bunt sign

Friday, March 9, 2001

I'm starting to get worried (Mom, go away now, if you know what's good for you) about the pain in my neck/shoulder/arm that's been getting worse over the last few days. Not worried enough to go to the doctor, oh no. I can still lift my arm, I can still feel my fingers, and I'm still breathing. So, no doctor.

At first I thought I'd pulled something. That's still a possibility, but I'm leaning toward some kind of "condition" (which would get me to a doctor, once I was convinced). It's mostly in my left shoulder, so it could have something to do with the joint. It goes up from that point, into my neck, and down into my upper arm.

It's a dull ache most of the time, getting sharper when I move my arm into certain positions (which I try to avoid, because I'm smart like that). There are a few positions in which I have no pain, but it looks stupid to walk into the grocery store with my left arm draped over the top of my head. Not to mention: hard to hold the cooler door open and lift out the super-size jug of orange juice that way.

I don't do a lot of heavy-duty physical stuff. (Hey, maybe that's your problem right there, buddy.) I mean, I'm not out rock climbing every other Saturday, or fly-fishing, or swimming laps. Even the weed-pulling I've been doing requires very little exertion, the ground still being mostly mud.

Whatever's wrong, it hasn't kept me from sleeping, or from anything, really. Yet. So far. Keeping the peanut butter on a lower shelf has helped, and I haven't had to change any light bulbs lately. I can still tie my shoes, although it hurts when I do. And I'm still hopeful this will go away by itself before it does get in my way too much. Because it's really getting old, y'know?

Why is it more fun to write about my physical problems than about my mental state? This is real pain I'm talking about, not something I cooked up out of whole cloth in my addled brain. (Ewwww!) Half the time I think I'm whining just to hear myself say something. In reality, I believe I'm only as maladjusted as I make myself out to be. Breathing the words is all that makes it so.

This is not the same. I know my shoulder hurts. No further analysis is required. I don't have to justify the pain with psychobabble. There's no good reason to talk around it endlessly, come back to it from different angles, and try to figure out why I'm such a weak, pitiful person that I deserve to be this way.

If I did anything to deserve this pain, it's history now, not a neurosis that makes me hurt myself over and over the same way all the time. (At least, I don't think it is! Wouldn't that be awful, to find out the very real pain is the result of mental self-torture. How twisted would that be?)

One thing is true, though. The more I think about it, the more it hurts. So I'm going off to think happy thoughts now, about birds and stuff.

The full moon's hazy glow last night doesn't quite translate to pixels.

full moon

But it's kind of a cool picture anyway. (Don't you think so, Mom? And how's your numb thumb, by the way?)

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And I know it's a fine line divides
The place I'm looking for and what's inside,
And I know it's a long, long way
Through the outskirts of everyday.