The Oracle is known for her delusional optimism, but even she was hard put to find a pony in this week’s manure. Here’s what happened:
Tuesday morning, I went to the surgeon who put my femur back together when I broke it last December. The bone hasn’t grown back together in the way it needs to and the steel plate that’s currently holding my leg together will sooner or later give out. This means I have to have another surgery.
DETOUR: This next paragraph is only for people who seriously want to know the details of what the surgeon said and what he recommends. The rest of you may skip merrily ahead, even though I myself WILL NEVER SKIP AGAIN IN MY LIFE!!!
Thanks to the hip replacement surgery 4 years ago, I have a titanium rod cemented into my upper femur. The break happened below where the titanium rod ends. The surgeon wants to take out the titanium rod and replace it with a longer one that connects the upper femur with the lower. If he does this, he’ll likely also do a bone graft to stimulate the bone to grow. If, however, the rod is too tightly cemented to the bone and he can’t get it loose, he’ll take out the whole femur and replace it with a prosthesis. Either way, the hip will be weak which means I’ll be walking with a limp, possibly – probably – for the rest of my life. Which okay, I could handle – barely – but then, in addition to this, I found out…I GAINED FOUR POUNDS!!!
If you’re rejoining the narrative here, suffice to say that Tuesday afternoon I was in a dark mood. The vaunted delusional optimism? Gone. The positive spirit? Sayonara. The joy? Toodle-oo. It turns out yes, I can handle anything IF THERE’S NOVELTY INVOLVED!!! Meeting a new challenge, developing a new skill – I get the gold star the six-year old me still wants. Who wouldn’t be joyful? But this will be the same challenge as before: learning my limits. Apparently there’s no end to this lesson. Every time you think you’ve reached them, you find out there’s more. How is that fun? And I’ll be in the same hospital, the same rehab, so really, what’s new, except HAVING TO RE-IMAGINE MY WHOLE FUTURE? ONE WHERE I LIMP?
Plus, I don’t even have time to re-imagine my whole future. I’ve scheduled the surgery for early July so I can spend June with Wendy Apple (director of “Emily @ the Edge of Chaos”) working with the animators, the composer, the sound design people – not to mention raising the $50 thousand we need to pay them. Then after the surgery, I have to see the movie through its final steps, raise more money, shift into high gear with the website and the social media and write the book I’ve been supposed to be writing for two years: “Why I Hate Ayn Rand.” How’m I supposed to do all that and then do all the PR and the personal appearances and THE HATE MAIL FROM AYN-RANDIANS-WITHOUT-A-SENSE-OF-HUMOR (or is that redundant?)!!!
I don’t even have time to go get a second opinion, as well-meaning friends have been urging me to do. That’s all I need, to traipse around San Francisco in my wheelchair. As if I’m going to find another doctor as good or, let’s face it, handsome, and by the way I just found out, unmarried as Dr. D (I’m not saying his whole name in case things go south and I have to sue him). Plus, I’m an Oracle; if I need a second opinion, I know where to find it: the I Ching online.
TO MY SCIENTIST FRIENDS: Stop rolling your eyes. To me the I Ching is like the lottery. Say I’m worrying about money; I’ll have a fantasy about winning the lottery and immediately feel better. I don’t even have to buy a ticket. Really, if you’re so scientific, you should find out how that works neurologically and then you can invent a drug and get rich and give me some money so I don’t have to win the lottery.
The placebo effect applies as well to the I Ching. If the answer is good, I feel good. And conversely…Exactly. That’s why I felt nervous as I typed in “What will be the effect of this surgery?” Because seriously, if it said something bad, some part of me would believe it.
Normally, of course, the answers on the I Ching don’t so easily translate into “good” and “bad”. In fact the ones I get mostly say “Avoid inferior people” – as if that’s possible when you’re flying coach. But this time I got a completely unequivocal answer:
“Everything is perfection. You are completely in tune with the cosmos. You are a transcendant spirit of the age.”
I swear to you, that’s what it said. Okay, the last sentence isn’t verbatim but I it’s as close to it as I can come without actually having copied the text. I meant to copy it, but first I wanted to google “Transcendant-Spirit-of-the-Age Outfits” to see if they were on sale anywhere. That’s when I noticed it, the ad on the side of the page.
Normally, you figure the ads on a website are targeted to the readers of the website. But this ad promised an unlikely service: to expunge your arrest record from the Internet. They showed mug shots of three different women, none of whom looked like they’ knew their Yin from their Yang. It seemed doubtful they could be the target audience. And why all women? All white women, by the way. Could the targeted audience be…me?
Talk about Yin and Yang! On the one hand, I’m the transcendant spirit of the age. On the other, I’m getting my prison record expunged. Granted, what with insider trading and doping race-horses and the OpEd in today’s NY Times about ruthlessness, the transcendant spirit of the age is criminal. But I’m in tune with the cosmos, remember? Are they saying the whole cosmos is criminal? Have we gone from a universe that obeys the fundamental laws of physics to a universe that’s lawless?
And for those of you – okay all of you – who are thinking, wait a minute, isn’t that what your whole movie is about, taking us from Newton’s rational, predictable, law-and-orderly universe to the banana peel universe of quantum physics and chaos theory? Why yes, it is, and thank you for remembering. But I never said the universe was lawless, just that we may never know the laws. Since when is that a criminal offense?
On the other hand, here’s what I’m thinking: if in the worst case scenario it is a criminal offense and I have to defend myself in court…A LIMP WILL MAKE THE JURY SYMPATHETIC!!!
I knew there was a pony in here somewhere.