by Kerry Smith
The article talked about how runners (shoots from the main vine) could run underground into the very foundation that supported our home. It would be invasive, to say the least, and had been shown to do extensive damage. So much so, that it would rot and weaken support structures that gave its own self the purpose to stand and survive. And with every swing of the pick ax, and snip of extended cutters, and the push of a shovel, I was destroying it, damn it!
It was a beautiful trumpet vine that; on the one hand, attracted hummingbirds; and on the other, created a danger to the very foundation of our house. It had grown so big that runners from the main vine were growing 15 and 20 feet from the main vine, pushing right up against the foundation of our house. I had planted a little twig of it some 5 years ago and it had grown to completely cover an arbor that I had built while grieving the loss of my dad. Little did I know that the runners would damage the foundation of our house while the vine itself was rotting the arbor I had built.
So against the advice of my doctor, yesterday, I cut that trumpet vine down – with the one good hand and arm that had not been surgically repaired three weeks ago – and dug up the roots and the runners that spread next to our house and into our yard. Friends, this marked my 25th surgery and or neurological procedure. For the sake of children reading this article, I will not tell you what my wife said when she came home. And yes, today I am sore beyond all measure, barely able to move, but I accomplished it! I cut and dug that humongous vine up and one-armed that demon right out of the ground. By the way, I did break a shovel in the process, sprawling out on the ground – but I had to do it, right?
I mean look at it from my perspective; this is our battle with chronic pain, right? It has runners that have touched every, and I do mean every, part of the foundation that makes Kerry Smith…Kerry Smith! I have asked doctors to dig it out, I have tried almost everything there is, and they cannot get the runners. It has endangered my very foundation and rotted the beautiful arbor of my personhood and stalled the making of bird carvings that I create with my surgically repaired hands, all the while suffering more deeply than I can even write. So I dug and I cut and I dug and I cut and I bent over and pulled the runners out of the ground – and then I drug the sucker down to the street to get picked up by the city garbage trucks. Today there are these holes around our yard that reminds me of Bill Murray’s movie “Caddyshack” and while attempting to get rid of a gopher, made the golf course into the Swiss cheese of holes that he created in his efforts. Did I say that I can hardly move today?
I will also have to replace wood on the arbor, but that is for another day, right? I mean, I have gotten rid of the invasive species that was threatening the foundation of our home and rotting the arbor I had so lovingly created. If it was just this easy, this, this battle with chronic pain, right? I have dug some holes in it over the last 6 months or so, and pulled some runners. I am taking more vitamin D and vitamin B and it seems to be helping my lower back. I am taking Marinol in place of some of the opioids, which is relieving pain with less side effects. I am taking 500 mgs of Tumeric. I am taking Cymbalta and Lymbrel. I am taking Methylfolate, which seems to be helping my antidepressant work better, and I am taking fish oil as well as the lowest dosage of opioids that I have been on in years.
I am still digging and pulling; sore and exhausted. But this is my life…and it is your life, isn’t it? I mean this is what we do, right?