Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Things Just Can't Be Explained




12 days without swimming? No. It’s just not possible. PP knew this as soon as the Kaiser dermatologist uttered this ghastly prohibition for any seriously addicted swimmer.

(Coincidentally, PP had had a dialogue about Addiction, specifically smoking, with a very distressed post swimmer in the Sauna Utopia on Saturday. Not ever having smoked, PP couldn't really empathize till she came up with the idea of swimming! 'Yeah, it must be hard to give up cigarettes,' PP had sympathised. 'I get it. It would be like if I had to give up Swimming!' Addict Swimmer had laughed at this. Somehow, once again, swimming had brought two unlikely people to a shared understanding.)

So, when the doc mentioned giving up swimming for 12 days; well! PP nearly stopped breathing.

Shaking her head sympathetically, the doctor began to explain the 'procedure'. If she did a biopsy on one of the goddamn bumps on her butt, then she’d hafta stitch it up, it’d hafta be kept clean (not a nice thought to contemplate) and PP would hafta stay out of the pool.

“For how long?” PP asked, unable to fathom more than a few days without swimming.

Granted, she’d been forced to forgo the swimming for several periods during her life, often health related. But today, PP just couldn’t handle the thought of no pool for 12 days. Even with the pandemonium swim she’d just finished at the YMCA, complete with Crooked Swimming Purple Bandanna Woman sharing her lane. She’d crashed into PP twice before PP was able to switch lanes until a group of half a dozen or so Boy Retards…. Damn, that’s not what they’re called anymore; PP knows this, as she spied their dark forms lurking on the deck. Unsure and swaying. But then, seeing them all cowering in the water, their movements slow and spastic, their swim trunks tied in what would be risqué knots on other men. Well. PP couldn't remember what the politically correct label was. Her frustration level was so high already. And now, PP knew that her swim was gonna take a turn for the worse. So when this Gang of Retards (GOR hereafter--this will be PP's label in lieu of her inability to remember the Correct Term) invaded her lane, staring at her, tongues hanging out, eyes rolling, their coaches apologizing to her, but could they please have her lane, PP just gave up.




Climbing up on the deck, PP glanced around the pool. It was loaded with swimmers. At 2 in the afternoon on a weekday? What the hell was up with that? And PP really really really needed to swim, what with her 2 Kaiser day. That morning, the latest doc had announced after glancing at her ass for 15 seconds, “No, doesn’t look like staph to me.”
“What is it then?” PP asked, relieved and frustrated. Relief that it wasn’t the dreaded flesh eating super bug staph that she’d been losing sleep over all week; frustrated that she’d been losing this sleep for a week, taking the goddamn antibiotics for nothing, and worrying about how she shouldn’t be going to the pool. Why no one on Kaiser’s Hellish Advice Line could tell her. But it still worried her.

“Looks like Bug Bites to me,” Doc Morn had said.
“Bug Bites?”
“Yes. Do you have pets?”
“Yeah, I have cats.”
“Do they have fleas?”
”Well, maybe, but it’s the middle of winter. Not the height of flea season. But they could. I guess…..” PP’s voice trailed off. Bug Bites?

Well, if this were true, at least she could go to the pool now. No worry about Staph Contagion at the gym.





But yet, fleas? She’s had cats her whole life. They have fleas on and off. She’s never had a problem before.
“Why would I be having this kinda reaction to fleas now when I’ve never had a problem before?” she asked Bug Doc.
Big shrug, BD turned to type some vital info into the computer about fleas. “Who knows? Some things just can’t be explained.”

Some things just can’t be explained? This is the kind of medical analysis PP paid 1000’s of dollars a year for?

“I’m gonna give you a referral to the dermatologist. Can you come back today?”
“Sure, I guess….” PP sighed out loud. She was so goddamn sick of being sick and of being given the run-around at Kaiser. First Doc Do Do, now Bug Doctor, and next?
“Can you come back at 3:45?”
“Yeah…..” PP took the referral, watched as Bug Doc finished up the computer task instead of paying attention to the patient in front of her, then headed out the door with barely a nod to PP.

Putting her clothes back on, PP tried not to cry. Well, at least it was only a little after noon, PP thought; she could get a swim in between Kaiser visits.

At least that had been the plan. Till the GOR showed up and then all she could do was surrender her lane to their Slow Group Water Walk.

Glancing up at their coach, PP shook her head, completely exasperated, “Why is it so Crazy here today?”
The Pudgy White T-shirted coach shook his head. He really did seem to feel bad about taking her lane. “I don’t know. I’m really sorry. We just didn’t know where else to put Them…..”

Okay, PP got this. But still....Climbing out of the pool, she turned and watched the little group do a slow Water Tromp up the lane. A little bit of jostling. A little bit of giggling. A little bit of what?

PP gathered up her fins, shaking her wet head after freeing it from the cap confines.

A little bit of swimming can go a long way to helping even the most unlikely souls. Feeling so cranky at the time, it wasn’t till later that PP marveled at the GOR of the Y. Hell, what did she have to be crabby about? A few bug bites? A couple trips to Kaiser? Not swimming for 12 days?

Ok, the not swimming for 12 days would be VERY crabby, but PP had to admit that her privileged brain allowed her so much. Not the least of which was the ability to put down in writing, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, her thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Plus, wasn’t it marvelous that swimming held no barriers at the YMCA? That any and all were welcome in the pool?

PP had to give the Y Pool that.

Just please, pretty please, next time, could they just bring the GOR after she finished her workout?

After all, swimming, for her, was an Addiction. And yes, Some Things just can't be explained.

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