Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lost for a Week

My most rational decision this week was to call the doctor on Tuesday morning. Fortunately, he had an appointment open for that afternoon.

He wasn't entirely helpful, though he did stress the need to have a colonoscopy. What I wanted was a magic cure for this roiling GI track, a prescription for medicine that would work instantly and a diet plan.  I may have overemphasized my certainty that the problem is lodged  in the lower colon so he didn't start with general solutions. Luckily Mim has been consistent in suggesting bland diet tricks. If only food was (or is it were?) interesting.

My most irrational decision was to go to Jury Duty on Wednesday morning. The court house is located here in Chelsea. The bus took me most of the way, but I had to trudge in the street for a number of blocks, snow icing the sidewalks. And I sat, went to the bathroom, sat, went out for a break, sat. No one struck up conversations. A tall guy, who looked like an artist or as if he rode a bicycle in city traffic to deliver important packages, was reading the New York Times. I wanted to ask if I could read what he'd read, but he was two rows up and never made eye contact. Later, when we were called into the courtroom, he sat next to me, fussing around, looking through everything he had for the number he was given. Finally I noticed that he was sitting on his #12 ticket. "The punishment for your perfect posture," I said. His back was so straight it was wonderful to see! And he had a grizzled face, ruffed hair.

Judge Wechsler was impanneling (how do you spell that?) a jury of eight people for a case about drug dealing that would take three days. My number was 27. We'd all been asked questions - Have you worked for law enforcement? Would be you able to listen to police evidence without bias? Is there any reason you can't be on a three-day trial? When we raised our hands, our numbers were noted.

Of course, there were challenges, dismissals, discussions with the judge, lawyers and plaintive, until the jury was almost complete and I was called. 

My sense of myself, someone who obviously picks up bottles in the trash, was profound. The blue coat, which seemed to fitting (for dog walking) at the beginning of the winter, is lumpy and stained. My scarf, originally so useful, draggles. I'd picked a soiled Chelsea Library bag to lug a book and papers in. As I crossed the courtroom, to the bench of this pleasant fellow who had made any number of jokes in his short introduction after we all arrived at 8:30, my rehearsed lines evaporated and I found myself saying 'blah, blah, blah' rather than describing my symptoms. It ended, thank goodness, with me being dismissed and the fellow with the perfect posture, who raised his hand to the question about being unable to spend three days in a trail, being on the jury.

I got home too late to call the endoscopy department, but on Wednesday, made an appointment for next Tuesday, 1:30. Then, hopefully, I'll find out what's wrong, why nothing tastes good and this roiling continues.

In the meantime, the dogs have enjoyed my prone presence. I've read "The Spiral Staircase" by Karen Armstrong, compelling until the last twenty or so pages.

I am disheartened and confused and uncomfortable. I wish I were hungry. And have my fingers crossed!!! At least I have to be mobile to teach on Monday and to drink all that ghastly stuff for Tuesday.... So much for an overall plan to keep working at all costs. Apologies to all my blog folks whose writing I've ignore. I'll get back to you. 


  1. sorry to hear you're feeling poorly and good on you for going to get it all dealt with!
    i like the femur drawing and the jury duty story. is there a word for fear of having to do jury duty? i think i have that.

    wv exparseu
    i think that must be the word. i have exparseu!

  2. Melissa, dear:
    I'm hoping all goes well.
    Thank you for the view of jury duty--you get the details, so it all comes alive.
    Sending love,

  3. I can't quite tell what your GI complaints are from your post, but flaxseed (ground) works WONDERS with constipation. I use it after childbirth. Peppermint/Ginger tea is very helpful to soothe pain and encourage healthy digestion.
    Probiotics are a must for anyone with GI problems- really good probiotics, like Life Extension ( taken in larger doses. Acupuncture also works wonders with GI problems, it has for me.

    Feel better.

  4. This sounds awful and no time now for me to go into vivid descriptions of what happened to my bowels mid last year, nor my husband's five years ago.

    I'll wait till we hear that you're in the clear of anything sinister or too serious to pass over with a little medical intervention.

    In the meantime, keep us posted. I hope it all goes well and that you get to the bottom - so to speak - of your ailments.

  5. yes, i hope it all sorts itself out soon - being sick is so boring

    the writer part of me has always wanted to do jury duty - the sensitive, feel-others'-pain part of me would hate it

  6. I hope you are feeling well...

    First time visitor to your blog. Nice blog. :)

  7. Me too. Roiling. Be well. The mud dog and the star dog send their loves.

  8. thank you all...the colonoscopy is at 1;30. I'll know more...
    and I do want to hear all the stories...please...of bad bowels...and I want ginger tea....

  9. good luck on the test, one veteran to another.

  10. dear heart, thinking of you with love and hoping you feel better soon. This is just about enough misery, wouldn't you say? xxoo