Back in the late 80s/early 90s, my then-husband and I had a few TV shows that we watched regularly. L.A. Law brought its fast-paced dialogue and array of characters to interesting story lines, while thirtysomething consistently presented its small cadre of Philadelphia yuppies, going through the motions of their quietly intense lives.
I liked both series for different reasons, though I think I was more entertained by the L.A. Law collection of personalities. Sure, I was intrigued by the thirtysomething crew, but I couldn’t exactly relate to their circumstances. And the earnestness they brought to everything they did (particularly in the scenes of domestic life) became tiring at times. Still, then-hubby and I kept watching.
There was a dialogue once between Hope (the ultimate earthy-crunchy mother) and her friend, Ellyn (who may still be looking for Mister Right). Hope was commenting on childbirth, and her statement was this, “The body does not remember pain.”
Although I’ve never given birth, and so I cannot claim to compare any discomfort I’ve experienced to whatever happens during that event, I have known pain. Stomach flu, food poisoning, and the kind of toothache that foretells a root canal leap to mind. Not fun. And I appreciate the fact that, once the malady has passed, the body cannot remember the pain.
But the flip side also is true. When one is ailing, the body cannot remember “well.” And if one is ailing – however mildly – for more than a few weeks, that amnesia can get under the skin and mess with one’s otherwise positive outlook on life.
I spent about six weeks, beginning in early April, with a plugged-up ear. Not painful; just disorienting. As that was clearing up – thanks to drops and visits to the doctor – I caught a head-cold. (It began the minute I returned the rental car I had used during the week of visiting Mom in Virginia.) After a few days of coughing and laying low, I began sneezing (you might have heard me). Apparently, a lot of people in the L.A. area are dealing with allergies these days.
The fog of those sinus issues has continued, and I’m damn tired of it. By my calculations, I’ve not remembered “well” for two months now.
I realize these are minor complaints in the great scheme of things. I know I sound whiney. But, until “well” becomes my normal again, I won’t be able to fake it. I’m pissed off, plain and simple.
… That reminds me of a phone conversation I had with my sister many years ago. I think I was still in college, in fact. She called to chat, and I happened to be sick. When I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling well, she immediately asked, “What are your symptoms?”
“Anger,” I replied, beginning the list that would include aches, chills, and other, more physical manifestations of that which had parlayed into a psychological inconvenience of equal proportions.