Friday, July 27, 2012

An Open Letter to Mercury: The Nerve!

Dear Mercury, 

I’d like to take this opportunity to complain about the current retrograde in progress. Normally I can take these periods in stride, but this one may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. You’ll see how unfortunately appropriate that metaphor is as I proceed further, but let me tell you that you have SOME nerve. 

I’m at work last week, minding my own business, trying to deal with a pulled muscle in my back by raising my arms above my head to gently stretch, when you decided it was a good time to stop my legs from working. That’s right; I lost all feeling in my legs and had to be helped up. I have known you rule the nervous system for some time, but I don’t think I needed as graphic an example of it as you chose to provide. But you gave me a great lesson in your retrograde energy, as I had to re-think my plans for the immediate future. 

You could have stopped there, thinking that maybe you had done enough. Oh no, you consummate motherfucker…you had to make sure that when I called the doctor’s office to see if I should go to the ER that no one would pick up. That made my decision very easy, so off to the ER I went. 

What followed were many textbook examples of the fuckery you can sow during your retrograde. In the ER, they decided I needed to have a shoulder x-ray and MRI. They told me that I’d go have the x-ray, go back to the ER, and wait for an MRI opening. Nope…not only did they have to shoot the x-ray twice due to a lack of communication between the radiology techs, neither of whom seemed to be listening to the other, but they took me right into the MRI after that. Normally that would be a good thing, but my beloved bride was waiting for me to return, so I had to ask one of the techs to let her know where I was. 

The MRI folks had a similar issue. My broad shoulders did not allow me to fully enter the machine, even though they tried to force the issue because they couldn’t agree on whether or not I would fit in it. I had to painfully move around on the gurney several times so that they could get part of me into the machine for the scan. When I finally got back to the ER, they told me the news: Three discs in my back were bulging, and one was herniated, likely causing the nerve problem that caused my legs to become almost totally useless. 

Somewhere around the time the ER got around to administering a muscle relaxant—those nerves in the shoulder I hit when I fell at the office were working fine and were shouting about their pain continuously—they decided to try and have me walk. My bride and I told them I couldn’t walk, but they handed me a walker and had me try anyway so they could discharge me. After two painful minutes in which I showed them how I still couldn’t move on my own--it took me that long to hobble about 10 feet--they put me back in bed and had the ER attending come in to see me try to walk AGAIN. Luckily he only made me stand. I thought, “They’ve GOT to admit me, because I can’t walk.” The ER attending said, “Let me make some calls.” A few minutes later a nurse came in and said, “Oh, I guess we’re admitting you.” Thank you, doctor, for telling me the news directly. 

Finally in the hospital room, I settled in for what I hoped would be a one-night stay. But you decided that I needed to re-think that notion as well. The staff told me to ring if I needed pain meds, but they didn’t tell me how often I could have them. I find out later I could have had them every couple of hours. One doctor came in to set up another MRI, which a second one subsequently cancelled; this second doctor didn’t even tell us his NAME. We had trouble getting hold of anyone to do an orthopedic consult, which didn’t happen until late afternoon on the second day. When they finally decided on the course of treatment, the only doctors who could do it were already gone, so I had to spend a second night in the hospital.  At least the chicken quesadillas were decent.

I wake up the next morning to find out that the procedure they want me to have should be done at noon, only to find out later that because they nurse gave me a small dose of blood thinner before calling anyone—like the doctor who is going to do that procedure—I now had to wait until 6:00pm that day to do what they wanted and then discharge me. What, no one told my nurses that I was having a procedure and to not give me blood thinner? And what about the more important question: How much Spike TV can one person watch without going insane? At least it wasn’t soap operas, but seriously, I must know more about prison gangs in the United States than most sane individuals by now. 

Finally I had the procedure done. Time to leave, right? Nope. All the volunteers have now gone home, so I have to wait another 20 minutes for someone else to wheel me down to where my beloved bride can pick me up. By the way, there was still some question about the necessity of the second MRI, but my ortho doc had decided that I probably didn’t need it, and we never heard back from the MRI people anyway. Since then, sometimes my nerves are working well, and sometimes they’re so-so. At least I‘m walking fairly well now, and I am very grateful for that fact.

Gratitude aside, while genetics and lifestyle play a factor in this whole affair--certainly I bear some responsibility for this situation--I lay a lot of this fuckery at your doorstep, Mercury. I know you are probably laughing your ass off. You need to sit down and talk to Saturn for a while. He’ll straighten you out. 

I will reiterate what I said above: You’ve got some NERVE throwing all this shit at me, and during a retrograde as well. I want to be able to have full control of my legs again, if it's all the same to you. 

And I really hope that the next Mercury retrograde you take it easy on me, because I am sick and tired of your bullshit. And before I forget, I am working on not one but TWO books. As I write them and try to find publishers for them, don't forget that you OWE me! 

Fuck you very much, 


PS: Thanks to you, my wife's book release was postponed a week and is now on August 4 at 13 Magickal Moons. You can begin your return to my good graces by leaving her alone as well and bringing lots of people to come wish her well, and more importantly, buy her latest book, Practically Dreaming. Its main character is Mercury-ruled Virgo Tierra, so you have a vested interest in its success. 


  1. I am just now catching up on my blog reading after cleaning up after M.R.' many shit storms that hit around here. I am so sorry for your pain and the aggravations! I fully agree: Fuck you very much Mercury Retrograde. The last one was the worst I've had to endure. (No, that's not a dare for the next one to be worse.) So glad it's done with for now and wish I was local so I could've supported your wife's book release.

  2. Thanks Sarah! I am on the mend but it is slow going.

    Jen's book is available via Amazon or you can order it through your local bookseller. It's just amazing. :)

  3. Holy..... *facepalm* John, I just now caught up on this effduppery. I had no idea. I am so sorry. I hope you are feeling better. Did you have back surgery? Are the disks back where they belong? I had a lumbar laminectomy many years ago, and it really helped. The biggest boost for me, though, was to work the hell out of my abs. They do a great job of holding the lower back in place where it belongs. Clove oil mixed with grapeseed oil helps, too, when massaged into the skin. Other than that, my basic reaction is, *another facepalm* and LOTS of good wishes for you and Jen!

  4. Thanks, Susan! I have been working with a trainer and it is indeed helping. I've had no trouble at all in several months. :)