I Gotta Try

So I got up early to battle the traffic to Thousand Oaks, to see the hip doctor.

Actually, he’s not a hip doctor, he’s a physiatrist. I went to the hip doctor, he said I don’t need a replacement.

And I flew out west, but got fearful about my return back east, traffic was backed up for miles where the 101 merged into the 405. How was I gonna get back home?

And with Howard on vacation, I’ve been listening to NPR. And I learned that heroin deaths are spiking in NYC. And at first it made no sense to me, but then I realized that so many have given up hope. They don’t see opportunity but darkness, and they slip under the spell of opiates. How very sad.

And I was shocked to find out that I’m much more screwed up than I thought. Some bursitis, a labrum tear, a collapsed disk and tendon tears.

Surgery is out of the question, the labrum is not that bad, I don’t have a hitch in my gait. And the bursitis is not bugging me. As for the collapsed disk…welcome to my world, that’s why I go to physical therapy every week, keeping disaster at bay, but I was shocked to see the picture, all black, no disk.

But the doctor said he was all about treating the pain. And the pain is on the outside of the hip. With those tendon tears. And the preferred method of treatment is PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, which to make a long story short is about spinning your own blood and reinjecting it, and it’d be almost a surefire success in my case, but I’m not a candidate.

I’m contemplating the cost, I’m thinking about the ten days of inactivity. But when the physiatrist finds out I’ve got CML leukemia he takes the option off the table, saying it can bring the cancer back, he wouldn’t do it.

And I can get a steroid shot, but that just treats the pain, or I can get Traumeel injections and pinpricks, which might have to be done multiple times, but are de rigueur in Europe, but now I’m depressed, because I can’t get the one thing that works.

I took PCH back. The waves were big. But I did not play the radio, I was in shock. They say you can’t be afraid to get better, afraid to see the doctor and find out what is going on and what can be done. But now what? Am I ever gonna recover? Is the pain ever gonna go away? I mean it’s been improving, which is a good sign, but…

And just now I’m driving west on Ocean Park Boulevard, and this Michael McDonald song goes through my brain.

He was one of the biggest stars in the world, back in 1979, his hits on the Doobie Brothers’ “Minute By Minute” album were ubiquitous.

And then he cut a solo album, with another huge hit, “I Keep Forgettin'”, and this…”I Gotta Try,” cowritten with Kenny Loggins, but McDonald’s version came out first, and it’s superior.

Maybe it’s true what they say about it
Maybe we can’t make the ends meet

Life is hard. There’s nothing worse than being unable to pay the bills. And in that case, blind optimism does not help.

Maybe we’ll all have to do without it
Maybe this world’s just incomplete

That’s what they don’t tell you growing up, that sometimes it doesn’t work out, sometimes there are just loose ends, sometimes the sand runs out of the hourglass long before you’re ready, before it’s clear who won or lost.

Still we all look for the truth in our lives
Searching from different sides

Truth. It’s the opposite of delusion. It’s not only facing facts, but looking for them. Sure, the internet can screw your mind up royally, but you can also learn so much.

So hard living in a desperate world
But we all do the best that we can

And boy are things desperate. There’s no respite. From Syria to Ukraine to Ferguson trouble is happening every day. It’s tempting to throw your arms in the air. But the truth is we’ve got to soldier on, it’s in our DNA.

Some people see a change
Some will remain the same

Yup, you can put your best foot forward and still nothing happens. There isn’t always light at the end of the tunnel. But sometimes there is.

Some see the road as clear
Some say the end is here

Which one is it? Upbeat ignorance or depressed honesty?

They say it’s a hopeless fight, well I say I gotta try

Ain’t that the truth. That’s when you know you’re keeping the heroin at bay, when that spark ignites and gets you going once again. And for me that spark is music. There are a zillion songs in my brain and I never know when one will pop up and rescue me.

Michael McDonald’s never reached that peak again, not even close, but you can see him on the road this summer.

I’ve tolerated the pain for two and a half years, I’ve skied, I can soldier on. This might be as good as it’s gonna get. The future path is blurry. But driving along Ocean Park Boulevard during the twilight hour I realized one thing…I GOTTA TRY!

And I will!

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