My Story

Bjorn Olson

Misery and biscuits

In this wonderful world we live in there is one furry white creature that forms for me the center of this universe. That is my gentle, kind and loving dog, the Great Pyrenean I call Beluga. He always looks up expectantly at me to see if I have something nice for him to nibble on. I am going to make his birthday snacks, organic cheese biscuits. Only the best will do for him and for the dogs that come and play with him on his birthday, together with their daddies and mommies. Now let's see. . . how do you make these tasty cookies again? I haven't prepared them in quite a while. My mind is a jumble and I know I can relax when I stroke Beluga's fur, especially behind the ears. That is what he likes most. I always can rely on him to pull me through the difficult periods in my life, especially the most recent misery--Interferon therapy, applied with the best of intentions but hopelessly resembling psychological warfare based on ancient torture methods.

I have sustained prolonged periods of misery during my life--but never have I endured such misery as this.

Cover one cup oatmeal with two cups hot broth, add butter.

Misery was knee surgery before arthroscopy, and recovery. Removal of the cartilage and transfer of a tendon to support the lateral meniscus. This misery subsided each day that passed, a year and a half.

Add 1 cup shredded Tillamook cheese with half cup powdered milk.

My ankle connected with the front end of a red-light runner,
Shredded cartilage and removal.
This misery too, subsided each day that passed,
a year and a half.

Add one cup polenta, make sure it's organic.

Unlike the others this NEW misery does not get better,
a Mobius strip of continuous pain,
twisting every few days in unpredictable cycles.

It starts with an injection every Monday,
Pain descends, my muscles continuously hurt.
I sleep and dream of Lilliputians pounding triangular metal wedges into my major motor groups building a resonating, hollow, cavity.
Like a drab, Bagdad cloth tarp, covering a noble building,
Continuously my head hurts.

Add one cup wheat germ.

Disconnected from society and friends--I think dark thoughts,
Not quite paranoid, more irritable and angry than depressed. These thoughts pass in time,
I wonder from where they came.
Life is Bleak; Portland is Bleak, my dog an annoyance,
–––––––––––––(silence)–––––––––––––
my dog an annoyance?

Out of touch, wrenched by the unknown future, the past chances missed.
Feel the vice grip of physical and emotional pain.
Eating-- a chore.
The newspapers?--Not reading anything now.
Confusion takes the place of concentration. Frustrated.
Condemned to TV re-runs, sleeping, groaning and moaning,
Occasionally rivers of tears flow freely.

My dopaminergic neurons are burned out – so are my friends.
I am concerned at becoming an emotional basket case. It really freaks me out people! Ending all? I think about it.

Unwanted guest!.............Hepatitis C--Out Now, Damn Virus!

Add 4 cups whole-wheat flour and knead with hands

All too bleak future, you mean nothing to me,
I suffer, I groan, I sleep, I hate my friends, I hate myself,
Portland an abyss of misery, intrigues me no more,
I crawl into a black hole suspended by a spider thread,
Someone please put me out of my misery,
Pick up Beluga, and my body,
I cannot take it anymore,
I suffer, I groan,
I feel ill like no other time in my life.

Knead dough-- roll into interesting shapes

Emotions spawn emotions that fill the feed trough of pain. Overflow fills the tracks of a life-retched and stinking. Choices, luck, destiny, chance-- once built a level playing field, now eroded by time. The slope is fast and steep. The trough collects runoff then collects you. What good is anger now to change the unchangeable? Suffer the anguish of a past gone and too bleak future. Sanity and recovery, intermittent, unpredictable brief and elusive-- returns sometimes, for a brief period, each week. An agonized--colorless face reflects shattered thoughts that this misery continues for a year and a half.

Funny squiggles and hearts, dog bones and spiral-rolls take shape from the dough.

Like the others THIS MISERY passed--I discontinued therapy--it did not work.

Beluga and his friends will love these; Hope is a birthday party--two days away. We relax, together--listen to Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky – triumphant over tremendous odds.

Bake at 350 degrees--one hour.