Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sickness, Blues and All That - II

Ach. (Err... that is the Deutsch way of saying 'Ah', as in 'Ach so' is a knowing 'oh, ok'.)

I should have known that when I started blogging on being sick, I would continue doing so, until I actually became better. So I have come back with a second installment on being sick, being blue (I'm not supposed to be pink, what with all the pain and all. How unfair!), and all the others. This morning, as I was ruminating on bed with the pain, I thought, why not map the entire pain-process, with all its pros and cons (or cons, mostly. I would need a lot of imagination to talk at length on the pros, though).

1. The first thing that this pain is making me forgo - and making me hate it all the more - is my missing out on all the bada khana. A kiddo from the para has his birthday, the son of another acquaintance has his thread ceremony, and I'm missing out on all that, because I'm lying in bed with pain, and being fed on second-hand stories of how exotic the food was. humph.

2. The book on the shelf beside my bed is making mad gestures to attract my attention. I make an effort, get up, clutch it, mouth-watering, lie down, flip open, and there, all's over. The letters get up from the pages and start a savage dance, so much so that, not only can I not make out a single word, but I am rather flummoxed by the moves. I quickly shut it close.

3. I absolutely cannot sit down to watch the telly. The most engaging of movies are failing to prolong their effect on me, and I have to close the window of the player even though I see Jeanne Moreau provocatively jumping into a lake late at night while returning from a play by Strindberg; or rapidly click 'pause' while watching a pair of glasses made to dance magically by the wind on a tablecloth in a restaurant terrace. How tragic.

4. I cannot use the head-phone while lying sideways on bed, so my favourite music has to be played out loud, and at the mercy of the whole family. For example, after I had listened to Vai Vedrai, and was lying rather listlessly in bed, I decided to croon the Italian lyrics, especially the lines, "Follia/ Del uomo senza driturra vai/ Follia/ Del guerrier senza paura vai", when I lingered on the third Follia (it's more like fohl-llea. Oh and listen to the song by Cirque du Soleil if you haven't already. Highly recommended.) the family came running, sure that I was wailing in pain. So much for my privacy.

5. I'm missing out on most of the exciting online action, because the pain isn't allowing me to sit with my lappy for a longer time.

6. My cell-phone is in the silent mode and lying somewhere in the room. Once during the day, I get up and retrieve it, and discover scores of missed calls from unknown numbers. I'm sure the callers are all my secret admirers who are worried about me after having heard about my present state. I am heart-broken that I have missed all the calls, and I know not (yet) the identity of the callers.

7. The pain gives me a vivid imagination - sometimes too vivid to be entirely intelligible by the family. When the worst spasm that I've had till now suddenly ceased, I felt this calm around me, which seemed entirely orgasmic (now I know that it is a paradox. See, I cannot possibly explain what it feels like when the pain gives a respite). I realised, I just had to explain the family - who were poring all over me, as if I were a specimen - how it felt now. So I said, "It's over. It's stopped. ha ha! Just like it happened in Berlin. When the Russian tanks came in. When it was all over. When the continuous grenade and bombing during the last days had become a way of life, like they showed in Der Untergang, and then when it stopped and there was this sudden infernal silence all around. It feels just like that." For a split second I do not understand why the family isn't smiling or nodding their heads in unison. Then suddenly the octogenarian grandmother says, "Oh my God! The pain has affected her head!" I lie down. Back in the bed. In utter exasperation.

8. By a curious grown-up understanding, my dog is not with me now, and when the pain gets unbearable, I close my eyes and imagine what she would have done had she been around. Of course she would have cried buckets. But she wouldn't have left my side thinking that if she did, I would pop off that very instant. I'm sure she's confident by now, that when she comes back home, she'll find everyone mourning over my dead body. Ah, I miss my dog.

9. By a curious understanding, my pain has given everyone the license to discuss in details and with great seriousness my toilet habits. Of course they have no spark, and though the idea of peeing out a stone seems exciting enough, and the fact that the pain won't subside until the stone has actually made up his mind (of course it's a him! Why else is it such a sadist?!) on coming out into the big bad world, no one is really dwelling on the inconvenience all this is causing to the "patient".

10. To divert my mind, I'm thinking up hilarious incidents relating to my friends or my dog, and narrating them to the family. The mother is scandalised, and she says, "What is wrong with you? Only just now did you have that terrible spasm, and now you're joking about so-and-so?" I turn to her and say, "La dolce Vita, Maa. La Dolce Vita."

Ok, I have used up my entire spasm-and-pain-free break blogging, with frequent break-within-breaks to rest still more. I intend to hit the bed soon, before the pain gets the better of me. Till I feel like coming back to the virtual world again, au revoir.

Before I go, I need to say this. Yesterday I read only a part of this brilliant essay, and I hope to go back to it once I feel better. A phrase from it, however, has stuck out to me from all the jumble of words, and it reads "being loved". Now that there are so many people out there who are drenching me in love, this time I have finally begun to realise and appreciate it - from the Mother, who is feeding me, to the anxious Father, who is trying his best to look calm, to the dog, who is kept a couple of kilometers away, and is crying buckets for her sick mommy, to the best friend who is phoning and texting regularly, to all the acquaintances dropping a message or sparing a moment to think about me. If the pain has made me realise and appreciate the love, then I guess, I'm grateful for it.

Oh, and the patient would be really glad if (many typos notwithstanding) this blog induced some laughter into your day. La Dolce Vita, remember?