Five-Minute Friday: Drug

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

First, let me say I am certainly not anti-medicine. When I have the first inkling of a headache, I reach for my Aleve without a second thought. When I’ve broken bones, I have not thought twice of having an xray and proceeding with whatever the doctor tells me next.

And yet.

Someone famous, who I cannot recall right now because I am supposed to be writing nonstop for 5 minutes and so cannot stop to look it up, someone famous said something about food healing us. The idea is that all we need to “fix” what ails us is in what we ingest, and certainly the inverse is true: when you aren’t feeling great, look at what you’ve been putting on your plate.

I get it. And I really want to subscribe to the idea that the body can heal itself if we just let it do what it knows how to do and treat it right.

Any yet.

Today, I learned I have a herniated disc, and this explains quite a bit. The doctor reviewed options with me – steroids, injections, surgery (extreme treatment he didn’t deem necessary at this point), and I was close to tears because I am disappointed these are my only options. (Physical therapy? Tried that a couple months ago. No better.)

I’m not sure what I wanted him to say. Had he told me to get more exercise or continue with PT, I would have been even more frustrated, but I’m disheartened that the only course of action is drugs or surgery.



Five-Minute Friday: Network

(Note: “Five-Minute Friday” is an activity adapted from Kate Motaung’s blog. Each week, I use and write for five minutes straight with the word as a prompt, free-write style with no editing and no over-thinking.)

I recently took a few online actuarial quizzes that supposedly predict your likely age of death (do not ask why, though those of you who know me well didn’t even bat an eye at that sentence). Now, the quality and thoroughness of these questionnaires varies, but I was surprised that one question was on almost all of them (okay, yes, I took more than “a few”).

“Do you have a network of support?”

And, related and just as important, “Do you have friends of different generations?”

I am a proud introvert. I enjoy a very small circle of people I would call friends. I do not do small talk. I cannot work a room. You forgot to add me to the networking dinner at this conference? Aw, shucks – whatever will I do with myself now? (Answer: rejoice!)

I used to think these statements made me deficient in some ways, but I don’t see it that way any more. (Susan Cain’s book Quiet is worth a read if you think these are deficiencies.) I can appreciate those opposite me on the outgoing extrovert spectrum and even include some of them in my small circle of friends.

That’s my network. It’s small but varied and because of it, I’m apparently going to live to see 90.

Five-Minute Friday: Contradiction

I’m increasingly interested in the concept of “both/and,” and I wish I had heard about it earlier. Maybe I did and dismissed it, too difficult a dichotomy to understand. Now, though, I see it not only as an alternative to “either/or” but really THE TRUTH.

I’m thinking of the #MeToo movement. People can be BOTH kind, generous, friendly AND predatory. People can be BOTH supportive AND sexist. For that matter, people can be BOTH advocates of social justice AND racist.

Adopting a “both/and” mentality allows me to see so much more than I could with an “either/or” outlook.

Yesterday, my brother-in-law and I enjoyed an unexpectedly long car ride (thank you, Boston traffic – how I haven’t missed you!). We get along well and are similar in a lot of ways. In the span of a roughly 15-mile ride, we discussed parenting, death, writing, Stephen King, and work (not specifics, but more philosophical ideas about paychecks and such), among other things.

In the context of this conversation, he gave me a book rec, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful. It’s a memoir written by a sister after her brother (a writer for Parks and Rec) died of a heroin overdose. I obviously have not read the book yet, but the title alone appeals to me because, really, isn’t this true about just about everything that matters in life?