Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fuzzy Logic

I can't see my armpits to shave them cleanly any longer. In the shower, without my glasses, the focal length between my eyes and pit is my fuzziest. I know I'm a Luddite; I could get it all lasered off if I cared deeply about how it looked, but I don't. I only continue this pretense of beauty work because my own sweat smell bothers me, is lessened when I shave. That's it.

One damn thing after another. Now the periodic numbness in my fourth and fifth fingers of my right hand spreads to my thumb, becomes shooting pain, zinging up my neck and down my arm to the elbow. I can barely hold a pencil to write. Yoga and lifting weights become impossible. I soften, atrophy, sink into more pain. Finally, I break down, go to the doctor, ask to be allowed to get physical therapy. My kindly Vietnamese general practitioner, the one who usually just sits and blinks in the flood of words I spew forth, examines me, gives me the referral. I want to be sure he has enough information, not too little. Perhaps I overdo it. He blinks and blinks.
So I go to the physical therapy place on Christmas Eve. That's the only appointment I could get, and by the time I get there, the pain has lessened. I've learned how to sleep to keep it from worsening. The therapist seems a little baffled by my not-very-severe symptoms and I am cast as a bit hysterical once again. Crying wolf. But when is the right time to take my own discomfort seriously? On my deathbed? I keep apologizing for taking up the therapist's time, explaining how I didn't want to wait as long as my husband did last year, until he could no longer sleep at all and was gulping overdoses of ibuprofen around the clock. Of course, I say to the therapist, I realize this is at least partially due to the inexorable processes of aging. But part not. Surely it's postural and I'll still be able to write, won't I?  I say, I didn't want to wait so long that I am hunched and cackling and stuffing small children into ovens. At this, the therapist's head pops up from her diagrams of human musculature and says, hey, that's funny. Is that the kind of stuff you write? Fairy tales, I think. I say, No. Humor. Ha ha ha!
When I was young, I saw so many of my cohorts really believed in fairy tales. They were not cautionary for them, but promises.

No comments:

Post a Comment