Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grave's Disease

The Carsons leave for the summer this Monday.  They are eager to begin the long journey across the country; on the way they will visit many family and friends.  The big excitement this year is that they are going a little by sea, but mostly by car, to Alaska.  I am looking forward to post cards from the trip.

Their departure lightens my load and gives me a chance to catch up.  That’s 3 hours a week that can go to something else or another customer.  Work hours are money.  There are no vacation-hours, or days or weeks.  My son wants to go to the beach, and I am calculating, "how many days can I afford to be spending money instead of working for it?"  And then there is sickness.  Whether we give in or not, sickness controls us.   If  the affected person can’t think creatively and come up with innovative solutions, they could be squeezed doubly in the fist of disease; unless of course it is a disease that gives energy and optimism, and has the victim walking the streets at night singing and reciting poetry.  Is that a disease to want to get rid of?

Not until the muscles begin to shrivel and the heart won’t stop racing, or it is hard to get out of bed in the morning and every day spent cleaning means the following day must be scheduled for bed rest.  I guess that’s what they mean when they talk about lost productivity; but lost work hours are gained reading time.  Literacy is free, but  for the person whose sole source of income is a job, time is not. So sickness is an opportunity to read and transcend money worries.  If you can’t afford to take time off for vacations, sickness, especially if there is no pain, is an unlikely angel.  It creates slack where slack is needed. 

My life has been a straddling of the poverty line, elected, I thought, on a platform of political values. The less I made, the less I paid to Caesar. 

I really liked the quote in the Clandestino video about your country being an accident of birth, like your color.  It is something we have no control over, our own birth.  We like to think we choose our career, or path in life.  I always clung to the idea that I chose to be with a man or woman, that I chose to be a housecleaner and that I chose to have a child with out marrying the father.  Now, I question whether many of these actions were really chosen consciously, as a result of knowing intent.  I wonder how many of my behaviors were just the scratching of a synaptic itch.  

Thyroid is supposed to mean shield shaped like a door.  It makes me think of a butterfly or moth.  Thyroid.  Sheeit.  I never in my life thought about thyroids.  Why would I?  Like why would a white person think about color?  We think about our toes when they get cold, or when the nails grow, but the thyroid? 
Some prolific molecule, getting into the thyroid, is being mistaken for a messenger from the pituitary gland.  My brain is being reprogrammed by a molecule made not just in the USA, but in my own body.  Homegrown subversive elements are literally running the show.

As a result of thousands of people devoting themselves over the centuries and across cultures to scientific research, it was my extremely good fortune that my retired pathologist customer, Paul Carson, was able to recognize and identify what was happening.  He had taken an interest in the thyroid during his years of practice and I was lucky enough to be in his house once a week complaining of the heat. Thanks to Paul, I had a very good idea of what would happen before I even got past the poverty guards to the doctor.  I would be taking this 'pill.'

It proved very difficult to get, that radioactive pill, but it did the trick and put me back on the 21st century highway of productivity.