Hot hot, and hot.
I can hear the chimes blowing in the wind, I can see the tree branches waving back and forth, I can even feel a little air moving across my skin, but mostly all I “feel” is hot, hot, hot.
Something you might not know about this condition of spinal cord injury I’ve been carrying with me is the dysregulation of temperature that it brings with it.
This aspect of the condition is one of those things that I don’t actually remember in contrast to what I once knew as an ordinary body’s function, but rather only now from this side of that direct experience. When others (with “able” bodies) around me seem to be functioning well in the heat or cold, I can often forget to notice that my non-ordinary experience is rather holding precedents for me.
As temperatures rise I just start to slowly roast, confit, like an unfortunate duck. Similarly, when temperatures drop, I often won’t notice – my body doesn’t tend to shiver, instead it just gradually stiffens until I notice that my hands are ending up in my face as my arms contract, or someone else points out that my knee has become like an ice cube.
With temperatures predicted in the high 80s today, I attempted to simply soldier through, and in fact now just after 6 PM, it appears I have. The “feels like” temperatures made their way into the low 90s today. By sheer force of will I think, I just kept telling myself – “the doors and windows are open, there is a breeze, I’ll be fine…”
And really I did make it through. Most of the day I was sitting at the desk focused on working with PHE and MettaCare, probably most pertinently, the union of those things in my eyes and efforts. It wasn’t until I retired to the cooler quarters of the living room in the late afternoon to convene with LB in a Wisdom Council/MettaCare working session, and then returned two hours later to the desk that the heat really hit me in the face.
I had gone over the proverbial falls as it was, and could feel the productivity waning with the 5 o’clock light. Fortunately for me, the heat of the day was waning as well and with a little more fan, some more open window, and a continuation of perseverance, I was able to attend the day’s writing.
I’ve been dropping back on the melatonin dosage in the evenings, moving from three drops, to two. In response I seem to be waking up, briefly, near the 1 o’clock hour… The jury is still out regarding whether that is the absence of the molecule or just the heat causing me to stir.
After waking briefly in the middle of the night I fell back to sleep so soundly that I slept in this morning without feeling as though any time had passed. I rose to August in the house and found my way learning further through our dialogue his sense of frustration having trained and certified as a nurse in the Philippines, and now unable to practice due to California’s stringent licensure transfer rules.
On rising, I helped to collect some information about local nursing school admission departments so that, on Monday, he might discover where to acquire the formal medical surgery course outstanding in his list of California requirements.
At 62, he seems mostly just focused on bringing in enough money to retire and start a business on his farm in the Philippines before losing the strength and vitality in his body. He is not in bad shape, I think, though his habits take him sooner to the barbecue than to the bicycle…
Somehow, in spite of the heat it’s managed to feel like a full day. LB’s eyes continue to widen as the reality of the situation and the nature of our little context here continues to sink in. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when he and I and Patience will sit together and explore and invent some useful principles and constructs for our emerging focus together, both as roommates, community members, and perpetrators of MettaCare at-large.
In other news, Vukica popped in from the beach over face time to say “I love you” and take me on a walk out into the water to sense, vicariously, the cool and squishy sand in my own imagination and through her glowing smile. The beach was sparsely populated with social distancing obviously at hand. The smile and charm and laughter from a friend in that now distant context, the call lasted only a few minutes, was like a little “pop!” of delight in the late morning air.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…