Maudlin Monday

I’ve been through the penultimate test, and it was negative. More precisely I’ve had a fluoroscopy of my diaphragm and the report amounted to a single line stating there was no indication of paralysis. Whoopie. I would have liked to ask the doctor who evaluated the results about a couple things I saw during the test (they let you see the screen: it’s fascinating) but … There it ends.

If you understand Latin you know from the first sentence in this post that there is only one more test to go. Literally (sorry; couldn’t refrain from that). The doctors agree there’s a problem, and agree they don’t know what it is. How nice. Maybe they’ll name a new disease after me if the final test turns up negative as well. More likely they slough it off as one of the undefined conditions that plague people with similar symptoms, all of which are diagnosed by eliminating other possibilities. No matter.

What does matter is trying to deal with something when you don’t know what it is, or what to expect from it. The difficulty of this has been heightened in the past week as I’ve been coping on my own (with two dogs and three cats) whilst my wife is away coping with her ailing sister (and an equal number of uncooperative professionals). Maybe it’s the weather (cool and damp), maybe the problem has done another downward lunge, but the usual buoying effect of adrenaline isn’t there this time; I’m foundering.

This has led to some tension between us as I the pessimist clash with she the optimist. Somehow she believes there is a way to continue as before. She’s not living in this body is why. There is no way to get anyone to understand what it’s like to go from Superman to living cadaver. Possibly because most people aren’t capable of expending the sort of effort I always have done. Possibly because for too long I’ve made it look easy. Possibly because people read books where the hero who has been through enough to kill him keeps plunging onward (impossible narrative has a lot to answer for, in my opinion).

So I’m stuck. I can see what needs to be done to make life easier (read: viable) and it is diametric to my other half’s desires. This is what causes depression, people. And speaking of which the doctor’s best offer has been lots of water and loopy pills, which I declined. I have enough trouble getting through the day with a reluctant physique; I do not need to be out of my head at the same time. If I didn’t need to function I wouldn’t need anything to help me function. Catch 22 and all that.

On Wednesday I go to spend more money and have my eyes examined, followed by some very expensive new glasses. They won’t help much either, as there is a limit to how much vision can be corrected under any circumstances. Especially metaphorically.

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