Thursday, June 27, 2019

Funny Pet Videos Are Not Useless Ditzy Crap

For the past few years, I've had a recurring painful back issue that can only be fixed by paying a sports massage therapist (Dom Lopez, who's - no exaggeration - a genius, with an uncanny ability to put any Humpty Dumpty back together again) for an expensive and painful reset that never lasts more than a few days.

A few weeks ago, after many years of effort, I figured out how to fix it myself, with a certain complicated stretch that takes only like five seconds. Triumph! I'm winning!

But my shoulder, unaccustomed to the torque required to create this stretch (which must be repeated several times per day), developed very painful tendinitis. I had Dom fix the shoulder (I break it, Dom fixes it...that's how it works), but, of course, whenever I repeat my stretch, the shoulder flares back up.

Meanwhile, due to the shoulder pain, I was sleeping poorly. After several days of poor sleep, my immune system lowered and I caught a nasty cold, with fever and nasty cough. So I couldn't go to Dom (debilitating Dom is considered bad form, much discouraged by his other patients).

One more thing: the day before I caught the cold, I developed a toothache. My dentist diagnosed an abscess and put me on antibiotics.

At this point, feeling like I was in "check", if not full "checkmate", a close family member began to die. Lungs filled with fluid and cardiac arrest ensued. As you know from reading this Slog, I'm not one to paint myself into dramatic scenes, but whenever I painfully cough up goop from my lungs, I think my standard ironical thought - "Jesus, I'm gonna die..." - and quickly catch myself. "Oh, wait...."

So, per the "Mad Men" GIF meme, "Not Great, Bob".

But here's why I'm writing. Last night, as I sat in bed with my iPad, tooth and shoulder throbbing in pain, back out of kilter, and lungs struggling with weird sympathetic issues, shocked by bad news, and unable to make anything the least bit better, I instinctively did something I've never done. I surfed YouTube for funny pet videos.

I never do this. I'm not a pet guy, and definitely not a pet video guy. But you know what? Funny pet videos are great. They really are. I finally get it! They are the antidote. They fix it all; like the optimal stretch with no tendinitis aftermath. Please remember this if you ever find yourself in a predicament like this. Funny pet videos are a salvation. No wonder millions flock to them.

Per my posting on Resilience, I'm moving promptly and undramatically to the next scene. I never linger on a cliffhanger, I binge right through into next season, omnivorously eating up plot line. I just live right straight through it. That's what gave me the zeal and resourcefulness this morning to figure out an alternative back stretch that doesn't stress my shoulder, which is already starting to feel better (Triumph!). I'll visit Dom after my cold passes to clean up the damage. And my tooth's much better, though my lungs are worse (for now!). What's more, I've previously learned that grief is mostly about lying to oneself...something I've spent a lifetime learning not to do. And, having found cosmic cheats around lots of typical undue misery, I've decided my lungs have filled with phlegm to ensure that I don't under-suffer (there's surely a Goldilocks point). Each cough forces me to pay attention. Whacky though it is, I can't say it's inappropriate. Anyway, that's my framing.

Still not a bad day, btw. Through cardiac emergencies, crazy worldly friction, a year of indentured servitude to a sadist, and more, I've perennially asked myself a magical question: "If this is the worst thing that happens today, would that mean it's been a good day?" The record is unbroken. It's always been the case. This is a big part of why I believe we're living in Utopia.

And, no, I'm not an optimist. Just reasonably clear-eyed.


Display Name said...

Wow Jim good job pressing on. I am very much a pet person, so much so that when cdc and I talk about moving my one requirement is that pets should be allowed. Remember that link I showed you on fb about a woman at the library whose house was gutted by fire and her two beloved dogs dying? Less than two weeks later her vet found her a bonded pair of rescue pups and her parents are ok with her and her new doggies living at their place for the time being. She is posting a ton of pics and comments about her new loves. Her posts about figgy and simon always brightened my day and now she is already back in the saddle again. I am in awe.

Unknown said...

Tsorry for your tsuris.

Display Name said...

Sorry you are going through a rough patch Jim. You do affect others in good ways. Conan got a stern lecture today about not getting enough sleep. Not sure he will listen. And I've been thinking about that photo trick. Once upon a time as you well know there were food pages in the newspaper and where ever I lived I read them religiously. When I landed in the Philly area I read the Inquirer and Elaine Tait. She was a good read. When she retired someone published a really unflattering picture of her. What a spiteful thing to do. I guess she had enemies. I just put my head down when I saw it.

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