I am waiting for the time to see my doctor. I took a swim in the hotel pool, and then I sat in the sauna reading Anne Sexton:
Today I am terribly patient.
Today crows play black-jack
on the stethoscope.
My aunt is in the hospital having a brain tumor cooked down. It came on so fast that a couple weeks after we last saw her, her left side started to go, like a stroke patient.
She happens to be at the hospital where they do this brain-tumor-cooking thing. It is a new treatment. If I remember correctly, she is the 11th patient to have it done.
11 is a lucky number, according to the people with whom I've talked numbers.
I go in today to confirm via Q-tip test that the four nerve blocks I've had didn't reduce my vulvar pain. When I went in for the first nerve block, the doctor said that the blocks have a 50/50 success rate in reducing pain caused by pudendal neuralgia. That buffers me from feeling totally defeated today.
Today's doctor has a bucket full of other ways to treat pelvic pain. He is one of the best guys to see in the country, endless scarves up his sleeve.
On the drive here, I was thinking about medical urgency. A brain tumor is urgent. Cancer in general is urgent. A vagina falling out is urgent. I understood that when a gynecologist told me about her next patient's vagina and recommended that I bathe in baking soda.
In general, chronic pain isn't going to kill a person. Chronic pain is like psychological disorders. They decimate a person's quality of life, but unless there's a severe breakdown, they're not urgent.
That's what pelvic-pain patients are up against. Until they find a doctor like the one I will see today, someone who understands that pelvic pain is a serious problem, they will be dismissed over and over with instructions to bathe in baking soda. Because chronic pain, no matter how you look at it, is not medically urgent.
I have been thinking of my aunt all the time. I don't know if I'm ever not thinking of her. It's something you carry in the corners of your eyes. It's still something I can't believe. I feel a bit of relief knowing she is in some of the best hands possible, but there is still so much luck involved, both bad and good.
I win because I hold a royal straight flush.
He wins because He holds five aces.
A wild card had been announced
but I had not heard it
being in such a state of awe
when He took out the cards and dealt. ...
I with my royal straight flush,
love you so for your wild card,
that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
and lucky love.