Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ice And Ibuprofen


On and off since the end of December I've been dealing with a rib injury brought upon by a severe cough from the two month plus cold I caught at the work Holiday Party. Eventually the cold went away, and the cough diminished (I've been having daily coughing attacks for the last 17 years and don't expect them to disappear anytime soon), but the rib pain lingered. And lingered. And lingered. I had to miss a lot of work, cancel a trip to California, sleep in a recliner, and stayed pretty miserable for most of the winter. Doctors were worthless, all four of them. It will just need to heal and there isn't anything that can be done, but you can try ibuprofen for the pain. $15.00 copay each time. Finally it was almost gone. Then a week or two ago, it started up again - not as bad, but it was there. Five days ago it came back with a flourish. The last two days I've been home from work, unable to walk a block or get a full breath.

The pain seems to be starting in the front, but it goes around the side and when it gets really bad it runs across my back, which is what it has been doing most of the last few days. A combination of slipping cartilage and muscle pain I guess. I'm just so over it, however I'm still not over it.

While I was icing it last night, I watched a documentary on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; White Light, Black Rain


It was the most horrific film I've ever seen. It starts off with Modern Day Japan in all it's glory, color and fun. Really takes you in and gives you the idea that it isn't going to be all that bad a ride. Then come the interviews with the survivors, and things start to get a little rough. The interviews are quite stark and raw, and one gets the feeling that these are not discussions these folks have had often (and, in reading an interview with the Director today, I found that was indeed the case). Years of seeing other films and photographs of the bombing of those two cities didn't prepare me for the images that followed. I had to avert my eyes several times. Brutal, violent, devastating, soul-crushing photographs and film, so impossible to believe. One woman talks of finding her mother's skeleton right after the bomb, then as she stands there with her sister she sees it turn to dust. Burned flesh and ripped off faces of children. Burned corpses. Legless and armless half dead humans.

One of the survivors removes his shirt to show his deformed body. He has gone through the last sixty plus years with ribs exposed, and an opening that shows his heart beating. Never again, I thought, can I justify bitching about my rib pain (although, that didn't last even a day). The men who dropped the bombs are also interviewed. I haven't quite processed their reactions - which seem to be along the lines of "we had to do it, I have no regrets, and we can't ever let this happen again" I think it is dangerous to try to form to certain of an opinion of those times for those of us who were born more than a decade later. I can't fathom what any of the people involved went through. But it is clear, it can't ever happen again.

The rain here at home has been much more peaceful. I love the rain, the sound, the smell, the feel. I'm hoping I can get back to work tomorrow. I'm one of the rare folks who actually love my job (although give me a winning lottery ticket and I'm gone), and I have a hard time making the most of my time when I end up at home unexpectedly and in no physical shape to do anything. I'll continue with the ice and ibuprofen, and listen to the rain as I try to keep things in perspective

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