Wednesday, December 31, 2003


I can remove Albert for THREE big wonderful hours today.

I had the thought today, as I took a shower, that my neck is like a newborn and I'm the clumsy, frightened new mother trying to figure out how to handle it. It's easier today that yesterday, oddly enough. My head doesn't feel quite as hellbent on pitching forward onto my desk. DON'T DROP THE BABY !

I was washing my hair, working the soap into the back of my head. What the fuck is this, I thought: this is not the occiput I've been washing for half a century, this big shelf of bone, this big meatless drop-off to the neck. Atrophy. Scary. Ugly.

It was a bad moment. I cried a little. I haven't cried much through this broken neck thing. I carried on for a minute or so right after the wreck, but I was doing more cursing than weeping; I remember a second little pity party I had at the end of the 14 hour ER stay. It was about 3 am, after all the xrays and CTs and MRIs and MRAs; DK had gone home, and I was waiting to be admitted. The ER was quiet. My curtain was shut. Lying flat on various hard surfaces in an extraction collar for all that time was taking its toll. Boo hoo. The other time was when I saw my car and realized how hard it had been hit. An ugly gash. Visible sign of force. Like my misshapen occipito-nuchal area today.

But overall, considering what bone I broke, it could have been way worse. So, all in all, I think a little gratitude's in order.

And, come to think of it, as I've been contemplating the weeds (my downscale version of considering the lilies) and contrasting the one-way trajectory of my aging with cycles of death and regrowth in nature, I'd forgotten one thing: bodies do heal. Bones knit. Muscles strengthen. So there's a little inner springtime happening even as the winter deepens, and I age.

Amen to that !

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