Three simple syllables. Those three s’s make it sibilant, a small reverberation as the tongue forms the s off the palate. One can imagine Thoreau sitting at Walden rolling the word around in his mouth, or Frost on his wall using the word to drive his phrases forward. Unfortunately, the word belongs only to the poetry of pain, a tool for the poet for whom self-laceration is the key modality of expression. That’s not me any more; writing Without Jenny cranked most of that s–t right out of me.
While public complaint is not stylistically elegant, and my affliction is not uncommon, the stiff upper lip seems to be well out of style in the social media age. A reason I’ve been quiet here these past months is that I am becoming progressively more disabled due to this condition, which vastly limits my capacity to stand and walk, much less dance, hike, or work out at all (I have been able to ride the bike gently for an hour or two). My strength and my control both are severely compromised. My legs scream when I stand, or even lay flat on the floor; walking is a painful shuffle in which a full step moves me forward maybe eight or ten inches. My daily challenges now involve planning my trips up and down the stairs and deciding which external activities are worth taking a Vicodin for. What an awesome drug! It can take me to Hamilton on Thursday as long as I’m prepared to spend Friday pretty much immobile. Quite a comeuppance for an athletic fellow like myself. Thank G-d I at least can sit without pain.
The good news is that after dicking around with PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, rest, diet, Foundation Training and epidural interventions, surgery is the next option. I meet with the surgeon this coming Wednesday and hopefully embark on that process ASAP. Hooray for science!

Stenosis.

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