I grew up among country folk, mostly, and I remember the elders complaining of “arthuritis” and “the rheumatiz.” They moved slowly, rubbed their aching joints and smelled of liniment. It was almost enough to make me want never to grow old.
Now that I have — if not old, at least older — I can say that it ain’t for wussies. I hurt in places I didn’t know I had places. Every day when I wake up, it takes me a little longer to move and feel like a normal human.
Deb has severe osteoarthritis in both hands, particularly at the base of her thumbs. She needs surgery, really, but she’s been getting by with periodic cortisone injections. The benefit of her last shots wore off a while ago.
By the time we arrived in Arkansas in October the pain had become debilitating. She looked for a local doctor willing to administer the injections, eventually finding one on the east side of Harrison and making an appointment for yesterday afternoon.
I waited out in the Jeep while she went into the small clinic, located on the fringe of an old residential neighborhood. After filling out five pages of paperwork, she texted me two observations from inside the spotless, new-looking facility.
First, she reported, the television in the waiting room was tuned to Fox News. And second, she saw no one wearing a mask — in a medical practice, no one wore a mask.
Damn, we love it here.
She was treated well. The injections were done skillfully and it wasn’t as excruciating as usual. Since we now carry only “catastrophic” medical insurance, she paid out-of-pocket for the procedure — and the total bill, including x-rays, was less than a third of the insurance deductible she pays for the same shots (without x-rays) back in Ohio.
She began to feel relief from the pain within just a few hours.
From the doctor’s office we drove up to the truck-accessories shop, where we talked with the guys about improving Mercy’s lighting. They brought out various products and we discussed several options before deciding to proceed in stages.
We’ll leave the headlights alone for now, adding a few supplemental lights. That work begins this Friday morning.
We ended the day with dinner at our go-to Mexican joint — on “Taco Tuesday” we had taco salad (and margaritas).
Today I think we’ll give Deb an opportunity to recuperate from yesterday’s procedure. Honestly, she deserves a chance to acclimate to a lower level of pain.
I have a few maintenance tasks to perform on the bus, which hasn’t received (or needed) much attention in the seven weeks we’ve been planted here. During such an extended stay it’s easy to forget the “motor” in “motorhome” and tend to the coach’s many systems.
Early tomorrow morning we’ll be up on The Mountain. This’ll go down as a significant day for us, I’m quite sure of that, and we look forward doing even more exploring.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.