You think YOUR life is strange.

Everyone does I suspect. We ALL think our lives are harder, or stranger, or whatever, than everyone else.  It’s the basis of every fish story, tall tale, and every conversation between two Irishmen.

Every really good story I’ve ever heard starts like this:

No shit. There I was.

So I guess that’s where I’ll start.

No shit, there I was, sitting on the bed, when my husband throws a paperback book at me.  It was small, old, and pretty thin. (The book, not my husband.) This book was NOT something that should cause agony.  I, however, have RSD.

“What the hell is RSD,” you ask? I am so glad you asked!

RSD stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Imagine pouring gas on your foot, setting it on fire, and letting it burn, and burn, and burn….THEN, put shoes on and walk around in them. Of course now your are wondering just WHY would ANYONE want to DO that, much less IMAGINE IT! It really is the only explanation I have for this disease. The one thing we all agree on is the BURNING pain. And yes, it really is that bad for the worst of us. Clothing is painful, bedsheets are torturous, and a good stiff breeze makes you wanna curl up and die. Forget taking a shower.

Yeah, I guess I could have left that part out.  I don’t stink or anything. Much. Ok, it’s not bad at least. My doctor recommended a “whore bath”, which is just spritzing perfume on the areas that count. I think I’ll deal with the torture that is the shower.

There is a pain scale called the McGill Pain Index that gives people an idea of how much things hurt.  The scale is out of 50. At the bottom you have things like splinters, stubbed toes, sprained ankles, etc. Then you get things like broken bones. At about 25 is cancer pain, which many people think is the worst pain there is, partially because it DOES hurt a lot, and partial because, unlike childbirth or broken bones, it’s not going to get better.  It’s what we call a “chronic pain”.  In the mid-30s you get prepared childbirth and the upper-30s unprepared childbirth. At 40 you get amputation of a finger or toe without anesthesia.  Let me repeat that….WITHOUT ANESTHESIA!!

RSD is 42.

42 out of 50.  That means that when you are at the hospital, and they say, “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, what level is your pain?”, if you have RSD you START at a 8.4.  NOW, add broken bones, surgery, etc.

Now you have a starting point of how I normally feel. Yes, I have great drugs.  No, I am not sharing them with you.  I’m a generous person, but I like being in as little pain as possible.

Now then, where was I?  Oh, yes. Night time…

I’m getting ready for bed, and my husband throws the aforementioned book at me.

I said, “Ow!”

I did NOT say, “Ow! That shit hurt you inconsiderate motherfucker!” nor did I say, “Watch what you’re doing you jackass!” What I said was “Ow!” meaning, “Ow, I am in pain.”

My husband responds, but instead of saying,

“Oh gosh honey, I’m sorry. Are you alright?” ala Ward Cleaver. (If you don’t understand that, you’re not old enough to read this.)

HE says,

“Geez, I’m sorry. I didn’t know your leg was there. It wasn’t like I did it on purpose.” ala Al Bundy or Ralph Kramden. (What the hell do you mean you don’t know who Ralph Kramdon is?! You know what, nevermind.  I’m not talking to you!)

Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a saint.  Really.  He was born on March 17th! I call him St. Douglas…and March 17th is St. Douglas Day in our house.  I even had Happy Birthday Saint Douglas put on his cake.


Yes, our lives are stranger than most. I have  a particularly bad case, and because of  the RSD (CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) I am in a wheelchair and am bed-bound for the most part.  So yes, I am a lazy bum. Though bum seems like such a GUY word.  Bummette seems so much more feminine.   You’ll hear a lot more about me in coming days, but now you know some of the highlights. You’ll meet the family next time, and our kids.  Not our children, but our kids.  See, we have our children, our pets (which are LIKE children) and our kids. And on that note, I will leave you guessing.

Until next time…