Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seriously Dude?

Every morning , on my way to work, I drop B off at the high school.  We stop on our way to school and pick up his best friend, Chris.  B usually drives, since he's working towards a license in the spring.

This morning, Chris got into the back seat and said, "Dude! Where were you last night?  Why weren't you at rehearsal?"

"Dude!  Seriously? Rehearsal?" my mildly sleepy son repeated.

"Dude!" Chris admonished him, "Band practice!  Seriously!  For the concert tonight?  Where were you?"

"Dude!" said B, "I thought that was next week.  Oh crap!  Mom, we seriously have a concert tonight!"

I sighed as I recalled the old Rosanne Barr bit about some animals eating their young.  "What time do you need to be there tonight?" I asked them.


"I dunno, Dude," Chris said.  "We'll check at school today.  Prolly around 6:30."

"I hope Mr. P isn't too pissed off at me for missing rehearsal, Dude," said B.

"Dude, he was like asking me where you were and stuff, and I was like I dunno Dude."

As B pulled up to the school, I asked them, "Can either of you use a sentence without DUDE in it?"

"Have a good day, Dude," my son told me with a self-satisfied smirk.  Apparently the answer to that question would be no, they can't.

(Please insert clever transition of subject here.  I can't think of one.}

If you Google Rheumatoid Arthritis (go ahead, you know you want to), you will get all kinds of crap, some very helpful information (mostly from the Mayo Clinic), lots of great blogs, and then a lot of propaganda-like misinformation from people who want to sell you supplements. The whole goal is managing your RA.  In fact, most of the articles you read are about how rheumatoid arthritis is managed.

I would like to know how one actually gets to the point of managing one's RA.  Mine is currently managing me, and I don't have it nearly as rough as some of the RA bloggers I read.  I can barely walk most of the time, and it hurts like hell when I do.  I smile and pretend I'm fine because it's too hard to explain to the other 300 people in our office who look at me strangely as I limp away.  But my hands, while stiff and swollen, still work.  I am still able to type fairly well, talk on the phone, attend meetings, and generally work all day even though I'm thoroughly and completely crispy fried to a crackly crunch at the end of it.  How long can I keep doing this?  I feel quite out of control with the physical manifestations of this disease.  RA decides how long it takes me to get ready in the morning.  It decides how early I go to bed at night.  It decides what's for dinner and even who is going to cook it.  RA decides if I'm going to attend a meeting or cancel it and reschedule and do that again four times before my boss thinks I'm avoiding a project.  RA stabs at me while in those meetings as it will jab me tonight at my son's band concert.  It will also decide if  I should sleep tonight and how well.  When and how do I get to the point of managing it instead of the other way around?

I know, I know.  It's a process.  I hear that a lot.  I'm just not enlightened enough for the "mindful journey" my lovely Buddhist daughter tells me this disease can be for me.  Have you ever tried to sit still and meditate when you're in a great deal of pain?  I know they say it can help, but it's hard for me to clear my mind of the "Ouch, oh crap, ouch," mantra that takes over the rest of my day.  I don't want to be mindful of my pain, thank you.  I'd rather have mindless oblivion, but I'm not going to get that while trying to function all day.  Dude!  Seriously?  How does this get managed?  My doc has been trying.  The meds are supposed to be kicking in.  But they aren't yet.

And my husband just let me know that he's going to leave work a couple of hours early and get a nap before the band concert.  He's really tired.  Dude!  Seriously?  I can't do that.  I am resentful and jealous as hell that he can not only leave work merely because he feels like napping, but that he's healthy and doesn't need one anywhere near as badly as I do right now.  See?  Failing at marriage #2...

Dude.  Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. diseases are nationalities: i said that, but since it sounded pompous and quotable, i attributed it to a famous writer. turns out, the woman i was trying to impress, she had read every word the guy had ever written. had known him personally, had been locked in an iron box with him for sixty days, gave him half her blood marrow even though he didn't ask for it. so she knew the attribution was phony and thought considerably less of me.

    all this for being profound: each disease is its own home country. i've dual citizenship, bipolaria and the high constellation of colon cancer. my first (first!) girlfriend with whom i've stayed in touch all these years, she's from the land of multiple sclerosis. you want to talk about waiting for the drugs to take effect, or wear off, the girl's a frickin oncology pharmacist, even she's confused.

    thank you lord for not making me diabetic, no matter what type. diabetics are no fun when it comes to oral sex, this is a little known fact. all they ever think about is ben & jerry's.

    rheumatoid arthritis, you have my respect. like the irish, your women are gorgeous and your men fearsome milers, but still, when the chips are down, you do know how to have a good time.

    once i had a full body x-ray. as i chanced to walk out through the these-doors-must-be-kept-closed doors, i chanced to see a narrow corridor lined with lightboards, one skeleton after another, hanging monochrome blue illuminated as if in decoration, saints of a fashion, not marching, no, merely just hanging around.

    i paused, looking for myself. wouldn't you think you could recognize your own bones? you can't. they're all the same, anonymous and mute.

    my doc saw no cancer in my bones, that's the good news, that's the only news, there is no other news excepting you're gone baby gone right now. you have a friend with metastatic cancer, making small talk about the knicks and the weather, pay attention, fool, he lets slip "gone to bone," it's time to get some shriving done.

    that's all we need to say on that subject.

    as for my happy skeleton and the chiromancy of unsullied bones, well, the doc he said as he eyeballed the shadowboxing celluloid dustless backlit fossil: you've got arthritis in your neck and hips. just like that, a freebie diangosis, like a foxwoods escort lifting her wet-cheeked head on one elbow to say, we should do this again, or, perhaps, that mole on your back, you should have it looked at.

    me and my failing bod, i like to imagine that if i were italian-catholic i'd be complaining a whole lot more. what if i'm a paragon of stoicism, a drama in real life. stranger things surely must be out there, after all, there's an infinite multiplicity of possible universes, why can't this be the one in wh i'm suffering like a goddamn baby seal, i mean, navy seal, the ones who suffer so exquisitely.