The Untouchables

by
Charles Martin
The Untouchables

I’ve had neck trouble and pain for years.  Nothing you can really point to other than age and too many hits in football.  On a daily basis I live with a pain level of about 6 (10 being really bad).  Sometimes it ramps up to 9, and brings a migraine with it. Occasionally it’ll back down to 4 or 5. Oftentimes my right hand tingles.  Umpteen x-rays and MRI’s have confirmed absolutely nothing.  A little stenosis (tightening of the space around the nerve) and a little arthritis, loss of curvature, but nothing that you can put your finger on and say, “If we cut that out it will take your pain away.”

Quite frustrating.

   Anyway, I finally broke down yesterday and went to a ‘pain management’ doc to get a cortisone shot.  Good guy, spoke my language, I liked him.  He said, “Do you have a ride home?”

   I shook my head.

   “You might want to get one.”

   I called Christy, “Hey Honey, can you come get me…?” We’re trying to get out of town tomorrow so that’s just what she wanted thrown into the middle of her day.  I told him, “Got a ride.”

   He said, “Lay here, face down…You’re going to feel a little prick…”

   The rest of this is a little fuzzy.

   I remember sitting up and noticed the world started spinning a little faster.  He looked at me kind of funny.  “You okay?”

   “Yeah…just a little whoozy.  I’m good.”  He gave me some medicine, free samples for our trip, and we scheduled my return appointment.  I even typed in that appointment into the calendar of my phone.  He said something like, “If this works, we might want to add a ‘booster’ shot when you come back.”  I nodded in agreement.

     I waited a few minutes, “Just to be sure I was okay” and then walked myself to the elevator.  I remember pushing the button and seeing it light up.

     You ever see the movie ‘The Untouchables?’  Remember that scene when they’re on the elevator, riding down with the accountant.  Kevin Costner opens the door to find his buddy’s body, riddled with bullets and blood.  Well, that’s what Christy found when she opened the door, minus the bullets and blood.  Next thing I knew I was lying on a bench in the foyer sweating like I’d just run a marathon.  Not sure how I got from the elevator to the bench.  Ten minutes later I found myself in the doc’s office breathing O2 and trying to stop the world from spinning.

     I spent most of yesterday afternoon in bed.  My kids kept walking in, ”Daddy…you okay?”

     “Yeah.”

     Woke up this morning thinking about writing a story about a writer who goes to a ‘pain management’ doc for pain relief.  Thinking it might be a murder mystery.  Maybe Costner could star.

     I’ll keep you posted.

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