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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Nervously Unnerved By Noxious Nothings

Hanging down from my window
Those are my wind chimes
On the warm breeze the little bells
Tinkle like wind chimes
Though it’s hard I try not to look at my wind chimes
Now and then a tear rolls off my cheek
Close your eyes and lean back now listen to wind chimes
In the late afternoon you’re hung up on wind chimes
Though it’s hard I try not to look at my wind chimes
– Wind Chimes (Brian Wilson / Van Dyke Parks)

When was the last time you stepped outside of your head? If you have never done so, I highly recommend it. It can save your sanity. Trust me.

Recently, I’ve had a lot on my mind and just simply ‘too much on my plate’. So much so in fact, that at one point I felt my head teeter to one side, listing and threatening to capsize all rational thought. I did not take this as a good sign. Distracted by the obscenity of this circumstance, I began to obsess compulsively, despite my being repulsed at my impulse to do so. It was then when an errant thought arose, plopping into my mind; it was certainly more of a ‘plop’ and less of a ‘pop’.

At that moment, I found myself standing just off to the side of my mind’s mental highway, staring in bewilderment at a seemingly endless parade of thoughts. They lewdly sashayed their way down the neural pathway, hustling each other along like an errant festoon of Dionysian Mardi Gras party-goers. Now I can ‘surrey and picnic’ with the best of them, but this scene of fervent irreverence was quite surreal. I must confess, I had expected more of my thought processes.

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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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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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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 4 – Going To The Gym (A New Hope)

He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”
– (Proverbs)

Mark Twain was credited as saying that the only way to keep your health is “to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” So this month I decided to start going to the gym. Now, in light of Mr. Clemens’s logic, it’s easy to see that the very reason why I decided to start working out is precisely … that I don’t want to.

Follow me on this one. Being the radical behaviorist I am, I knew that my normal way of thinking would prevent me from ever getting into a reasonable semblance of good shape. And, the truth is that I do want to exercise, I know it’s important…. and more importantly, I do want to feel good.Yet, I usually lack the combination of willpower, stamina, and zealous aptitude to maintain any sort of a health regimen for more than a week or two.

In the past, I’ve tried biking, as I mentioned in a previous post, but with disastrous results; broken elbows do tend to be off putting. I also tried waking each morning and walking along the nearby waterfront. Yes, I’ve heard Oprah Winfrey’s Dr. Oz claim that if we walk 10,000 steps a day, we’ll end up as fine specimens of ‘cardiological’ fitness. Unfortunately there is no guaranteeing craniological fitness, as well – as my feet would most likely agree. Bastards! They are equal accomplices in my body’s Intrasomatic Conspiracy to deprive me of the achieving of physical fitness and the eating of smaller portions. Ok, in all fairness, I can’t blame them for the latter. And anyway, even without their interference, I’m really my own worst enemy in some respects; I’m clumsy and accident prone. I don’t even walk properly! Here’s why:

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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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Intrasomatic Conspiracy: Part 2 – Attack of the Medical Acronyms

“Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.”
– PlatoHow true. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been off to the doctors recently to discover why I’ve had a plethora of medical problems over the last few years. Some might call it age, but I think not. I believe that it’s more likely that my overall level of health has been compromised at the behest of some intrasomatic conspiracy my body is apparently conducting.Allergies, arthritis, hernias, psoriasis, Barret’s Esophagus, gum problems, sinusitis, tinnitus, ocular pressure and of course, gastrointestinal distress have all manifested themselves over the years, preventing me from attaining systemic nirvana. Lord, if I still lived in the United States, someone would have thrown the Big Golden Book of medical acronyms at me, for certain.It seems that these days, medical acronyms are omnipresent. They seem to have part and parcel of mainstream Americana(bbaseball, hot dogs, apple pie and adverts for IBS and GERD).  Purchase almost any US based magazine these days and there’s no doubt you’ll find at least 2 medical related ads before the table of contents.Not sure what a medical acronym is and why you should be concerned? Here’s a definition, especially for non-Americans who wonder where all the alcohol advertisements have gone: – a woefully long litany of letters suggesting a range of medical disorders “you might have”… according to the advertisers.

You see, since the American “powers that be” decided that it was culturally beneficial to thumb our collective noses at alcohol and tobacco advertising, these medical acronyms have bogarted the majority of all print-advertising space and television commercials in the United States. What I also find bizarre is that the proliferation and preponderance of these acronyms in advertising have made it politically correct for Americans to proudly confess they suffer from GERD and IBS, rather than from heart burn and the shits… and all in good company!

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