Sunday, May 2, 2010

A new dis-ease

I lost a few days of work this week, thanks to some sort of nasty ... I don't know what to call it. A cold? Usually, what I get (and get well before this time of year), the Chinese medical community would call "heat" (one of the Six Pernicious External Influences). All I know is, it involved coughing, kleenex-box-emptying nose blowing, watery eyes, headaches aplenty, and some really nasty-smelling herbs to chase it away--which I think said herbs are well on their way to doing. My acupuncturist excels at healing the spirit, but for things like coughs and other mechanical issues, my herbalist is without peer.

Now, as one of my Chinese (from "Red China," as he laughingly described it) friends would say, "I don't go to a Chinese doctor when I've got a hole in my side." But what they can cure, they can cure better and faster than anybody else. And, I hasten to add: nearly 100% of the time, completely without side effects.

At least it wasn't neurological. I can easily accept that it was facilitated in its attack on me by the MS, but the malfunction (thank God) wasn't in the nervous system. It did cost me three days of work, though, and it may cost me a trip to a local premiere of one of my compositions this evening. I want to go, but... probably best to let it go, alas.

One of the worst things I've been going through lately is disengagement from the outside world ("outside" being "outside of my house," at least, although "outside of my head" is a problem too). I'm living in a state of "sort of" dizzy. (I am so frakking sick of being in "sort of" states. On some level, I want to be broken, or not broken. "Sort of" broken, I've had it with.)

Walking is physically and mentally pretty strange, right now. Driving? Haven't done it since Wednesday. I don't know whether my current disinterest in driving is perceptive of hidden limitations and prudent caution, or some sort of irrational floating vague terror. Whenever I have gotten behind the wheel in the last week, I was certainly competent to drive... but as I sit here, and think "I'll just go to the store for x y z," I immediately think "But I'll have to drive there," and then decide not to go.

I did the dishes today. I made rice, I made ochazuke, tonight I'll probably make rice porridge with daikon and ginger broth--a great easy meal for people not feeling so good. Things that don't require dealing with a barrage of sensory input, I have no problem with. And y'know, truth be told, if the MS really went south and I couldn't continue working but I could still be a househusband, that'd be just fine. In the "dealing with MS" biz, you take the gifts you're given. But fortunately, we're not there yet, and as my neurologist constantly reminds me, with all things neurological, you never know what's going to happen, so there's no point in using words like yet, yet.

Gotta go back to school, Monday. Gotta drive there. The good part is, I absolutely adore my students and they're worth whatever I have to go through to be with them. We need to start the final project of the year, and my primary objective is for them to have fun (and simultaneously learn something without even noticing that they're doing it).

MS or not, bad walking or not, fear of driving or not, "sort of" dizziness or not--if there's one thing I can do, it's come up with, and have a ball doing, fun-generating stealth-learning projects.

And in the "dealing with MS" biz, you take the gifts you're given.

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