Mon, 9 Feb 2009 18:57:40 -0800
One senses a minor decrepitude these days. Friday at 2, my ninth week (by some measure; fifth by another) in the last 3 months of being primary traffic-oncall ended, I put the Internet in a lined, beribboned basket and handed it off to Denny, closed my computer, and curled up on my new soft red couch, courtesy of Manisha and her hip surgery. Breathed a sigh of relief or ten. Went to yoga thinking to stretch and twist out the slight cramp that had been lingering in my chest all week -- on the right side, so not exactly presaging imminent death, but still somehow a small artifact of stress. The pain only worsened as I held one urdhva dhanurasana after another, and by the time I'd showered and found a slinky black dress and subtle stockings to wear to the ballet that night, even laughing hurt.
Rob's brother-in-law diagnosed me over the phone as I cabbed it downtown: costochondritis, he said, inflamed cartilage holding my ribs to my sternum. Pure stress, internalized. Sitting in the audience with Laura that night, then, I watched as muscled dancers right around my age leapt and swung their limbs wildly, enumerating the ways in which my body just wouldn't do that now. Funny, I didn't used to feel this old.
The doctor told me this morning, drawing from a composite of my MRI, bone scan, and X-ray, that he'd recommend the torn lateral meniscus in my right knee for arthroscopic surgery.
I'm only half done with the gum grafts the dentist recommended last summer. The stitches are still in my mouth from the coronal repositioning I had done two weeks ago, the morning a lovely boy on his way to the airport (aren't they all?) kissed me goodbye and dropped me off to have my gums torn up and resewn, before I got on a shuttle with NSAIDs in my empty stomach, arriving at work upset about the state of my mouth, my digestion, and my love life.
I still don't know what to do about the ball of my foot, still occasionally painful even after something like two years.
I feel, physically, if not old, then at least no longer young.
Being oncall -- this state of mind that should be reserved for legitimate adrenaline junkies (the flood of it into my head will actually hurt after the second or third page of the day, and I'll reach whimperingly for the single-origin chocolate on my desk); that which surrounded the discovery of my first grey hair (even if I can't find it on my head now, I know it's there) -- suddenly got a lot less crazy, with the end of this rotation. I'll fix the knee, probably via surgery. My gums are mostly healed. But still, somehow I'm no longer a rubbery-band-y 23 ...