Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fortune telling

There is always someone who loves to tell you how bad it is, and how bad it will be. My first day in the sling and my wrist is not yet cast, my hand is brutally, grotesquely swollen. A woman leans into me I BROKE MY WRIST TEN YEARS AGO she holds it out toward me AND IT HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME, HURTS EVERY DAY she says. GET AWAY FROM HER he is a doctor and he applies pressure to my thumb nail. The blood drains and quickly rushes back, hot and pink. YOU ARE GOING TO HEAL JUST FINE.


So much for the theory that I can force my wrist to POP back into place. Last night in the middle of the night, only half aware, I tried to treat a persistent ache that had started anew by wrenching my fist inward and woke up screaming in pain. Pain bloomed through the entire joint, weaving roots through the delicate and complex network of bones. DON’T MASSAGE THE JOINT the doctor told me, THAT IS ONE THING I CAN TELL YOU FOR SURE, WRISTS DON’T LIKE TO BE POKED…LIKE YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW. STOP THAT.

Today I can’t pull the cap off my chap stick tube and I can’t lift my cup to my mouth and I can’t remove my right glove, all things which I keep trying to do with my left hand because I am left handed and apparently not quite as smart as a lab rat. Eating and driving hurt smartly, which is neat and all, but I especially can’t interpret very well, and I can’t very well not interpret. What the hell else am I going to do? I tightened the compression brace on my way over to the office and picked up five more jobs for the coming week. Money will solve this. America told me.

As I was walking back to the car my phone rang. It was the doctors’ office calling with lab results for a recent cholesterol blood test which I agreed to take on a lark, like YEAH RIGHT, ME? I AM A F*CKING POSTER CHILD FOR GOOD HEALTH… So when the receptionist informed me that my cholesterol was “a little high” I simultaneously felt every joint settle with a rusty sigh and my scalp drain of hair pigment and thought to myself GETTING OLD IS AWESOME.

I can’t even remember the last time I ate an egg.
I don’t even eat white flour, ever!

So I have high cholesterol, and track marks in both arms because it took no less then three jabs and a wigglewiggle to find a vein, a vein which was hardly enthusiastic about pumping blood at all. My blood pressure is on the low end of normal and my heart hardly beats, just stirs in its sleep once and awhile. All that blood is collecting in my left hand because I can’t get enough compression to ease the pain in my wrist unless the veins on the back of my hand bulge leaving the rest of my body freezing cold during the coldest SNAP of the year.

And cold! Holy Crap!!
Jenny, I feel you... its like, 29 degrees here not counting the wind chill factor. Viva Chicago, yo!

Being that this morning I went to work inside of a pure concrete building that radiates a dangerously resentful chill year-round on top of a hill that is scoured by freezing winds, I wore silk long johns, top and bottom, and stole my husbands down jacket so that I was functionally comfortable if hardly functional. Even pushing the puffy sleeves back my hands were barely visible inside the huge cuffs and my legs looked like pin sticks totally out of scale with my marshmallow down-puff torso. Who cares what my face is doing wrapped inside a ten foot wound-round scarf. There was little for me to do today but sit there and think in pictures anyway.

But I am telling this all backward. That was first.
THEN I went to the office.
THEN I got the call on my way to the car.
THEN I went home.

Now I am sitting in front of the heater, layers of clothing, swaddled in a blanket, drinking hot tea. The hot tea is a lie. I am only thinking about hot tea, about drinking it in a hot bath, about starting a fire just to swallow a few coals. COLD AND PAIN I BANISH THEE.

No such luck. This wrist will be hurting in ten years. It will tell me all about the cold, the weather. Just wait, it will be me trying to warn you.

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