A brief medical update is the best that I can do for a blog entry tonight because I am still suffering from the pain described in yesterday's posting and am just not up to being clever or verbose.
I have an aversion to hospitals, and have this particular fear that I will complete my own personal life cycle in a hospital bed in some sterile institution - when I would much rather die in my own bed or in that of some casual acquaintance. I fear Sale Memorial Hospital (now Freeman) in Neosho, Missouri, because my sister and I were both born there and our father died there - and it would be just a bit too predictable for my own demise. So I avoid that hospital at all costs.
But Sale Memorial (Freeman) is a long way from Okinawa, so I decided to take a chance and turn my fate over to a medical institution here on the island.
Today I had friends take me to Lester Naval Hospital on Okinawa. It is just a few blocks from my apartment, close enough, in fact, that I walked home after spending the better part of a day in a drugged bliss on a bed in the emergency room. The doctors and wonderful staff at Lester checked everything and decided it was just a pulled muscle - the same diagnosis that I had already given myself. They kept me six hours or so for observation and then sent me home with even more drugs. I have a follow-up appointment there on Monday.
There is some personal circularity involved with Lester Hospital, because that is where my oldest son was born in 1973.
If you are one of the many friends and relatives who sent me good wishes today, thank you so much. I am still in too much pain to acknowledge and write back to everyone who contacted me. My new friend Don, whom I met through this blog, sent the following comment. I really liked it and feel that it kind of sums up where I am in life:
Pain, no matter its source, sometimes seems endless. Emily Dickinson once said in a short poem that "pain cannot recollect where it began, or if there were a time when it was not."
Because we are of an age, I can empathize with your situation. My own pain often springs, unbidden, from its hiding place deep within the ordinary routines of a life once lived without it. Bending, stretching or sometimes just waking up in the morning, can and has produced pain that is the more exquisite because of its unsuspected nature.
Don writes beautifully. I'm on the mend. My best to all.