Sunday, May 22, 2005

Numb Skull

"And when the time comes round, we will be duty bound/To tell the truth of what we've seen and what we haven't found/Will not be going down, despite too easy ride to see/From a lover to a friend take your own advice/Let me love again. Now that you turned out to be, someone I can trust, someone I believe..."
-Paul McCartney

I'm not sure if numbness runs in my family but it sure seems to be running up and down various parts of my anatomy over the past few years.

Last year about this time I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, a disease that rendered the left side of my face droopy and numb. With a little acupuncture and adding a little herb to my diet, my face regained its perpetual frown in no time at all.

This year I have been diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy. The two friends who have expressed the most concern with my suffering happen to be two who are a long ways a way (one in Hawaii and one in Blue Earth County). Go figure. I figured my closest friends would at the very least organize some all night televised marathon for me. It's the least they could do after all. It sucks getting old.

It might be noted for the record that the diagnosis sounds worse than the actual suffering involved. Even my doctor admitted that. Cervical radiculopathy is the medical term for having a pinched nerve in the neck. For years I have had a tingling in my shoulder and recently that mostly annoying but sometimes pleasing sensation spread down my arm to my hand. My forefinger feels like it's always asleep now an affliction similar to the state of my brain for the past six years or so.

When I finally got around to calling my health care people once they heard the words "tingling" and "left side of my body" they told me I had to come in to urgent care. That evening it was determined I didn't have cancer, M.S. or carpal tunnel. I met with one doctor and then days later I met with another (the same one who diagnosed me with Bell's Palsy though she didn't recognize me. Must have been the non-droopy demeanor). With a prescription of an anti-inflammatory drug in hand and an appointment to see a physical therapist scheduled, I went on my merry way.

On my way home I popped in Lucinda Williams' new live CD. Looking at the packaging I must say I was a bit disappointed by the song list. Most of the songs are from her last two CDs and the inclusion of such dirge-like songs like "Joy" and "Atonement" didn't do much for me. Still when she got to "Reason to Cry" I just about did. It's my second favorite performance of the song- right up there with when I was riding with the Grad Student and she sang along with Lucinda. Man she hit the right notes on that ride.

Thankfully the slight discomfort was further alleviated when I finally found out who murdered Veronica Mars' best friend Lily and that Veronica wasn't actually raped nor did she have sex with her brother. Veronica Mars is the show getting all the buzz if you don't count Desperate Housewives. A lot of critics are saying that it is as good as Buffy in its writing and its depiction of the angst of growing up. I thus had to tune in to see what all the praise was all about.

I indeed saw that Veronica Mars is a smartly written show that deftly mixes black humor with insight. Most every character has a dark side including the dour blonde Veronica herself, and the standard operating procedure seems to be to do whatever best suits your individual needs and deal with the consequences later.

Later that night I had a long talk with a friend down in Florida. The purpose of the call was to talk about the shape of my soul, admittedly a little ragged, worn, and torn these days. She sent me a book about the story of life and suggested I read the book of Romans in the Bible. "I'll say a prayer for you," she said and I thanked her profusely. I was glad to hear she is doing well.

"Of everything in this world I guess I'll never know why/Something as good as this could flower up and die/When you lost your happiness when no one's standing by/When nothing makes any sense, you've got a reason to cry..."

No comments: