Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Facebook is draining my creative ambition

I went to see a movie today with a friend. Afterward we had iced coffee. Went home, and in four hours, I got more than 50 notifications on both my FB profiles. With so many comments and likes, why would I ever write a book? Or blog, for that matter.

I'm still at home recuperating. The knees are getting better, but my activity is still quite limited, which is annoying because when you're not depressed, staying at home every day is boring. I guess I should be grateful that my mood is good -- I actually feel happy and grateful a lot of the time -- but of course that worries me, because I really don't want to become hypomanic. And staying at home with DSL is a good prescription for shopping online. A lot.

I'm rather proud that I continue to baffle numerous medical personnel. I went to see a lovely Greek rheumatologist who injected prednisone into both patellar bursae (ouch!), drained me of about 17 vacutainers of blood, ordered a ton of lab work, and told me it wasn't lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, or any other rheumatological disorder he's ever encountered. He's on the faculty at Columbia-Presbyterian, so I'm inclined to trust him. My GP, Dr. Cool (whom I've seen about 15 times in the past 9 weeks) had thrown me into a panic by telling me that my ANA levels were slightly elevated. Elevated ANA levels can be an indicator of lupus. When I told that to Dr. Hippocrates -- quaking with fear -- he looked puzzled.

"I didn't even test for lupus," he said. "Trust me. I have been doing this for a very long time. You do not have lupus. I think your ANA could have been elevated because you have a UTI, and I think your knee problems are orthopedic."

That sent me to a urologist, whose office was run with the cheerful efficiency of the DMV. I waited two hours to see Dr. Pipi for about 10 minutes. He thumped me on my back and sides, wrote me an antibiotic prescription, and scheduled a sonogram for my next visit. After that, I'll have a cystoscopy, which is an invasive examination of your internal urinary plumbing -- but after two colonoscopies, a gastroscopy, and a colposcopy, I expect a cystoscopy to be more or less like a dental cleaning.

I also saw a sublimely condescending orthopedist who said that just because Dr. Hotttttt's treatment for my alleged runner's knees didn't work, that doesn't mean the diagnosis was wrong.

"About 30% of patients don't improve," he said, and recommended more strengthening exercises. Which my chiropractor and I are quite confident will not help. However, there are some exercises I can do to strengthen my ankles, knees, and hips, to keep everything in alignment.

"My shrink," said my chiropractor, "once told me, 'Orthopedists don't hate chiropractors. Orthopedists hate EVERYBODY. They hate each other! They fight among each other, they make nurses miserable...'"

"So it's not just me," I said.

I've started doing the exercises. They're kind of fun. Different types of leg lifts. Can't say I've seen any real improvement yet; early days. I'm allowed to do them on the bed, which I had to, because I had bronchitis. At least I think I did -- feverish, body aches, wheezing, coughing, tons of congestion -- very much like the bronchitis I had in March 2010. I had to do them on the bed because lying on the hardwood floor, even on a yoga mat draped over a towel, was too painful.

After staying in bed for three days while I wasn't depressed, I had some serious cabin fever, so I went to Brooklyn to return a few garments to Target and to pay a shiva call on The Chosson, who just lost his father, and his mother, whom I had met just briefly at their wedding.

It's been five years since that beautiful wedding in Crown Heights. The Chosson's mother is a lovely, lovely person. She works in a continuing dental education school, so she gave me some excellent tips for whitening my teeth with baking soda and peroxide. She also told me that you can use baking soda in the shower instead of soap. Which I may try, just because it sounds really weird. I've never learned so much on a shiva call.

Anyway, I woke up this morning at 3 am, needing to pee badly, and then I realized how much my knees hurt. Didn't sleep the rest of the night. Today, walking to and from the movies was all my knees could take. I'm seeing Dr. Cool tomorrow to fill out forms for my official medical leave of absence. And to update him on what the orthopedist, rheumatologist, urologist, and chiropractor are thinking.

I want to keep hoping that I'm doing the right thing to treat this problem, but part of me is truly afraid I won't get better. I try to ignore that part as much as possible.

Also, the very nice doctor at Employee Health, in addition to telling my supervisor and clinical director that I'm still unfit for duty (so they can't make me come back to work), told me that I would have to try much harder to be fired from my job. Which is a relief. I have to believe that I'm not being lazy -- that I'm trying to recover and strengthen myself so that I can do my job better, that I'm doing the right things and taking care of myself.

I've been watching a lot of TV, trying to distract myself and laugh, since laughter releases endorphins and is a healing force. One show I love is "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List." In one episode, we see that her assistants have been trying to use The Secret to get to Bora Bora. They wrote "Bora Bora" on an index card and put it up on a corkboard.

So I wrote the following and taped it to my wall:

Let's see if The Secret Works

My perfect match: Someone who participates in the outside world while maintaining Jewish values and practice. Within 5-6 years of my age, intelligent, attractive, professional, and most of all, a mensch. He appreciates and supports my intelligence and accomplishments. He’s a good listener. He’s good company, fun to be with. He is open-minded and likes to try new things. He fights fair and doesn’t think we have to agree on everything in order to be happy together.

He respects me. He accepts my shortcomings and loves me despite them. We enjoy each other's company and conversation, but are happy just being alone and quiet together. I love kissing him. His sex drive matches mine, and he thinks I’m incredibly gorgeous no matter what I’m wearing. We can’t believe how lucky we are to have each other. We make each other laugh, we make each other think, and we hold each other when we need to cry. His strengths compensate for my shortcomings and vice versa. My hand fits perfectly in his.

And there’s an excellent reason why we haven’t met yet. Or if not, this is the exactly right time for us to get together, for reasons that may or may not be revealed.

I guess we'll see if it works. I don't think I'm asking too much, but if I am, I'm sure my readers will let me know.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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