I’m irritated at not being able to complete posts I begin because “real life” intervenes, so I’m just going to write this one in real time, despite interruptions. I’ll let whatever happens happen, and when I have to change channels, I will.
I have an odd perception of my body. I don’t always feel that the physical part of me is me. Sometimes I feel like if I could just… find… the door handle, I would step right out of this silly fleshmobile. There are, and have been times when I could “turn off” physical sensation almost completely. If I disliked myself as much today as I have at times in the past, I could cut myself or hold a match to my flesh without pain. I could dissociate intentionally. Thankfully, I am no longer as able to do that as I used to be.
Oops. Damn! I’m running late, and I’m hungry and thirsty. I had to fast for at least 12 hours for a blood draw so we could get lipid levels and check current metabolic rates, but we also had early patients, so it turned into 16 hours. My blood pressure average has gone up 20 points, and I’ve gained 20 pounds. It could partly be stress and partly an unexpected physical reaction to going meatless, since my carb-to-protein ratio is vastly altered. These things are complicated to balance when one is hypothyroid and slightly prone to diabetes.
What was I talking about? Something important about dissociation having advantages and disadvantages. Because of it I can work in surgery, and look at the open bodies as if they were cars being repaired. There was a lot more but I forgot it while performing exams until I could get away to eat.
I have an ordinary laundry list of irritants, but they add up. My wife is dependent on pain meds, and I don’t like communicating with her when she gets toward the outside of her dosage period. I haven’t taken an actual vacation in seven years. There are houses being built on two sides of ours, and crews begin making noise as early as 6am some days. I like getting up early, but not to the sound of power tools and banging hammers. My voice isn’t as good as it used to be. I have a right-hand tremor that’s increasing in intensity. It seriously impacts my ability to play guitar. Singing and playing used to be my main stress relievers, and I’m unhappy having to accept that I can’t do either as well as I used to, and that those abilities are in decline. The fact that all things must pass doesn’t help me to be happy about it.
(*Rringg*) What? The fluorescent safelight in the darkroom is burned out. I tried putting in a new bulb, but it appears the light fixture itself is kaput. OK, the hardware store is 10 minutes away. What?? This kind of light is unavailable except by special order, and the hardware store will have to add on a 100% mark-up? Well, at least the salesman is nice and has been a patient at our clinic, so he tells me where they would order the light. It’s 20 minutes in the opposite direction. I go there and discover the light is obsolete, though it could be fixed for around $100, which is unacceptable to the Dr. (my boss). The boss gives me the business card of a friend of his who does clinic upgrades. I call, and he will send us another light for only the cost of shipping. Hmm. We could have called that guy first.
Now, where was I? The news, wasn’t it? We have this debt ceiling thing going on, at least I think we do. It might be political theater, or just lies. There are a lot of ideologues in Congress at the moment. The management of high debt requires reasonable solutions, which demands compromise and consensus; two things ideologues aren’t good at. So it’s possible that the debt ceiling won’t be raised, and the AAA credit rating of the U.S. Government will be downgraded.
I’m of two minds about the standoff between the Dems and Reps over this. If we (the nation in the form of our government) can’t act responsibly enough to stick to the contracts to pay for the wars and cars and mega-houses we’ve already bought, then perhaps we should have our national credit card cut up. On the other hand, that would mean all adjustable-rate mortgages, credit card rates and the cost of servicing our government’s debt held by other countries would immediately go up, the result being an even greater disparity between those with the most and least money, and a huge anchor dragging on any possible economic recovery. Is that a good thing?
Never mind. I have more x-rays to take. Oh, before I go, you were wondering about the title of the post? Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009) was one of my favorite dramatic actors. Sometimes he played heroes, and sometimes villains. He played both kinds of roles brilliantly, but there was one thing they all had in common. Just below the surface they were smoldering, barely able to contain themselves from exploding. Their fuses were lit. They were such powerfully grumpy characters that I’m kind of glad I never met Pat in person. But I feel like that today.