All of the phone calls today. The endodontist, about a root canal job that’s still not right and is causing me jaw pain. Aftercare, to pay a fine for being late to pick-up last week. I wasn’t late, he was, but that doesn’t matter, we share these financial burdens. I called him tonight to talk about the extended and detailed release form that the trampoline place requires you to sign before a field trip, which is in two weeks. I worked at a law firm a LONG time. While good lawyers can get around anything, this is not a good form to sign. Giving up your rights to anything going wrong, no matter the reason, whether negligence or bad connections or inadequate supervision. The helicopter hovers low on this one, and I am making the call to pull my son out of camp this day and send him to the daycare center instead. It’s not that I don’t trust these people…ok, yes it is. I don’t. Sorry not sorry. I’m not indemnifying someone against ligament tears, concussion and death just so he can go on a field trip. And the tax agency, because payments are still not going the right way there. And school after-care, to make sure he has a spot, since that is racing up sooner than expected. I wanted to call an old friend on lunch but there’s just been too much phone. We are trying to figure out what, if anything, to do for our old friend from college who had the stroke. Everyone is frustrated and wants to do something, and yet there’s almost nothing to do. I have an urgency like I’ve almost never had before to write a screenplay about this situation. Like a brand new Big Chill, but with a twist. I hate to feel like I am exploiting a situation for creative reasons, but this is just how I process things sometimes. I want to take a month off work and just immerse myself in writing.
Metro keeps calling me about the MRI, which I can’t get. I called insurance, and they were like, he has to send us a pre-auth. I talked to Metro, and they were like, the doctor ordered it, so we’re calling to schedule it. He called me tonight and my son was coloring so I tried to take the call. Why are kids so terribly fucking shitty about you having ANY phone calls at all? I finally sent him out of the room and locked the bedroom door so I could have five minutes of adult conversation about my back, my leg, what’s fucked up, the history. We tried an MRI on this area a year ago when the problem was much smaller, and I couldn’t tolerate it. I can’t lie flat on my back for more than a few minutes, thanks to my spondy. I couldn’t take it and they had to stop the test. They tried two other positions but the images were terrible and I was uncomfortable and kept moving around and it was a fail. And now the problem is so bad it’s unmanageable. Doc asked if he gave me 10mg of valium if I could get through the MRI. It’s not claustrophia, I told him, you can slide me into a morgue drawer and I’d be fine. It’s pain. He half-jokingly asked if he bought me a certain type of really expensive bourbon and I had a couple of shots of it beforehand, if I could lie still for the test. “I have a liver like Keith Richards,” I told him, which really, really made him laugh. “Tolerance is not the issue. It’s pain.” We discussed what happened with my C, when I had a spinal and had to lay flat for almost 2 hours and then couldn’t walk for a week. Nobody wants a repeat of that. So we decided to pretend like we already have the results and ran down different treatment scenarios based on possible findings. All ended with PT and the Skeletor master of my physical universe, Tim, who runs the joint down there, so we decided to approach it that way. Once Tim has a few sessions in, the doc will give me an inter-office steroid injection at the insertion of the hamstring point to see if we can get this thing to die down and go away. But it doesn’t sound like an MRI is happening. Which is fine. I’ve had so many radiation studies at this point, I’m full up for the lifetime. We are approaching it like a tear and will treat it as such. I love my doctor.
I’m coming up with creative stuff at work that is actually really helping people’s business, and that feels oddly productive. As I am binge-watching Mad Men, the parallels can be a little scary. I am both Don and Betty Draper at times. No wonder nobody can deal with me for a lifetime.
Without running, I feel stagnant. I need to find another avenue that satisfies me as much, like I did when I had to give up acting because of the colitis, and turned to writing. I may one day return to running, perhaps even this year, perhaps next, but without that outlet, I claw at my neck, I scream at my constraints, I chafe under my collars, and bristle at argument. That explosion is missing, the muscular and mental exhaustion, and I am a caged animal, alternating playful banter with calculated pacing, panting in the heat.