Sunday, June 26, 2005


I think I have done a reasonably good job hiding how I feel from my wife but what I am feeling is despair. Earlier today, the baby was crying, she was very upset. I went to see what was up and Laura was holding the baby in her arms in the rocking chair, crying. I offered to help and she kind of said no. The next time the baby started to cry I went and got the baby and shut the door so that Laura could rest.

I could not hold the baby in my left arm at all. There was no strength there to do it. My whole arm went numb. That's a new one for me. I've not had to deal with my arm getting numb until now. But with a herniated disc, the material that was formerly inside the disc is now bulging out against the nerve root and can cause various types of pains and numbness in the arm. While I was juggling the baby she kept crying louder and louder. Laura was trying to sleep, I could not ease the baby's discomfort at all.

Anger and helplessness just filled me; I found myself becoming furious with this baby (Note to reader A: here, let's save you some trouble, ay? You can reach Texas Child Protective Services at this link or at this number:1-800-252-5400. Okay, now you can report me to your heart's content. But you know what? It won't do any good. Those fucking Republicans you keep voting for keep cutting the budget so there aren't enough social workers to investigate the complaints). It only took a few minutes of reflections to realize that I was not angry with the baby at all. I was angry at myself. Logical or not, I felt like I had failed my wife and child, that I could not help out like I was supposed to do.

It got worse when I got in the rocking chair. My arm felt like someone had shoved red hot iron rebar through my forearm to my shoulder. It was all I could do to not drop the baby before I switched arms.

I'm learning a lot of things I never wanted to know about chronic pain, I'll tell you that.

Finally the pain died down at about the same time Anwen stopped crying.

Goddess, I feel so powerless and helpless right now. I could use your company for just a little bit; please.