This may have been the worst morning of my lifetime.
I show up at Sweetwater Pain and Spine (what a terrible name for a pain clinic). I’m to have a nerve study. What the hell is that?
So I go into this tiny, white room with a doctor and an assistant. I’m asked to undress and lay on my back on the medical bed. For the next hour or so, this team begins to shock me from my ankles up to my rear end. This is not pleasant, but I’m practicing my breathing technique and praying to Saint Bernadette of Lourdes.
I think the torture is all over when they bring out these needles from the top drawer and start sticking me in all parts of my lower body. Their sound system is on, and the doctor informs me the staticky, whining sounds are my nerves expressing themselves. It sounds more like the Beach Boys tuning up their instruments for another grating song about the surf in California.
When it’s over, I straggle to my car and begin the 20-minute drive home. But wait – there’s been an accident. All cars and trucks are stopped for two hours.
I could have practiced my new breathing technique while appreciating the splendor of the snow-capped mountains surrounding me. But no. All I could think about was the sound of my nerves playing off needles. And missing my important lunch date. And will I run out of gas? And why didn’t I charge up my cell phone? And why isn’t there a men’s room on the side of the highway?
I still need a bunch of mindfulness training.