April 15th, 2008


I am sick with some unknown illness. I object to being sick because really, I have enough tactics to keep myself from accomplishing what I set out to do without feeling lousy, too. I am sick enough that I went to Kaiser.

There, the oracle bled me and examined my entrails. I was draped in a ceremonial garment and ritual lights were flashed at me. Now, having accepted my offering, the oracle is pondering these things and will issue its findings some time today.

I know it’s more complicated than that. I understand that medicine does have some amazing and useful tools. The problem seems to be that I don’t ever have the particular problems for which the doctors have solutions. Instead, I have some other, amorphous thing that doesn’t fit into their neat categories. At that point, they are helpless, but it is bad form for the oracle to appear helpless. “Thank you for your $75 co-payment. Just wait and you’ll probably be better. We appreciate you spending your time in our uncomfortable waiting rooms.” It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

But then, I’m looking for a simple solution. That’s always a mistake. The virus or microbe that has decided to inhabit my body, the over- or under-achieving chemical level that exists in my glands or organs or tissues is doing so in the midst of a complex system in which what I ate for lunch yesterday and the dream I had last week and the temperature in my room all play a part.

I don’t get to have control. No wonder I feel sick.