I couldn't get myself comfortable last night. I tried one position after another, propping my right leg on a pillow, under it, over it, lying on my stomach, my side, even my back (not good for me for long). My right leg just kept hurting, and sometimes when I moved my left knee would throw me a quick pain as well. The disintegration of Judy.
I got up and took a mineral bath, hot water, which temporarily soothed me and my leg, not to mention the itch that started up on my lower right calf (I wondered about poison oak, if I had put on some clothes that had touched it, and I wondered if it might be a late reaction to shaving my legs). I put on some lotion, tried sleep again. It was well after one by now. I don't know when I got to sleep but I woke up three or four times and I am really not ready for this day. I am showered and dressed, so as alert as I'm going to be, and I can only hope to maintain this level.
I am reading "My Life as a Man", by Philip Roth. Generally I think Roth is a good writer. I tend to feel he's a little prone to lightness but not to the extent of Neil Simon, for example. He writes with humor, can't help it I suppose, yet manages to let us in even though we may not be fully engaged. That is, I feel connections to the characters but there is still a wall there, a wall formed by a kind of absurd humor. I don't know, in other words, if I would ever really "ache" for one of these characters, truly identify with one.
I am at a point in this particular book, though, where the character, Nathan, tells about the onset of migraine headaches while he was in the military and hating it, and their continuation after his medical discharge because of them. He questions why the migraines came along, what they did for him, what, as he puts it, they signify. He traces their history to a point when he started writing short stories and wonders if he needs the headaches to write, if he is somehow becoming Virginia Wolff, whom he admired and who, he knew, suffered migraines as well.
His long dissertation on his thoughts on these headaches and his need to take personal responsibility for them is so very like my own feelings about my own. Someone who does not indulge in so much complex thinking would say, as Roth says, "I got these bad headaches", and that would be the end of it. But those of us gifted with the need to think will sometimes take things too far. Or do we?
I didn't get tickets for the Vagina Monologues in time, damn it. All sold out, all shows. Tonight, though, I am going to a special showing of a film, "Blood Makes the Grass Grow", about conscientious objectors. Followed by a speaker who left the military two weeks before he was due to be discharged, publicly defying orders, during the Gulf War. Not many people know how horrifying that war was, how, for example, nuclear-headed "bullets" were used that fried tons of people. Who ever heard about that?? I am going in part to be able to meet others who may be in that minority who oppose this present war, all wars.
I did Kathy Smith today, ending my exercise break. I managed all right, although both legs had problems in one place or another. The worst was at the end. I was doing a stretch that I usually look forward to, that feels good. I am lying on the floor, left leg bent, right leg bent with its foot on my left knee, and I pull my left thigh toward me to stretch the right thigh. This time, though, it was extremely painful, just on that side, the right.
At the movie afterwards I chose a seat at the way back, right, in a short three-chair row, because these three seats have more leg room. I did what I could to adjust that leg and stretch it periodically, because it was bothering me there. So now that I am home again I took some acetaminophen and melatonin. I hope these kick in in time to let me sleep tonight.