Friday, May 24, 2013

Still Practicing

My favorite cat-not-living-with-me, Henri, le chat noir, sent me this this morning ~

I miscalculated when jumping from the floor to a chair today, and tumbled to the floor in a heap. I immediately began licking my paw nonchalantly, so I'm pretty sure no one noticed.

That's what I do when I fall, or my human version, which is running my hand through my hair to make sure it's okay.  But I am not okay from this last fall two weeks ago.

Yesterday I had my follow-up with my Good Doctor. . . .
Actually, that was Wednesday.  It's Friday now.  I just saw another doctor.  But before I launch into these stories, I'll just comment that I may have post-concussion syndrome from that fall about two weeks ago, and that could last the rest of my life.  However, that might not be very long.

When I saw the Good Doctor Wednesday afternoon, I got bad news from the x-rays he took after the fall.  I'll quote from the imaging report:  "an apparent compression deformity at T8 with loss of central and anterior vertebral body height of up to 30%."  We discussed this.  No physical therapy, no.  No surgery recommended, no.  He prescribed a pain pill specific to spinal nerve pain, and it helps.  He talked about not doing things that put my arms behind my back, or reaching up high.  I'd already told him about how some things like walking and carrying a purse make it hurt much worse.  So does typing.  He said meaningfully, "Don't fall again."  Rest, etc.  I felt he had a look in his eyes like he was talking to a dead man.  You know I'm fanciful.

I didn't tell him that the night before when I showered I was puzzled by a feeling of thick skin in one breast.  It looks odd too, and so on.  I knew about skin like orange peel; my sister-in-law got it when she had cancer.

Just now we saw the Substitute Internist. (Mine was scheduled up.)  He seems intelligent, did a professional exam.   He said, yes, a mass, we will schedule a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound at Riverside, and then.  That will be next week.  Of course, we can't even schedule it until Tuesday.  You wouldn't want me to forget to complain that all the doctors will be taking a long weekend.  Monday is Memorial Day.  My peonies are in full bloom.

I almost don't want to post this because it is exactly don't know whether to laugh or cry.  I keep getting sort of silly and I love posting dumb things on Facebook and being in touch with people that way.  Went to the museum with a friend last night for a talk, and just loved it.  It's up/down anyway, you know me. Not long ago that was my worst problem.  Another thing - all my life I got through unbearable things by keeping up a front, which meant not telling anyone.  But I don't think that's a good idea, now. So in a way, posting this is practice on bearing witness to the truth of life.


  1. I am sorry things happen, but please don't add more on as a kind of self-punishment. They can manifest just by having an unhappy mind. I have to remind myself of this often.
    I would take fresh turmeric or if you can't find it, capsules version, 3 a day to keep swelling at bay. You know a western Dr will come up with some of diagnosis that will satisfy your pain. Yes, the body can adapt, as it is intelligent. Rest ....includes the mind and it's stories.

    1. Thank you once again for your help. I think I know where to get fresh turmeric, too.

      As for self-blame, I don't blame myself, and am even moving past blaming the other humans caught in the ridiculous institutions of Western medicine. Just a falling leaf here, turning over slowly on a beautiful May morning.

  2. Crap again! Enough already! I sincerely hope you don't get more bad news about your health. Thank you for being up front. Your truth-telling helps me as a human being with chronic illnesses who aspires to live a life that is about more than being sick. I bet you help and inspire a lot of other people as well.

  3. After clicking the Publish button, my sentence about aspiring to live a life that is not just about being ill didn't sit right with me. Sometimes it's all about being ill. That latter statement is an iceberg tip. I appreciate your reports about the iceberg itself.

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie, for both your comments. You have helped me move into fully being with this being ill, and what I can do from here.
      I deeply appreciate your sincere practice, and that it includes being with me. Only those who practice uncertainty seem to be really with me now.