May 13, 2016

I’m starting today with a better attitude.

I feel better since my acupuncture session yesterday. Even just talking to my doctor helps, he treats me as an intelligent being, he’s always generous with his knowledge, and I can bounce theories off him without feeling foolish. He loves to share his passion for medicine, particularly Chinese medicine and acupuncture, combining it with western medicine and taking a holistic approach to treating patients. I like the idea of treating the patient as a whole being. He also did an extra adjustment for my inflammation, and I am much more comfortable today. My belly’s still fat, but not hard and uncomfortable. I’m determined to do everything I can to inform myself between now and the colon safari. I once again have the drive to shoulder that boulder and heave it uphill. It all comes down to will. In practice I have seen people who, if one little thing goes wrong with their health are ready to give it all up. In one Scandinavian country, incontinence is considered a valid reason for requesting assisted suicide. And I have seen others go through incredible physical hardships and yet retain their will to live. I’m fairly certain that I fall into the latter category. My father once told my mother that if he were maimed in war, if he lost a limb or an eye, he would never come home. He couldn’t seem to handle the idea of being less than whole. I’ve had more than my share of having things taken off of, or out of my body and disposed of, but am still whole. It hasn’t taken anything from who I am. Not that those experiences don’t change us, but I tend to look at that as growth, not loss. I am surrounded by reasons to keep on going, even if it means chasing after the elusive realm of ‘what could be’. The doctor tells me that, in his opinion, intelligent people are cursed by the need to find answers, even when there aren’t any. That feels about right.

For some reason, Mom decided she wanted to go in back with me for the treatment. Not that I blame her-treatment rooms are at least marginally more entertaining than waiting rooms. Filled with the mysterious tools and appliances of the trade, they’re a drawer snoopers’ delight. I was curious about how she would take the unconventional methods my pain doctor uses. She got the quiet, closed look she reserves for lunatics and small children, so I figure she thinks of it as some whackadoodle quackery, much like how she views the healing power of crystals, and natural medicines like herbs. She kept quiet, though, while the doctor and I discussed various aspects of my care plan. She watched in silence as he placed the needles in various places. I don’t think she could see the needles, they’re so fine. When the doctor dimmed the lights and put a heat lamp on me to facilitate better results, she started playing with my feet and asking questions. “Why do we have to sit in the dark?” She demanded to know. “It’s supposed to be quiet and relaxing, Ma.” She found one of the needles and start flicking it with her finger, chanting “Ho-hum, ho hum,” as though the needle were a metronome keeping time. “Thats…not...helping…Mom.” Came out through clenched teeth as my nerves sent the energy flow into fibrillation and mild electric shocks shot through me. After that she settled for tickling my feet, something she sees as a benign pastime but had the effect of setting off a series of muscle spasms. I couldn’t adjust my position without setting off the needles again, so it was pretty uncomfortable at times. I think we’ll just have Mom stick to the waiting room going forward.

After being in the back of the truck for a couple of hours, by the time we got back home the dogs really needed a run, so I didn’t fuss much when they took off. I could hear voices out on the road, but they didn’t sound angry, so I gave my ankle a break and, grabbing their leashes, ambled slowly down the driveway to retrieve my errant puppies. They were hanging out with a couple of our neighbors here on the Point, regular walkers on the road. I apologized for the pup’s exuberance and they replied that the dogs were actually entertaining-going several times around the cul-de-sac at the end of the road at a full run, to their walking one. I decided to give the dogs a break and let them play some more in the yard. They returned the favor by running pell-mell through the yard and, I hoped, burning off some energy. The grass is now so tall that they become lost in it. All I can see of them is their curved tails, rising like periscopes above the waving grasses. Its pretty hilarious, watching them play hide and seek. Einstein will lie in wait, while Newton takes high bounds through the grass to get a better view. They need to get all the enjoyment out of it while they can, I think Kevin is going to talk to someone with a brush cutter for the first mow-can I get a hallelujah on that one. I think that Einstein may have had a really bad dream during the night. I woke up around two-thirty am to the sound of my dog whining. He was sitting on the floor at the end of the bed looking shaky and miserable. He usually only tolerates hugging, but he leaned into my worried embrace and raised a paw for me to hold as well. He wouldn’t get back up on the bed, and he didn’t want to go outside, so I moved the bench at the foot of the bed and curled up around him for a little while, after feeling around for any injuries that could be causing him distress. Once he had settled back down, I covered him with my robe and tried to go back to sleep. This morning, although still wrapped in my robe, he was fine. I take that as a sign that he needs beach therapy. Or maybe that’s me. Just to be sure, we’ll both go, and take Newton along for good measure.


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