been thinking that the redness in my face was fading nicely thanks to a new lotion I've been using, but, no, it's just a lack of iron. Every day, I seem to take another step closer towards becoming an laudanum-addicted Victorian socialite).
It's weird, though. Since I was 11, I've had a chronic pain condition and that moment during the arthrogram when they stuck freezing (translation for you Americans: numbing) in my hip and the pain went away for the first time since August of 1994, it felt like someone had turned off a radio that had been playing static so long that I had forgotten how annoying it was until it wasn't there. It's weird to think that the pain relief I only got for 45 minutes after someone jabbed a needle into my hip socket was what was supposed to happen forever, and for 95% of patients does happen.
It's also weird to think that it may never happen: that I may not have an escape-hatch for my disability anymore. Before, yeah, I was disabled, but only until the hip replacement. Now, if this surgery isn't successful, I guess I better finally invest in the gold-plated cane that shoots lasers I've been wanting because that thing will be by my side forever til death do us part. Kind of like a marriage...but without the 50% divorce rate. (Actually, 50% is the success rate they're giving my surgery).
And so, today, I took a walk to clear my head (and buy a Christmas present for my brother Denver). It all went downhill rather quickly when realized that I was playing Nick Cave's "People Ain't No Good" (I didn't mean it! Most people are very good!) and Ray LaMontagne, who I find hard to listen to at the best of times because I associate him with a moment I had a month or so after I moved to Champaign in 2006, driving with A. and R. in R.'s truck coming home from a party at the farm of the director of the MFA program, a moment where I thought, "hot damn. Life is good. It's all sunshine and lollipops from here on in. Ain't nothin' that could possibly go wrong."
Anyhow, long story short, I walked too far (in inappropriate pants, which kept falling down), wound up sore and had to resort to listening to the Phantom of the Opera to prevent me from feeling like I was in the sad part of a movie walking alone in the rain while emo music plays. I find The Phantom of the Opera endlessly cheering and not just because I know all the words and once wanted more than anything to play The Phantom (or the narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat...but strangely not Christine, who I thought was a wimp). After all, no matter how bad your life gets, at least you're not being stalked by a demented, hideously disfigured evil genius who lives in the cave-like basement of an opera house and is posing as the angel your father promised to send you before his untimely death. Silver linings, people. Silver linings.