Monday, March 21, 2011

Gasp. I Know Kung fu!

There is no way this could be my life. I must be living in some gelatinous pod in a human warehouse somewhere thinking I am living but really just powering...

You know, I just realized I have trouble remembering the plot of "The Matrix." It is too much to expect a woman like me to watch Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves while grasping a plot. Never mind. Let's go back...

There is no way this could be my life. Why?

1) Because I thought it was supposed to be more complicated.

I had an RA flare-up so I took roids. Roids are good. Roids are so very good. The first two days on roids and I have lots of unflattering things to say about you able-bodied couch potatoes who get to feel like that all the time and do not use that pain free zest to become prima ballerinas or olympians. Since you are my only blog fans I won't repeat the cursing, but you can guess.

Then the roids wore off really quickly and I was very ill. On the cane, hobbling, barely standing ill.

I finally went to the rheumatologist who told me something complex and expert: I had a fever. He went to school for a century and paid a hundred grand for the privilege to tell me something I should have known by wrapping some innard of mine around a thermometer. I did the math and I had been febrile for 9 days.

NINE. I had been walking around with a fever that made every inch of my body hurt but the roids had hidden all other symptoms of infection. I took daily Tylenol and a Z pack and was doing a jig within a week.

For those of you who keep track of these sorts of things: when the steroid warning says, "Do not take if you have an infection" you may want to, who knows... check and find out if you have an infection. From my $500 of medical bills to you for free 'cuz I am that kind of gal even if you are able bodied.

Next reason why this can't be my life...

2) Because I am courageous, aren't I?

During the crippling flare that turned out to be my 19th double ear infection, the boys had an intervention on me. The boys have to work with me, live with me, travel with me, and do all the stuff I can't when I am in the middle of a flare. So one downloaded the DMV forms and filled them out for a handicapped parking pass. The other backed him up when I protested. Then I cried for a couple of days and got my sassafras together to talk to the doc.

My primary doctor is a god among mere mortals with medical degrees. He has treated three generations of my family. He likes opera, but only in Italian. He keeps my Christmas cards in my medical file along with paper clippings of interviews I have done. I adore him and have known him for over 25 years. I weepily handed him the paper with a trembling hand. He gently took it and looked at it with serious concern.

Then he blurted, "Oh my God! You are such a drama queen! You needed this years ago. I thought it was some Kevorkian order and I was going to have to hook you up to a machine. Do you have any idea how many of these I fill out in a year?"

I love this man. I laughed for a week. The signed DMV papers are still in my visor, though.

3) Because I thought I was a grown up.

In the midst of my convalescence I "babysat" a 15 year old 6'5" baby who drove my car while I "supervised", stayed up late watching "Will and Grace" re-runs with me TV in his parents' comfy king size bed, and co-downed an entire box of Lil' Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. The next morning he was talking to my cousin on my cell while I ran my fingers through my hair to wake myself up. Or I tried. The innards of a Swiss Cake Roll had somehow lodged in my bangs. When I whispered to him, "What is this?!?" he covered the cell and mouthed back, "Spooge."

I would have grounded him but he's been grounded for something like 7 weeks and has gallows humor at this point. Besides, they never take you seriously once you snort while laughing.

4) Because I'm not looking for a job.

The only job I ever looked for, wanted, applied for, and got was my short-lived job as a 911 operator for the State Police. All my other jobs have come from someone saying, "You should do this," or "I'd like to hire you," or "SAVE US!!!" I realized this recently when I was preparing to teach a class and over dinner beforehand realized that the woman across from me might want to hire me. Because I am lightning quick I finally caught on to this subtlety when she said, "How can I hire you?" I should be a mind reader.

Then I realized my class was a job interview and my deodorant was not up to the challenge. I never did find out what the job is, but I think it is mine. Then again I might have dreamed the whole thing because, speaking of dreams...

5)Because I know the difference between dreams and reality

I woke up this morning at 4:30 AM because my hubby was packing for his canoe trip and I wanted to say goodbye. I woke up again when my daughter climbed into bed at 7 declaring, "God is bowling and he keeps getting strikes." (There was a thunderstorm this morning.) Before rolling over I mumbled, "What makes you think God is a he?"

Later I awoke at the end of a dream where I was in prolonged physical conflict with some stranger who kept lying about me to the border police. After much scuffling and punching I bent my neck and bit her hard on the forearm.

And suddenly I was both hero and villain as I awoke with a mouth full of my own arm and a sharp pain shooting to my fingers and elbow.

Finally - the Sixth reason why I am certain that this is not my life...

6) I think we may have adopted a person. A grown person. A grown person who is a stroke survivor with diminished cognitive capacity who would be homeless had we not stepped in. The good news? Unlike the world's stubbornest puppy, this was my husband's idea. The bad news is that we seem to have adopted a grown person. He lives in a group home that we helped get him an emergency placement in, but he spends time with us every day because as he said in his limited but astute language, "That place... that place... it's a whole lotta' I don't like it."

While the puppy I brought home has figured out how to eat my glasses and open the kitchen garbage can to remove smelly items, the person my husband and I adopted loves my cooking, has a charming sweet voice on the brief occasions when he attempts speech, is gentle with the children, and lights up when I walk in the room.

If this were really my life I'd be tempted to put a sign in the front yard that reads: Puppy - Free to a Good Home with lots of valium, Needed - reasonable contractor to build mother-in-law suite.

But since this is just a computer program, I will now return to my study of kung fu.