Workout 1 September 2012

Nicholas Poussin, Apollo and Daphne, 1664

Primus amor Phoebi Daphne Peneia, quem non
fors ignara dedit, sed saeva Cupidinis ira,
Delius hunc nuper, victa serpente superbus,
viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo
“quid” que “tibi, lascive puer, cum fortibus armis?” – Ovid

40 minutes Frei Tanz: free dance with weights.

The neurologist at Bangkok Samui Hospital last week gave me a thorough neurological examination before prescribing pain medications. This included a set of probes that found that pain could be induced only at the top of the left gluteus. This implies that all other pains are referred for a running injury pain, for example, would either be at a site all the time, or could be induced, since the location of the pain == the location of the pathology.

Doogie Hauser MD, that’s me…seriously the patient is where the Object and Subject dialectically converge.

The Dr recommends an MRI to confirm the absence of sciatica which would focus all future treatments on referred pain caused by tumors or pre-tumoroid lymph vessels. Meanwhile my job is to keep the cancer inside the lymphatic system where it seems at this time to be, unless the soft indentation in my stomach wall as seen in yesterday’s endoscopy is a non-lymphatic tumor. But it was soft to the Doctor’s probe which implies tentatively that it is a lymph node with extra material in it.

“Narrative” medicine is a fascinating topic, although in my illness last summer I missed the deadline for applying for the Columbia program I may try next summer. This is because in my early running days I discovered the “running journal” concept.

I was already working (circa 1980) for an unusual, rather innovative, but at the same time fraudulent and brutal Chicago consulting firm which stressed written logs of client interactions. Most of my fellow employees were bottom feeding Cobol programmers who thought they were slick and exploiting the fact that at that distant date, programmers could command high salaries when in fact they created the mechanisms that have long since destroyed most of their lives. They blew off the writing requirement with half literate jottings.

I wrote everything carefully and precisely, but the Chicago client manager was pissed off at me early in the game because I refused to continue working at Motorola on her team, after I discovered that the Motorola team, in the process of actually and for real inventing the first mobile phone, hated me because I wore a suit. The Chicago client manager, a rather interestingly tall, grey-haired and slender woman whose role model unfortunately seemed to be Ayn Rand, breezily described my careful journals as “verbose”, and, assisted by my drinking, down the tubes I went…to recover and get a much better job in compilers in Silicon Valley, minus my family.

Another factor in the long-past degringolade was, according to a witty, acerbic and elegantly dressed manager at the same firm with whom I shared a taste for a well-built Martini,that I’d failed to screw a family member and firm principal who wanted my newly hot body. I was, despite my pose of Martini-imbibing urbanity, shocked, saying, but I’m married, like Danny deVito in A Solitary Man.

But then I left my wife and went right out into that world of betrayal only to find California, fortunately, and a company with some real community and some family-friendliness, that encouraged my efforts to stay connected with the kids. I discovered that real life isn’t the movies, it’s having to make the liquor store by two AM because in California that’s when it closes, and it sucks to be so overdetermined. In a few years I was freed of that stuff and remained free for nine years.

I wasn’t innocent, in other words. But I was stupid, which is a different thing. I still can be naive as a defect of character.

But back to writing…

I discovered that journaling running injuries, and ordinary fevers, caused me to recover more quickly whence this journal. Of course, it may not be of any use but one does what one can.


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