Thursday, June 18, 2009

horses, goats and chickens

My family will vouch for this: I was obsessed with organic foods (or at a minimum, fresh and honest foods) and an athletic lifestyle way before either became trendy here. I wanted to age in good health. I had had enough of poor health in my early years.

It paid off. I am a horse in strength and a goat in nimbleness (and a chicken on high mountain tops, but that’s another story) and if I have anything to say about it, I’ll never need a pill sorter to keep my meds straight by the time I turn completely forgetful.

Still, the first quarter century of life has taught me to be vigilant about signals of potential problems. Perhaps too vigilant. I never ignore anything. And I like information.

So that when this spring, my doc told me I should have this one little organ within me measured for performance, I said – sure!

The measuring of it requires that I walk around with a tube up my nose (and then some) for 24 hours. Initially, I thought – no big deal. I’ll even teach with this. It will make ‘em look up.

But in April, I chickened out at the last minute (remember – at heart, a chicken). And put it off until now, when I don’t especially have to show my face anywhere if I don’t want to.

This morning, the tube went in. (Amazing how many things a tiny tube can record! All that information!)

And all I want to do is sit on my couch and count the hours until it’s time for it to come out again. And why not. I have an occasional traveling companion who should be happy to run errands for me while I hibernate.

Ed, I need several rental movies and a whole bunch of foods to get me through this.
Nina, you’re coming with me to pick what you want.
Ed, I am not showing up in public with a tube up my nose, strapped to my face, attached to a huge machine.
Nina, no one will notice.

Of course he’s wrong. I look awful. Indeed, in the grocery store, I am given priority at the meat counter. Probably to move me along out of compassion. I want to announce – I’ll wait my turn! I am not sick! I’m just measuring things!

You could say that I am learning what it’s like to have a disability, but I’ll answer that I already know what it’s like to be weak and incapacitated. Remember – I was once a sickly little thing. I don’t need another lesson.

Ed of course, finds the entire medical complex hugely fascinating. He doesn’t himself interact much with it. I offer insights into a world that is quite unfamiliar to him.

So, are you bothered by all this? – he asks.
Of course!
Yep, like I always said -- better to fall off a cliff.
Oh, I didn’t know that these are our choices in life – cliff, or tubes up your nose for a day.

We go back to the condo, I sip a latte through a straw and I think – good thing that I went to the gym before dawn today. I wouldn’t be able to put in my 50 minutes with this thing strapped to me. Now, please pass me the blueberries. Rich in antioxidants.

In the evening, I cook up a stew. I want the distraction of cooking.