Linda and I jogged/walked our much loved trails in the Arastradero Preserve today, and I took the opportunity as I doddered along the path to try to peel back the layers of gloom that have descended upon me on this sunny, pleasant weekend.
And the day was indeed very pleasant: summer is here, and the oak woodland is resplendent in green quercus and golden grasses. Stanford’s Big Dish was even pointing straight up, my favorite position for that antique, local icon.
My glum mood had its root Wednesday at UCSF: even though my latest MRI (number 18) revealed a stable tumor (the best a glioma patient can hope for), Dr. Butowski, one of my neuro-oncologists, alluded to joint spasticity when I asked about some of the aches and pains I routinely feel, a term I hadn’t heard before.
That sent me to Wikipedia, where I read a lot more about spasticity – joint stiffness and muscle spasms – than I wanted to know. The description fit my experience very closely, and revealed that it was a common complication of diseases that disrupt the central nervous system.
Short take: expect it to hurt, and, no, there’s really nothing you can do to fix it. So, now I have a name for one of the last bodily insults I had not previously researched. Digging the net for this stuff can be a real downer: this is not the first time reading deeply the myriad details of my condition, its treatments, their side effects et al. has sent me into a swoon. Sigh.
Silly as it may sound, I was only rescued when I began thinking about new mascot Wall-E – yes, the animated character in Pixar/Disney’s latest epic. In the movie, Wall-E has a hopeless, arguably pointless job; he’s been doing it for 700 years without respite; his only friend is a cockroach. Yet, every day, he gets up, grabs his lunch box, and goes to work picking up the pieces of his shattered world. In his domain, the only thing that has meaning is his commitment to his work, and ultimately, himself. So, back to the gym, Monday…