Shtick for the Dead

From the “I’m-Afraid-This-Really-Just-Happened” Department:

Husband, about to head out.
Me: Happy…happy?…Happy Judy’s Birthday to you.
Husband: (sighs)
Me: How old would she have been? She was born in… ’51?
Husband: She was 10 years older than you so…
Me: (interrupting) No, that’s Jan.
Husband: So…
Me (interrupting): She’s SEVENTY? That can’t be.
Husband: You just said…
Me (interrupting): She’s 7 years older than me. So she would have been…68!?
Andy: You’re 62, dear. So she was born in ’52 and would have been 69.
Me: Oh, just take your math and go!

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Judy. I trust this amused you. ❤

Same As It Ever Was

7 years ago, a friend challenged me to list three things most people didn’t know about me. As an open book, I had to dig. I uncovered the following:

1. When I was a child, I had telepathic conversations with my sister Judy on a regular basis. When I was in 3rd grade, she gave me a book called “Hidden Channels of the Mind.” It scared the telepathy out of me for a couple of years.

2. I had 8 siblings, all of whom were overachievers and I was just an achiever, so thought I lacked intelligence. That wasn’t the case but I didn’t find out until I left my hometown and my circle of friends didn’t know my siblings to compare me to – or perhaps it was I who stopped doing the comparisons.

3. In college, I took an autobiography class and the first line I wrote was, “I am at the pre-fame stage of my career.”

Status quo.

She’s So Judgmental

Zabby-the-Dog just walked into the kitchen where I was cutting off a piece of a King Arthur Flour croissant, pretending I wasn’t going to eat the entire thing, and I said to her, “I’m just emotionally eating. Care to join me?” and she shook her head in what I can only imagine was complete disgust and turned and walked away.

Wearing Steve’s Shoes

When one has been in pain for 27+ years, it’s sometimes difficult to determine what is just another version of the old and what needs attention.

I first broached the subject of medical marijuana with my primary care years ago after my miracle drug, Naproxen, was no longer recommended as my kidneys were suffering from prolonged use. Her practice was partially federally funded so could not certify, and the idea of adding another physician to my already ridiculously long roster was less than appealing. I asked for a substitute for Aleve – something not processed through the kidneys – and she said she’d look into it. It remained an unanswered request so I went on – literally for years – without proper pain management, in spite of my dear friend (late-great Randy Alexander) assuming the role of President for SAFE ACCESS TENNESSEE (Cannabis IS Medicine) and singing its praises to me. In spite of having nothing calming my head-to-toe inflammation and suffering, his sharing with me everything one needed to know about it as a viable alternative therapy for chronic unrelenting pain still did not spark my interest. Until recently.

When I finally processed that my 5 months of increasing shoulder pain needed to be looked into, I wasn’t really surprised when the MRI came back showing 3 separate rotator cuff tears, but there was no chance that I would agree to surgery before the Covid coast was clear. What to do…what to do…

In addition to a referral for physical therapy, my primary physician wrote a referral to a certifying practice and I had a telehealth appointment this week. Some of the questions were basic (“Do you still work or are you retired?” “Do you live alone?” e.g.). Some of them seemed irrelevant to me (“What is your highest level of education?”). One in particular served as a straight line, and I was happy to respond:

DOCTOR: “Have you ever hurt yourself intentionally?”
ME: “Only self-deprecation, but I don’t think that’s what you’re asking.”

Did you know you can see someone’s deadpan reaction over the phone?

I don’t know if I’ll try the medicine once I receive my registration. There is a fear
: Years ago, a friend wrote regarding his chance at a different medication for a different ailment and was having the identical worry. “What if it doesn’t work?” he wrote.

“Steve,” I wrote, “What if it DOES!?”

I’m in your shoes now, Steve.

Under the Radar

The older I get, the less unique I want to be. I want to find that my thinking and behavior is shared. To that end, I wonder if it’s true for the majority of functional adults who were bullied, teased, or abused in their early years if, in a subconscious attempt to protect themselves from the unavoidable pain they believe is coming, they are a bit slow in understanding the totality of what is happening: so conditioned to exclusively focus on the task at hand or extract the positive from any given situation in order to optimally function in spite of the perceived oncoming brunt of the verbal or physical onslaught from the worst of their fellow humans…so conditioned to make more happiness than most to counterbalance the sadness…or just hoping to become invisible…to pass under the radar.