Hey there, all back to normal!
Oh right, you missed the part where it wasn’t normal.
Last night, Steven and I dropped by a neighborhood place, Claudette, for dinner. We ate at the bar, and toward the middle, somewhere between the cauliflower appetizer and our chicken tagine, my ankle started hurting.
It hurt like I’d just rolled over onto it, which is something I do often, especially if I’m wearing clogs with socks – slippery combo – so I know that pain well.
But I hadn’t done anything to it.
Just sat there on a stool. By the end of the meal, I was barely enjoying our almond financiers with a caramel dipping sauce which is also great just eaten like soup, because my ankle was completely pulsing with pain.
After hobbling home, I kicked off my boots expecting huge relief, but the ankle hurt worse. The skin was hot and the veins were popping out even worse than they normally do.
I took an Aleve. Then another. An hour later, another.
In between, I was on my iPad, alternating between trying to ignore the pain while watching The Good Wife and googling the pain. I’d already had a thought: Deep Vein Thrombosis. So I was basically googling for reassurance that it couldn’t be that.
I tried “ankle pain without injury” and found that yes, that could be a sign of DVT.
I tried going more specific: “ankle pain” and “stool,” which of course gave me results related to sharp ankle pain during bowel movement. I kind of realized that would happen as I typed in “stool.” I can’t blame google for leaping to that conclusion, since I never hear the word “stool” without thinking “sample.”
Nothing persuaded me that it wasn’t Deep Vein Thrombosis, which involves a blood clot that can travel to the lungs and kill you.
I thought of warning Steven that if I had a coughing fit during the night, he should call 911. But I didn’t want to scare him right before his birthday, which is today. (He was already worrying that I wouldn’t take him to dinner. And, that the pillow I was using to elevate my ankle would get dirty from my sock: “My head goes on that! Did you just put on that sock, or was it inside your shoe all night?” He doesn’t handle my ailments well.)
My next thought was that if I did go to the hospital and die — for real, I was thinking this — that Steven would, in a few weeks, have to deal with going through my belongings, and would come across the underwear that just came back from the cleaners looking like someone chewed through the crotch. Four different pairs, all with doggy-bite holes. And these were new, not expensive or anything just Gap Body, but I’m telling you they were still nice!
What do they use to clean over there, hydrofluoric acid? Time to switch to a green cleaners.
Of course, I kept these pairs, because a woman can never have too many pairs of ruined underwear. Standbys for when the good ones are at the cleaner being ruined.
I imagined Steven going through the undies drawer, and, rather than the usual thought when going through a dead person’s stuff — “She was just wearing this. Just last week. And now she’s gone.” — he would have the thought, “Good god, what kind of monster was I married to, and what the *f* was her pH level?”
I was almost going to get out of bed to stuff the underwear in a plastic bag and throw it in the kitchen garbage, but that seemed like too much work, and too much weight on my foot. So I gave up the inconvenient idea that I was about to die and focused on another scenario:
What if my ankle is injured for weeks?
I won’t be able to go on my walks. Or to dance. I’ll get fat. I’ll have to work out on a stationery bike, peddling with just one foot. I’ll have to go to the doctor. I’ll have to get an extension on my assignment tomorrow.Why don’t I appreciate normal life when it’s normal?
Normal is amazing!
What’s wrong with me, complaining that the days are shorter and the building switched off the air conditioning for the season and it’s hot at night, and I have too much work and I never look good in those “boyfriend” jeans no matter how many pairs I try on and where’s the staggering wealth I keep waiting for?
I should appreciate, with all my being, every second that isn’t dominated by ankle pain or any other kind of pain. Normal is enough.
I’ve had friends go through the worst shit this year.
Chemo, lawsuits, sick parents, dying parents, one even who lost her husband. Bet they’d all give anything to have life go back to normal.
We all have “life is precious” moments. Know what’s really precious? Normal. I know, I’m getting really philosophical about a tender ankle. But when things turn while you’re just sitting there on a bar stool, it messes with your mind.
Today, I woke up alive and my ankle felt fine. Life is normal, and I’m so happy about it.
Though I may have to give up bar stools.
Do you ever think about how precious “normal” is?
Have you ever thought about someone going through your underwear when you’re gone?
Anything else to say?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
True, you are not Mr. Weatherbee, Laura. Consider yourself lucky. I know a bald-headed, middle-aged, bespectacled, gout-toed white guy who wishes he could be so sure. (My parents were probably lying about our last name.)
Jul's Arthur says
Pardon, I stand corrected. Or sit, I have been drafting a blog post on my bum for hours. Wish I had your ease with words.
So sorry, where I come from we call them panties…and that does not mean white grannie panties. It means sexy Victoria’s Secret lacy allure…umm undies….I think not, let’s settle on lingerie, which I am convinced people don’t use because they don’t know how to spell it.
I just googled it. Point made.
Lol… I did not know there is a difference between laundered and dry cleaned. And this from a lass who lived in London and NYC…who knew you could get your clothes laundered…I so missed out! I want a redo. I will go back to those cities to live and throw in Paris and blog about the high life of sending one’s couture out.
My kind words are just sincere words! I love reading your posts…some days I am home too late, so then I do a Laura Belgray marathon…such a treat.
We starving readers need your blog brilliance.
Jul's Arthur says
I am with many of you here…you get your panties dry cleaned? I had no idea you could do that! I have to agree with Ash Ambirge, I am so not doing this life thing right…
Wonderful post Laura, your health worries have me both worried for you and laughing at how you A to Z them with “thinking your affairs in order” with your future fantasies of how it will all play out.
Normal, indeed after a day of abnormal and the highs and lows of major events, I am ever so thankful for “normal.”
OK, again. The panties – wait, I hate that word – the undies, are laundered, not dry-cleaned. But yes, I send them out.
Thanks for your kind words, as always. And here’s to normal!
Ash Ambirge says
PEOPLE GET THEIR PANTIES DRY-CLEANED?!?!?!?!
I have *completely* screwed this life thing up.
On the upside, I kind of feel like, worst case scenario, having that kind of PH would be impressive. I’d use it to scare the men around the world. Oh, what’s that? You couldn’t be bothered to call the next day? WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
That is my favorite revenge fantasy ever. I’ll continue it, with the guy begging on the subway just like the dude on the N/R train whose face was melted off in an acid attack. Except in this case, it wouldn’t be the face.
So, I have a solution for how to return to normal – it’s called old age. Seriously. Here’s how it works. A few years ago I developed an odd pain in my foot for no apparent reason. Being a guy, I just figured it would go away or if it didn’t, learning to live with it was still better than going to a doctor. But it didn’t go away and, in fact, it got worse until at some point my wife dragged me to the doctor because she’s a nice person and doesn’t like to hear me whining constantly. Turns out it was gout and it did eventually go away, but now comes the best part. Three years later the topic of gout came up in some random conversation and my wife reminded me that I once had an occurrence. Me? Really? I had gout? When the heck did that happen? So there it is; old age equals instant and total memory loss and a return to normal faster than you can say, “what was that thing I had in my foot called?” I am probably the most normal person you’ll ever meet so long as you accept my definition that normal means that the way things are today is the way that I recall they’ve always been.
That is amazing. Forgetting you had gout. Definitely the best compounding of age-related problems ever. My sister once lost her memory (long story) and forgot she’d seen the movie Memento.
One of the reasons that I read your blog is to be inspired to write my own blogs in my own voice. Haven’t done that yet, hate the idea of it so far. But I love reading yours in what seems to be my voice except a bit younger, hipper and unflinchingly honest. If I was going to write a blog post I would be inspired to write about my clients who come to my Pilates studio sure that they have tumors and broken bones and dislocated something or others because the pain and suffering they are enduring couldn’t possibly be this severe from improper alignment and poor biomechanics over many years. And they are sure that they need surgery or traction or something that they can be put asleep for. When they find out that awareness and consistent, committed exercise (and possible changing patterns and habits like wearing shoes that push them into poor alignment) they are sometimes disappointed that a doctor can’t cure them, but mostly they are elated that someone is showing them a way to get back to that glorious, underrated “normal” that we all take for granted (a bit) until it is taken away.
You can do it! What do you hate about the idea of it, the “I should blog” part, or just the writing itself? If someone said in an email, “got any delusional pilates clients lately?” what would you write back? My biggest “trick” to get myself writing is to think about what I’d write in an email to a friend if he or she asked, “what’s going on with you?” Or sometimes, a more specific question, like, “what’s up, why are you so tired today?” Try it. Do it in an actual email. You can email it to me if you want.
Oh man, this got tear-jerky real (mustn’t. moisten. new. lashes.) but I’m avoiding thinking about that by snickering about sending undies to the dry cleaner, though I think as mentioned above prob you just mean the laundry people who pick up and return your laundry folded into a perfect cube, aka arguably the most under-ratedly awesome thing about living in NYC. I don’t think we have that here in LA and we sure as heck didn’t have it in Japan.
I never realized how New York-y it was to send out one’s laundry. It helps to have a doorman, which is definitely New York-y. What I’m sure rocks in LA are the lash extension services. How are you liking them today? Did you love waking up looking like a living person?
Nancy K. says
I couldn’t sleep last night because I had a twitch in my leg that was surely a blood clot and I’d be dead by morning. Last week I had an MRI for migraines. Delaying making the follow-up appointment because I don’t want to know about the giant tumor that’s probably in there and also I’ve had an ear ache and some buzzing in my ear and I’m waiting to go deaf at any moment. All that on top of plantar fasciitis in my foot and I can’t even exercise and will probably start going downhill. I have been putting my affairs in order (just in case). I also worry that my FB posts or this comment will be mined for poignant last thoughts.
You are a woman after my own neurotic, planning-for-the-great-beyond heart. When I have these death panics, I often think about how people will combine my Facebook posts into a collage poster at my memorial.
Dude, the google search didn’t mention the possibility of gout? It totally could have been gout. Gout usually starts in your toe, but sometimes it’s an ankle thing. Have you been eating too much mutton and drinking too much sherry?
Gout! How dare you, sir. Do I look like someone with gout? Isn’t that what Mr Weatherbee, the principal in Archie Comics, had? I’m not Mr. Weatherbee. I’m not.
You and your frantic googling of your ailments create wonderful and hilarious images in my head. The internet is the devil when it comes to researching one’s own medical issues!!!
It is the devil! I pray that it’s never right, because it’s always dire.
I want my shoulder to go back to “normal”. I fear it might be a) tendinitis b) bursitis or c) torn rotator cuff, depending on which panic attack I have when I wake up in pain at 3am. And for what it’s worth, the naproxen is doing nothing…the naproxen the doctor gave me after taking an x-ray, saying it “might” be bursitis, and noting I seemed to have an abnormality on my clavicle. Abnormality on my clavicle? Heck, I can’t even PLAY the clavicle, I have no idea where that came from. Whatever it is, I am not looking to eventually having to suck it up and see an orthopedist and get an MRI. That sounds like something either athletes or old people do.
Or, perhaps, crap like this IS, in fact, “normal” at our age…something I don’t really care to admit.
I have no comment re: crotchless underwear. I wear boxers, which last until the elastic dies….
“The Naproxen is doing nothing” sounds like drug-seeking behavior. You’re sniffing around here for something stronger, aren’t you? This ain’t Silk Road, Sam.
I’m totally with you on the DVT worrying, every single woman in my family has had blood clots at some point…
I get you about the normal thing, but you know I think that past a certain age, all that shit, illness, parents dying, friends getting sick/divorcing etc… etc… etc… is normal. It’s just shitty normal. Bleah!
I refuse to accept that normal.
Bleah is right!
As for blood clots, they should give people with bad veins a discount in First Class on planes. More leg room and access to the aisle is doctor-ordered.
Marci Diehl says
I’m still worried about your ankle. You should get that checked out. Also, that was ‘way too much Aleve too close together – the 3rd one was not good. Seriously, get that ankle checked out.
*puts away “mother” hat.*
Also, I’ve had the crotch of nice underwear eventually shred and I do my own laundry… hmmm. But the solid, no-nonsense cotton granny pants (hey I get to wear them, I AM a granny) never shred. So maybe it’s the quality fabric that’s sacrificed for sexiness?
Catching up on your posts, Laura, I’ve been away.
And you are SO RIGHT about normal.
I know, no more triple Aleve, I promise. Crazy that it didn’t even keep me knocked out through the night.
I think someone needs to make sexy granny panties.
Now, was that your mother hat, or your granny hat? (I can’t believe you’re a memaw.)
Amen sister! Bring back normal! I just want my jaw to be back to normal! I woke up 3 weeks ago and couldn’t close it. Hadn’t had any pain or anything else leading up to it. What the hell? Acupunture, cranio sacral, myofascial release, neck adjustments… (I know, I’m so alternative) and still jacked up….and I wasn’t even sitting on a stool, or shooting Deep Throat the night before, so I’m PISSED!!
Glad you don’t have DVT. That would suck.
YES! Thank you Sheryl! Can we not talk about the fact that you send your UNDERWEAR out?!?!? WHAT the. fuck. is. THAT. about?
Is that a NYC thing?…I don’t know. I’m so SD…
Yep. I guess it is a NYC thing. I leave the dirties outside my door in a bag, make a call, a guy picks it up, next day or that night it comes back all folded and crotchless.
Whatever you were doing, you need a stunt double for it next time!
You send your undies out for dry cleaning?
(getting back to normal is too big a thing for me to comment on, but thanks for this!)
Sheryl, I think that people in NYC don’t do their own laundry, they just send it out and it comes back all clean and folded! Although I have to say that the thought of someone I don’t know washing my underwear kind of grosses me out. Their hands would be all over it!
Ding ding ding! And I’m more grossed out by the idea of someone else being grossed out. I can’t meet the eyes of the laundry delivery guy when I pass him on the street.
The ladies nailed it! I send it out for laundry, because it’s way too much work to go to the basement 3 times. And I like how it all comes back in a cube, though not crazy about the missing crotches.
You should always use organic (‘green”) dry cleaning versus non-organic dry cleaning. It’s not so much about torn fabric as it is about the toxic residue.