Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, June 22, 2018



            Significant and debilitating pain in my left thigh that arose for no obvious or observable reason, lasted for 24 hours and gradually decreased over the next 48 hours until it was gone.

            Helen Googled the symptoms and learned that it might be a mononeuropathic episode. Such a delightful word-mononeuropathy-and I prefer to have maladies with great names, so I decided that’s what it was. Besides, I have an arthritic spine, and surely a mononeuropathy could emanate from that, so there.
However, when the medical diagnosticians in North Carolina [a retired English teacher and retired geologist] learned of this episode in an email [not from me], they consulted their physical therapist daughter, who suggested I might have encountered a TIA. When the Russian historian/novelist/LPN daughter in Iowa heard this, she demanded an immediate appointment for me with the doctor. [“Say ‘Hello’ to her for me, TOMORROW morning!”]

On T evening, June 12, I began to have twinges in my left quadriceps. Not pain. More of a tightness. A tendency of my leg to buckle when I put weight on it. I could not think of any trauma or incident that would cause it so assumed it was just an overworked muscle from walking.
Wednesday morning, June 13, I figured I could “walk it off.” It was stiff, but I walked 35 of my usual 65 minutes, after which it seemed normal. By noon, though, it had become not just tight but painful, and each time I put weight on it, it hurt and buckled. Soon I could get around the house only with a cane in one hand and whatever piece of furniture I could grab in the other. It hurt even when I was just sitting and tried to adjust its position. Helen even had to put the garbage out on the curb and get the mail from our rural box, which is located several miles from our condo door, which made me feel like a really bad invalidish husband.
Thursday morning, June 14, it wasn’t too bad. I could hobble around the house without the cane. It gradually got better on Thursday and Friday, until back to my normal old-man gait.

The only things I did to dismiss the pain and tightness was take one Aleve on Wednesday morning and try to sit with better posture, and give up all my other bad habits, just in case God was punishing me for one of them, such as stomping on an ant with my left leg when I was four years old. [God has a long memory, which is why God and elephants get along so well together.]

THE NOTORIOUS RIV [Raluca Ioana Vucescu] and the TMI
            Having little recourse, on M morning at 8:30 I called the office of my physician/gerontologist, The Notorious RIV, and asked to speak with Nurse Willis, [who is the main character in The Fireman, the post-apocalyptic novel—long enough to be apocalyptic all by itself--by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, or maybe that’s a different nurse Willis] assistant to Dr. V, thinking that would satisfy Katie and Helen when Megan said, “It’s just because you’re “older than Springstein” [taking off on one of my favorite Alan Sherman comedy songs—“Younger than Springstein, am I….]
“Laura of the Office” asked me what my concern was. “I might have had a TMI,” I told her. There was a long silence. I was surprised. “She works in a medical office. She ought to know what a TMI is.”
            “What do you mean when you say TMI?” she asked.
            “Well, you know, a mini-stroke.” “Duh.”
            “Do you mean a TIA?”
            Oh, good grief, Now they’ll think I had one for sure.
            That seemed to be the case. Laura said they’d call back. They did. Immediately. “Come on down. The doctor will see you now.”
            She did. She saw Helen, too, since she wanted to go along for the ride, so if things went long, we could leave directly to go to meet Glenn and Allyson for lunch at Crazy Horse, at which site Helen always orders anything that has bacon jam on it. She also wanted to see what Dr. V would do.
            She saw a lot. Dr. V did about everything but have me dance the merengue. She’s noted for being especially thorough, although I questioned whether a mononeuropathy might have emanated into my left thigh from my prostate.
            “Well,” she said, “whatever it was, it’s gone. You’re cured.”

BEWARE THE DOLLAR TREE [Or maybe it’s not really The Tree’s fault.]
            As we told Allyson and Glenn about our morning, I remembered that a couple of months ago, I bought foam inserts for my running shoes at Dollar Tree. But having paid no attention when I pulled them off the rack, I got one that was double-thick. I put it into my right shoe and the single-thick insert into my left, for no particular reason. Maybe walking lop-sided all this time… I walk 3.5 miles per day… could that have caused…

John Robert McFarland

No, I’m not really writing again, but Katie gave me David Sedaris’ Calypso for Father’s Day. As I read it, I thought, Oh, I write like that. You just need to have strange stuff happen to you, and anything is strange if you tell the story right.

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