Sunday, December 7, 2008

Planting My Face

Twice in the last two days, I have tripped and fallen flat on my face. Michael called this “planting my face,” which was a new one for me. It was certainly an accurate description of my two events, as each involved landing flat out with my face on the sidewalk (first time) or floor (second time). Ouch. Our operating theory is that this has been a combination of bad luck and me being tired and a little sick. Other possible explanations wouldn’t be so nice, so we’re working on that one while staying watchful. It is true that, both days, the out-and-about portions of my day slightly exceeded available energy, so renewing the focus on the slow hare model seems sensible. And I’m still way behind on answering my email, including a really thoughtful response to the recommendation of Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) from the left coast. My adventures have left me with one badly bruised knee, sore joints, a pulled muscle in my chest and a very sore right shoulder. Happily, we have newly gained knowledge of a whole series of exercises for the shoulder, so they are keeping it exercised and loose.

Something about doing the shoulder exercises stimulated a lost memory of a trip to the emergency room, probably five years ago, when a sharp pain in my shoulder during the day caused the dial-a-nurse line to worry about a heart attack. It wasn't, and the pain eventually went away on its own, but in retrospect, we got to wondering if this might have been tumor-related? The surgeon told us in an early visit that the part of my brain being most pressured by the tumor was that which controls the right shoulder and arm. Could that have been another early symptom that we explained away, lacking any linking evidence?

Thanks for the movie recommendations! We went with the John Adams mini-series, which we’re enjoying, though the greater context provided by my recent reading of the book has also helped us a lot. Seeing the dramatization of the live smallpox inoculation was stunning and sent us running to the book, for its longer explanation of the process, as well as to Dr. Google. We also visit Dr. Google to find out about the historical accuracy of pierced earrings in the revolutionary period, as it looked so modern to us. Live and learn: Shea says that piercing was common for hundreds of years, giving sway to screw-back earrings only in the 1920s. Curious how these things go: it required months of lobbying to get my mother to permit me to get pierced ears, because in her day, nice girls didn’t have either pierced ears or wear ankle bracelets. Ankle bracelets never appealed, but pierced earrings were the hallmark of fashion when I was in seventh grade.

In the interests of balancing energy, activities this week are being rationed and regrets sent to several that would otherwise have been nice to be able to do. Friday brings a half-day-plus of ethics presentations at the VA in Danville, so the beginning of the week needs to be lower-key, ruling out a meeting in Chicago the day before that I’d hoped to be able to attend. Next time, it will take priority over something else in its week. If practice makes perfect, this balance thing will be a wonder to behold by the time I’m fully recovered. That will be interesting to see.

Our good wishes to all for a peaceful and restorative Sunday and a great week to come.

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