I travel a lot. And these days it seems I spend more time in the air than on the ground. I don’t like it a bit, but my boss and SO (Significant Other) claims it’s all for a good cause. Eventually, he swears, I’ll be liberated from the shackles of work and can expect to bask in the glow of nothingtodoness… before this decade is out. Yeah, right.
Meanwhile, all this travelling and working has taken a toll on my body. I ache and hurt all over.
But not for me the Tylenols and Advils, these days, I’m into the natural stuff. Why, I carry my own little pouch of dried Stevia leaves (a natural sweetener) wherever I go. Never mind that I need to do a lot of fancy talking to convince airport security that I’m not a pothead. FYI, I’m not.
So back home for a decent spell this time, I decided to visit my favourite person in the medical profession, my acupuncturist. He’s a taciturn man who let’s his needles do the talking. He has snatched me from the jaws of spinal surgery and delivered my body into this now mostly pain-free world, with something called Ryodoraku.
That’s Japanese for let-me-stick-a-needle-into-your-solar-plexus-and-jolt-you-with-low-voltage-electricity. It hurts a bit but not as much as a pinched nerve.
This time around, it was my hand. My left hand, the one I use to write with. Of course I don’t write much these days, I type. Like a normal person. But being back home meant shopping. And shopping meant credit cards. And credit cards meant signing those teensy little slips with the gigantic numbers. Here’s where the problem arose.
My thumb wouldn’t obligingly squeeze down on the pen without causing shooting pains through my hand, all the way up my shoulder.
I was convinced my bone mass was deteriorating; that arthritis was kicking in; even the dreaded C word floated in and out. I was a mass of fears as I presented myself in front of Doctor P.
It took me half an hour to describe exactly how I felt. “Imagine a curved, stainless steel dagger. No, Imagine a mace studded with poisoned quills. Picture a razor sharp, jagged-edged knife,” I began, trying to provide a visual reference. I needed Doctor P to actually see my pain.
Doctor P listened to me patiently. He didn’t interrupt me once. Finally as my voice trickled down to a pathetic whisper, he asked me, “Are you finished?”
“Yes,” I sighed dramatically. “So when is the surgery?”
“No surgery,” he replied quietly. “If your left hand hurts, I suggest you try signing with your right.”