A fine line between pleasure and pain …

My mother grew up on the lower east side (New York City). Her father died when she was six, leaving her mother (“Pearl,” actually) to raise mom and her two older siblings on her own. Pearl got a job … mom came home to an empty apartment, at the end of a long, dark, scary hall in an old apartment building, everyday after school.

My mother was home when my sister and I returned home from school everyday from Kindergarten to 11th grade. She then asked if it was ok with me for her to get a job to help pay for our college and she may not be home a few times. I basically never came home to an empty house because of what Pearl had to do and my mother’s childhood fears.

Although there is almost always a nanny here, I have been home just about every single day Pearlsky came home from school (the very rare business trip being the exception). Oh, and except the last three weeks. The first two, I was sort of home, but bedridden on the other side of the house. Then for the last week I would barely make it to work (100 yard walk?), let alone come home in the middle of the day (as usual) and then go back. It really hurt, a deep kind of hurt, not pain, but I should have been there to greet her. That is the family tradition, that’s what I have always done, as my mother always did for me.

Today I was. I walked home to meet the bus and got a wonderful reception from Pearlsky as soon as she heard my voice as the van door opened. She reacted differently than the usual glad to be home. It was fantastic. Yeah, yeah, I know, she has no communication, cut me a break. It was wonderful. Then I walked back to work. That hurt. I barely made it home, that was twice as much as I have walked in weeks, the pain was not at a level one would want, but you know what? It was worth every Advil, every Tylenol, and every “oh god” this evening. It was worth the weird look I got while I was sitting on someone’s front steps trying to catch my breath on the walk home. Sometimes the line between pleasure and pain is blurry.

A couple of quick notes:

  • There is a rumor we may get the new wheelchair (the third new chair of this four month odyssey) in a few days. I have a real story about it so far, which I will share, and I am sure there will be more when we get it. Stay tuned.
  • Saw the doctor yesterday, he was very impressed with the strength I have regained and thinks I should escape surgery, but we will see.

I have two (actually many) funny-ish stories to share, but since they are about me (vs. me and Pearlsky, or just Pearlsky), I will put them below the fold, so read if you like, or not!

I came home to a wonderful and very funny (had to be there?) voicemail. I have a friend, Sarah, in Israel. Known her for years, family friend, etc. Great woman, we speak rarely, see each other very rarely, but that does not matter. She reads this blog, one of the very few friends of Pearlsky’s and mine who knows about it. Note that she is typically a wonderful speaker, someone very sure of her words.

SD, I just read your blog, oh my g-d. I really, really wish you a speedy recovery and, ummm, ummm, and you are in my thoughts. Really, ummm, I hope you guys are ok, and, ummm, I am really trying not to say something stupid! Please be in touch, and, ummm, get well soon.

So, Sarah, what the heck, you don’t feel bad for me? And after all these years, sheesh … 😉 Great to hear from you … thanks, the call meant a lot. And made me laugh.

Time to show our age, people. What do you think of when I say Steve Martin? Ok … what do you think of when I say Steve Martin and King Tut in the same breath? Well, if you are not doing stupid things with your arms and hands right now, you’re just too young or grew up in Hungry or something.

If you have no clue, or even if you do, watch this, watch it now, but beware … you may never forget it (and yes, that’s Lou Marini in a great cameo) …

So, why am I sharing?

Picture this. I am in a wheelchair, in the hospital, tremendous pain, unshaven, etc. Ok, don’t picture that part. Let’s skip ahead 20 minutes. I am lying in the MRI machine, about to go in the tube of fun for a twenty minute MRI ride. You lie flat on your back, arms at your side, as you are slid into a tube that you barely fit into. As the lovely technician, Robin, puts headphones on me, she asks what type of music I like.

I don’t know, how about “oldies.”

Well, we have satellite radio and can get anything. What do you consider “oldies?”

From college times, I guess.

Ummm, and that would be … ?

Oh, sorry. I’m old. How about the seventies?

And the MRI starts. I am in this tube, in pain, doing all I can to be perfectly still or they will start all over again. I am holding this bulb thingy and all I know is that if I start to freak out, I am to squeeze it. What happens? Do I shoot out of the tube like a Ringling Brother being shot from a cannon? Does the machine instantly open like a clam shell and I am free? Or is it a placebo?

So about five minutes into the MRI I am doing great. I am calm (those things are really claustrophobia inducing) and listening to E.L.O., Jerry Garcia, and Deborah Harry. Then it happens …

Trouble. Big trouble.

STEVE MARTIN doing KING TUT!!!! And I am supposed to lay PERFECTLY still! I am fighting to not start singing “born in Arizona … moved to Babylona … King Tut.” I am fighting to not burst out laughing. I am fighting to not start doing that King Tut thing with my hands.

Maybe it’s one of those “you had to be there” funny things …

But, Pearlsky was thrilled to see me at the bus this afternoon! So there.

Time for Advil … my leg hurts like awful oral sex …


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