Feeling a little pained today

Today, I got nothing.    

More accurately, I got a head full of Vicodin, courtesy of my personal physician, to treat my ailing spine. I’ve had another flare-up of lower back muscle spasming, just like I seem to have every six months or so. I recited the same symptoms I experienced from last October to Dr. Jackson as he helped me onto his exquisitely tissued examining table. He moved my legs up and down and pronounced the diagnosis. I could’ve done this myself (the pronouncing, not the leg-moving) but I don’t own a prescription pad with all the fancy DEA numbers he has. He threw in a side order of diclofenac sodium just to make sure I’d be sufficiently immobilized. A few days of rest, he predicts, and I’ll be back on my feet again.    

Here’s a link to the post I wrote last time this happened, if you’re really that interested in the details: https://davisw.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/back-to-the-future/    

In the meantime, I’m having trouble focusing, which doesn’t hinder blog production in most people, but is giving me some trouble. Still, I haven’t failed for over a year now to produce an original piece each and every weekday, and I’m not about to allow a little blinding agony stop me. It’s just that I may be a little scattered. Just like that Rolling Stones song: “I’ve been scattered … What does it matter? … Scattered.”    

I also like that song by Paul Young, from the eighties, I think it was: “Every time you go away/You take a piece of meat with you.”    

Some day soon I’m going to write a piece about how much I enjoy typing. I’m pretty fast, pretty accurate, and have always gotten a thrill all out of proportion to the routine act as I bang away at keys on a computer keyboard. My favorite word to type is “management.” Something about how you have to use fingers from alternate hands for just about each letter. Management. Management. The last half I do really fast. You should see me. I need to learn how to embed video into a blog post some day. Management.    

Several observations about my trip to the doctor’s office. They’ve installed one of those palm-reading devices at the reception desk, not the scarf-bedecked dark-haired lady with the mole on her cheek, but a high-tech machine to prove you are who you say you are. They don’t want just anyone walking in off the street and picking up their diclofenac sodium. This isn’t a Burger King, you know. That’s next door.    

Anyway, I noticed that they now ask patients if they mind having their privacy invaded by letting a scanner look at their hand whorls. This being South Carolina, I imagine a few of the older folks are afraid that Obama wants the information so he can send the black helicopter to pick you up and take you to the internment camp as soon as you’re done dropping off your stool sample. Once, the guy in front of me expressed concern the mechanism would mess with his pacemaker. Me, I’ll show my hand to anybody who’s interested. It looks sort of like this (Ψ) but I have five fingers instead of three.    

Why does every medical office I’ve been to lately have the Home and Garden Channel showing on the television? “DO NOT CHANGE THE CHANNEL” warns the sign, so we all comply meekly and admire the two-story fixer-upper a young couple much healthier than any of us is considering in the San Fernando Valley. I guess it’s the most innocuous network offering out there. News channels might provoke fistfights and heated debates, soap operas on the major networks at this time of day are too depressing (people sicker than us yet inexplicably much better looking) and animated kids’ programs might provoke fistfights and heated debates.    

When you approach the front desk to sign in, they always asks “how are you?” and everybody automatically responds “fine,” even though you know they’re not or why else would they be at the doctor? I too say I’m fine, but I mean it in the sense that I’m extremely physically attractive. “He’s so fine,” say my friends. They’re right.    

At the checkout, there’s a “WOW!” card, which allows you to officially recognize employees of the Carolinas Health System for caring, commitment, integrity, teamwork, communication, safety or service recovery. I think I officially recognize one of the physician assistants from the YMCA, though there’s no box for that. A nice lady said words in my direction as I was being weighed. I’d count that as an attempt at communication if I knew her name.    

My son asked me to stop at the Sonic drive-in restaurant on the way home to get him french toast sticks. Sonic is one of those old-timey franchises where roller-skate-wearing carhops bring your meal on a tray and attach it to your car window. As I pulled into a parking space, one of the workers had her back to me, standing halfway in the parking space and engaged in earnest conversation with what look liked a manager. She was near tears as I edged closer and closer, trying to keep my rear-end out of traffic. I think I almost touched her as I finally settled tightly into the space. Would a mere nudge from my bumper constitute hitting her with my car? They are called carhops, you know.    

Maybe this is the day I finally turn to the Bible to find solace and direction for my life. I lift the heavy volume from the shelf in our library — forsaken too long in my search for earthly delights — and turn to a random passage. “For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.” Sorry, can’t relate to that one. Let’s try another. “Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth.” (Lots of housing references here. Wonder if they had the Home and Garden Channel back then.)    

Okay, one more try, then it’s back to agnosticism: “And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.” Now we’re getting somewhere.    

I’ll finish up today’s post with a few photographs from my family collection, and apologize again for the questionable unity of this post.    

Some relatives on my wife's side, I think


My niece, and a house.


Me, standing next to some kind of pagoda thing, in Sri Lanka

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