About half past three I started to get up from my desk.
Waves of pain ripped through my midsection, starting at the left and working halfway around the back.
I kept going, and so did they.
It took somewhere around three minutes to get close enough to the telephone to call my doctor. And when I got up, I didn’t dare get back down, lest the cycle repeat.
Which I did, and which it did.
The procession out the front door was ghastly; we’d pressed an office chair into temporary service as a walker. (I will fear these things for the rest of my life.)
The examination was highly inconclusive: fever of 101 and a shade, blood pressure on the high side (duh) and a white-cell count about 60 percent higher than spec. And yes, on the off-chance that it was a renal issue, I filled up the little plastic cup. Probably purer than your average generic label bottled water.
So we don’t know for certain, but it’s clearly got to be some kind of infection attacking the muscles in that vicinity, since everything else checked out more or less normally. Antibiotics are being taken, and my collection of industrial-strength pain pills has been incremented. (George Carlin comes to mind: “And why would a doctor prescribe pain pills? I already have pain. I need relief pills!” Bless your crotchety old soul, George.)
At this time I don’t know if I’m going to chance the trip to work tomorrow. So far the medical expense has been trivial $54 or thereabouts but calling in sick will cost me upwards of $100. I suppose the determining factor will be whether I get any sleep tonight.
And yes, I admit it, somewhere in the roughest going I started wondering if maybe actually cashing in my chips might be preferable. The answer was waiting for me when I got home: an unusually-late issue of TV Guide, featuring an interview with Christina Applegate, who’s had things a hell of a lot worse than I ever did. To borrow a phrase, His eye is not just on the sparrow.