Illness as meditation

oj smallI had a smallish chunk of communicatrix carved out of my shoulder yesterday. It's not a particularly alarming event; given I get more sun walking from my front door to the car than most of my ancestors got in a lifetime, these occasional hinky patches of skin are to be expected.

What is alarming, and annoying, and frustrating, is having the lines of my physical limitations redrawn so abruptly. Like any 'illness' that descends swiftly, there's no time to adjust from being the together, go-go me who can burn through a to-do list with amazing speed to the sad-ass gimp who is continually making adjustments and compromises to get by. Instead of just reaching for a can of tuna, my Quasimodo-pressure-dressing hump and I have to wait for my left hand to drag the stool to the shelves, step up and grab it, then hand it off to the (gimpy, for all intents and purposes) right hand.

One of the most annoying aspects to my five-month recovery from Crohn's disease was having to sleep on my back. (There was simply too much gastrointestinal activity to risk stomach sleeping.) Last night, my hump and I had to sleep not only on my actual side, propped up with pillows all around like a baby on a king-sized bed, but on the wrong side. Suffice it to say it was not one of my more restful nights, and was mainly filled with odd dreams of attending a veddy British country wedding, with lots of pomp and changes of clothes. What-ever.

On the other hand, the hump is a good reminder to see things differently. Of necessity, I must slow down. And it's prepping me for the even more annoying task of being almost better: while the hump comes off tomorrow, I still have to baby that shoulder for the next eight days if I don't want to rip it all open and bleed on the furniture. Having a governor preps me for driving without one, which is a good thing when your tendency is to live your life with the pedal to the medal.

So I'm going to an audition today as a meter maid with a hump; after that, I'll head over to the printers (slowly) and play graphic designer with a hump. I suppose later on, I'll see if I'm up to play humpy freakshow at the Trader Joe's, and figure out what kind of dinner me and the hump can put together without using the cast iron pans. (I don't know; I'm thinking scallops in some kind of lime, chile and butter sauce.)

And in between, or during, I suppose I should say, I will probably see things I haven't seen, and hear things I haven't heard, just because I've slowed down enough to see and hear them. With every move, if my experience so far is any indication, I'll appreciate the movement I do have so much more, just as when I was imprisoned in the IBD ward at Cedars, I relished the few hundred feet I could walk outside in the courtyard every day, rolling my IV stand alongside of me.

Audition. Printer's. TJ's.

Hell, they're as good as Disneyland, when you get down to it.