Wednesday, January 29 2020

ramen, realignment, and king of the hill



Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. I hope you are feeling healthy and strong, and having a productive week. This morning, I’m far from 100%, but I’m going to try to jump on line and do some work. If I had to go into the office today, I wouldn’t dream of it, but since Wednesday is usually my work from home day, I think I can manage. I have a code screen right before lunch, but for the rest of the day I’m pretty much free to find something to work on.

This is probably the sickest I’ve ever been since I began daily journaling, and I’m not going to lie, I thought I would have to really dig deep this morning finding something to talk about. But I’m pleasantly surprised that writing doesn’t really take a lot of energy for me these days. After all, I’ve rambled about how writing is kind of like a muscle, and following through with that analogy, muscles get stronger, and soon they don’t take as much energy to do the same amount of work. Or it could just be the Day-quill kicking in. I’ve been popping those things like candy, and I think the dose I took with my first cup of coffee is giving me some wings.

So yesterday morning, I still had to leave the house at practically the same time I do on every Tuesday. I was dreading social interaction of any kind, even small talk with a doctor. But focused on climbing back into bed after the appointment, I resolved to just get through it.

My doctor is a tall, young guy, and I had forgotten how chatty he was. Lucky for me, he was the kind of chatty that can carry a conversation solo. As he dispensed instructions on where to sit, stand, lie, and bend over, he rambled about his profession and the benefits of the spine manipulation he performs.

“This feels tender right here,” he said, gently patting a spot in my upper back. “I’ve felt a twinge there for a while,” I said. He guided my arms up to my chest, then gently and systematically torqued my back up and to the left. The twinge spot on my back lit up, flooded with the warmth of a good stretch. “That one was a real puzzle,” I said through a grimace. I didn’t even know it was possible to stretch that part of your back.

As I laid back on the table, the doctor grabbed the balls of my feet and compared them. “Did you know one leg is a little longer than the other?” he asked. “That would be news to me,” I said, cracking a wry, unseen smirk from my end of the examination table. “I think it’s probably just your hips, let me see if I can realign them.” The doctor pressed down on my hips, like he was giving them CPR. The tingling sensation made me squirm. Feeling my hips crunch under his arms, I suddenly felt so fragile and carnal, like a piece of meat lying on a butcher’s table. He concluded the session by stretching my legs in a circle.

“This must be kind of a workout for you, huh? I’m a big dude…” I said as he hoisted my leg in the air. The doctor interrupted me with an observation. “Nah,” he said heaving my other leg in the air. “Young healthy guys like you are actually a lot of fun to work on. Your body responds to what we do immediately.”

I thanked the doctor and he sent me on my way. It’s hard to judge if the therapy did anything for my spasms, since they have already subsided from taking daily magnesium supplements, but either way, I was eagerly looking forward to heading home for a nap. Coming home, I trudged upstairs and crumpled back into bed, sleeping through the rest of the morning.

I woke up some time around noon. Rodney was playing in our bed, trying to read me books. After shrugging him off of me, I relocated downstairs to the couch to watch TV. I ran out of YouTube videos to watch, then spent some time looking for new cooking channels to follow. I came up empty, I think my usual set of Chef John, Stefan, Maangchi, Bruno, Munchies, and sometimes Babish is too complete. Giving up, I instead put King of the Hill on shuffle. It would remain on the rest of the day. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has a TV show reserved for sick days. King of the Hill is slow. There’s not many surprises, but it’s still satisfying, like a big bowl of chicken soup for your brain.

Later in the afternoon, I journeyed to the kitchen to make a bowl of spicy ramen for lunch. Marissa was in the kitchen putting groceries away. I dabbed some hot sauce into the hot broth while the noodles simmered. Marissa started coughing from the aroma. “What did you put in that?” asked Marissa through teary eyes. “Just some hot sauce,” I laughed. “I wanted to flush my nose out - you know I can’t even smell that.”

I laid on the couch through the rest of the afternoon, finally getting up to make dinner at six. Despite feeling fatigued and achy, the routine of preparing dinner carried me like a slow train. We ate pasta fazoul at the dinner table.

I limped through my dutch lesson, then returned to the couch for the rest of the night. I opened a beer thinking it might help settle my stomach, but I soon regretted it and switched back to tea. Laying on the couch under a blanket, I could hear Marissa running the sink and cleaning dishes. Cleaning the dishes, taking care of Rodney, and picking up groceries, Marissa was the hero of my sick day.

Today, I’m feeling just barely well enough to work. I’m hoping that I can take a story and quietly chip away at it from the couch. I’ll have to dig deep to find the energy to do a code screen, but it shouldn’t be so bad. Right now, I’m looking forward to shutting my laptop at 4, and maybe stealing a nap.

Right now, I’m thinking of everyone else reading this. You probably didn’t get to stay home yesterday, and it’s just a regular work week for you. I don’t like when we can’t bond and commiserate together over each day of the work week, but we’re both here now. It’s Wednesday - the week is practically half way over and before you know it, it will be the weekend and we can all nap to our heart’s content.

Hope you have a great day today. Drink plenty of water and take lots of breaks to stretch your back and arms.