Chronically Yours: A Sick Chronicle Of Sorts


Two siblings, living on opposite ends of a great pond, catch up over the phone. Ill tidings of assorted aches and pains are exchanged. Morbid moroseness, often misspelled as ‘morosity’, ensues. Based on a true story from the Intrasomatic Conspiracy files. Written for those who enjoy listening to other people’s conversations.


Warning! Not for the hypochondria oriented! Please consult your physician or psychoanalyst before reading any further.


Gil: Hello? Are you there?

Jill: Hey!

Gil: Oh! I almost didn’t see you there. How are you? I’m crappy.

Jill: Crappy or crabby? (laughs)

Gil: No, not crabby. ‘Crappy’, with a capital ‘C’. Sorry, you just caught me at a bad time.

Jill: Sorry to hear that. What’s up?

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Red Moon Rising – A Cautionary Tail

“Here is my journey’s end, here is my butt; And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.” 
 – William Shakespeare

Some days are screwy right from the get go. The other morning was one such example; I woke up and my butt was on fire. I’m not taking about the flames and conflagration type. I’m talking about the blazing kind of burning that smolders below your skin, that even a dead man would scratch. And that’s exactly what I did.

Originally, I thought perhaps I had been bitten by some creepy crawler that had the nerve to invade the bliss of my sleep and the serenity of my bed. Still, there was no tell-tale signs of itchiness, welts, bumps, puncture marks or otherwise. There was only an inflamed hotspot raging on my left butt cheek. It felt feverish to the touch and dense to my groping. For a moment it occurred to me that the previous evening I had watched the Exorcist, but I quickly dismissed this mental digression.

Whatever it was, it had clearly manifested itself in such a way that it made its presence felt like a rabid dog in an alley. My right butt cheek, in comparison, was indifferent to its twin’s histrionics. Yes, there was certainly a great divide between the two.

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Duck, Cover, Kiss Your Butt Goodbye. Really!

All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.” 
– Ronald Reagan
Yesterday, there were a couple news articles that caught my attention. The first was about residents from Fukushima nuclear disaster area who have radioactive urine. I don’t know about you, but that makes my hair stand on end. It’s just one more reason why I’m happy I don’t have a microwave oven and am trying to limit my mobile phone use. Really.
The other troubling news item was an article suggesting that US nuclear evacuation plans haven’t been updated to account for population growth. It seems that according to statistics based on the US Census information, urban populations around nuclear power plant facilities have ballooned 450 percent. So what that means is that if you live in an area near a nuclear power plant and your regular drive home from work is a slow, painful and maddening exercise of slowly crawling along with bumper to bumper ‘stop and go’ congested rush hour traffic … well, then you already know what your evacuation route driving conditions will be in the event of a nuclear accident, such as a meltdown. Seriously. Really.
If you are one of those types that like to wave off ‘doom and gloom‘ scenarios dismissing them as ‘what if’ fantasies, then I guess I need to remind you of the disasters at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima disasters. Yes, nuclear power plants are not the fool-proof safe facilities that governments and industries purport them to be. Really.

Put The Pork Down! Step Away From The Table!

Born In The USA ?

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people!” 
– Orson Welles

Seeing as a new strain of  Escherichia Coli is spreading across Europe, I thought the timing was ripe for me to focus on all matters gastronomical. Don’t let the technical term for e. coli scare you, it’s still the same old bacteria that might be swarming over your ‘gherkin’ – um, that’s German for cucumber, and of course it’s those German cukes you do want to be careful of. Know what I mean? I think you do!

Anyway, recently I read an article in USA Today excusing the fact that Americans are rotund, overweight, fat, tubby and obese. No, terms like ‘pleasantly’ or ‘deliciously’ plump did not spring to mind, nor did the culturally insignificant ‘zaftig’. I was amazed at how wishy washy and namby pamby the exoneration was for us Americans who readily squirt Ready Whip and Cheez Whiz down our gullets. Perhaps the author intended to inspire sympathy for a nation of genetically challenged porkers. I’m not sure, but let’s be honest here, I’m an American, ipso facto I’ve been conditioned to consume ad nauseum. I’m fat, and it’s not because of my DNA. It’s because I open my mouth and act like a Hoover vacuum cleaner whenever I’m at the table, in front of the fridge, and at every convenience store I chance to pass.

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Intrasomatic Conspiracy: Part 5 – Not Born To Run

Once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.
– Charles M. SchulzI’ve mentioned before that just when I seem to be making headway in terms of achieving some semblance of physical fitness, or even a modicum thereof, my body seems to rebel. I’ve referred in the past to this as an ‘intrasomatic conspiracy‘. Well, it seems that having gotten off on the right foot by going to the gym and losing about 10 pounds, insurrection is afoot; my hip is definitely not hopping.It started the other morning. I woke up, went into the kitchen, made some coffee, and stared into silence waiting for the first few dregs of java hued droplets to drip … and then it happened. Pop went the ‘crunch’. It’s kind of hard to explain, but my left leg sort of felt like it had attempted to migrate to a no-loitering zone. There was a mild pain, nothing to shout about, but something was definitely off. The coffee began to percolate and off I hobbled to a nook in the wall to brace myself for … well, dislocation I had imagined. So for the last week or so, I’ve felt like an old dog with rickety hips. You know, the ones they usually hook up to wheels before they put them down.

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Frigging Fructose Festers Fears

Warning: The following blog post will make you sick, but if you’re like me, not as sick as you already are.

Let’s begin with the fact that I am an emotional eater. There, I’ve said it. I freely admit that I can eat myself sick and all in the name of stress relief. That’s right. In some twisted way I’ve come to falsely believe that on any given day my habitually eating myself into oblivion will momentarily ease my life’s chronic daily tension. Yes, I know that I can’t stem the tide of life’s indignities with junk food or even health food, but knowing as such has never caused me to muster the energy required to facilitate ‘mind over matter’ (i.e. put that fork down, step away from the table).

As I wedge that last chunky morsel of hot dog bun into my mouth, I realize the sad reality that the orgasmic second of stress release I’m craving is fleeting; it comes and goes and is replaced by that beached whale like bloating feeling in my gut. Lord, where did I ever get the idea that eating brings stress release? As I reach for another slice of key lime pie, I have to wonder if I was born this way, or if somehow I’ve been programmed to behave like this. Genetics? Nature vs. nurture? Or, … just plain old conspiracy.

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Weird Scenes Inside The Gym

A while back I posted that I had started going to the gym to address some of my, for lack of a better term, health issues. Psychologically speaking, I decided to go for the very reason that I don’t want to go. You can read more about that decision HERE. But for this post, suffice it to say that sometimes in life you just have to psyche yourself into doing even the most beneficial of things.

OK, so at least 3 days a week I wake up, have a cup of coffee and a healthful breakfast of sliced fruits, nuts and feta cheese. I don my gym clothes and saunter across the street to the gym. No, I don’t drink raw eggs ala’ Rocky, but I do raise my hands in victory after jaywalking my way through traffic. Sure, there’s a crosswalk about 20 feet way, but, you know like, that would be too easy. Besides, statistically more accidents happen at intersections than in the middle of the road.

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Nothing To Sneeze At: Allergies – A Different Kind of March Madness

“Do you have a cold?” ask the worrisome and retreating. A flustered voice calls out from behind a flurry of waving white tissues “no, it’s just allergies.” A muffled snort punctuates the words. Hands are neither extended nor shaken.

That’s me, in case you haven’t figured it out, sinus passages inflamed and all. There but for the grace of God go I in a fit of sneezing and hay fever. This time of year, most people are enjoying the dunking and soaring flights of NCAA basketball players ala ‘March Madness’. In my house this March, there is also madness and dunking, but of another kind. Slam dunk go the crumpled tissues heavy with snot, and hopefully, clear mucous. Metaphorically speaking, its spring and the colors of autumn are not welcome.

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Lizard Vision: The Eyes Don’t Have It.

Warning: Read With Both Eyes Open.

Photo Source:

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.
– William Shakespeare

All cliches aside, I’m trying hard not to make a spectacle of myself, but I’m tired of having lizard vision. Some lizards, such as the Yemen chameleon, have eyes on either side of their heads. In fact, each eye can move independently of the other. This makes it difficult to look them straight in the eyes and get an honest answer about anything – and certainly not about my vision problems.

Five years ago or so, my arms began to shrink. It seemed that I couldn’t hold reading material far enough away for reading comfort. Eventually, after seeking orthopedic consult, I wound up at a local ophthalmologist’s office. I’ll call her ‘Europa’. Things changed apparently in the 12 years or so since I had last gotten glasses. I was surprised to learn that a machine was developed that would read your eyes and calculate the exact eyeglass prescription needed… assuming of course there was no calibration error. I’ve learned in life never to assume, however.

Anyway, I was given a prescription for new lenses and also one for my first pair of reading glasses. Arriving at the optician, I figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ so I also ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses. It took a few days before everything would be ready, and in that space of time I tried to come with terms with ageing and the various situations that would warrant my having to carry 3 pairs of glasses or wear anything dangling from my neck. When my glasses were ready, I coughed up a month’s salary and tried on the first pair. To my chagrin, the left lens seemed to be off. I felt like I was looking through the bottoms of 2 different coke bottles. In fact, I had the same problem with the reading and sunglasses.

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Intrasomatic Conspiracy: Part 3 – The Inflammation Wars

“It’s no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.”
– Jackie Mason

I’ve often said that the problem with life is that life gets in the way. We bob on the surface of its vicious whirlpools that spin us ’round and ’round, and sometimes eventually down, down, down … glub, glub, glub. We start on one thing and soon enough something else takes precedence. That’s the way it’s been lately with my trying to write this post on inflammation. Now to be fair, one of the obstacles to my completing this piece has been some research on the subject I’ve found that has made for fascinating reading and has really got me thinking … which invariably might actually be a dangerous thing.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been trying to pinpoint the one rogue disorder that has manifested in my body and transmogrified into a bountiful rotting harvest of assorted aches and pains, arthritic concerns, hernias, skin conditions, allergies and gastrointestinal duress. It’s obvious to me that there may be more than one culprit behind this inflammatory infestation … and that perhaps my body as a whole may be working against me in some unholy Intrasomatic Conspiracy.

Now the term inflammation comes from the Latin word ‘inflammare’ which means ‘to set on fire’. Yes, I’m inflamed, in fact, I’m downright incensed! Until recently, my war on inflammation has been mainly cerebral. I’ve tried reading up on what the root cause of my inflammation may be and what I can do about it. But, as always, I end up with ‘super-rific’, albeit conflicting, medical advice that is for the most part, one part supercillious and another part superfluous. Here are a few examples that read more like a “He Said, She Said” marriage counseling exercise:

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