Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Now, To The OTHER Extrem(ities)

I thought it was bad news when my forearms started getting sore after too much knitting and/or keyboarding.

'Oh no', I thought to myself-- 'I'll have to knit and blog less! How sad is that?!'

And so I started knitting and blogging less. Reluctantly. This goes without saying.

After cutting back a bit on my hobbies, it seemed like a good time to try some strengthening exercises for my arms and wrists-- you know, to get things all nice and strong so that my pain threshold would be much higher the next time I felt like knitting an afghan or two. I went back to the place I used to work for some physio and was told to do some reps using cans of beans as a weight.

One mighty pound of weight. 'Ha!', I laughed. 'What sort of wimp needs to start off with one pound weights?'

Needless to say, given my cocky attitude, after a week of the strengthening exercises, my forearms were such a mess. It hurt to lift that stupid one pound can of beans. At my next physio appointment, I was demoted to a can of tomato paste for my exercises. A half pound of resistance. I burned with shame.

I thought it was really bad news to get kicked back to a half pound of weight for strengthening exercises. I felt wholly below average in the forearm strength department, and plus-- the exercises were getting in the way of me knitting and blogging. I started to find that my arms would hurt after only 10 or so minutes of knitting or typing. No good. At all.

Things got even worse when the half pound of weight proved too much for my VERY IRRITATED tendons. I was shocked at my own weakness and felt a very pronounced dislike for that can of tomato paste. How could something so small and benign induce so much pain?

I was given night splints at my next physio appointment. I was told to stop doing my strengthening exercises altogether and to also stop things like knitting and... well... typing. BUT FOR THE SAKE OF THIS POST, let's pretend that I was only told to stop knitting. Which I did. Reluctantly so. I also started wearing my chic 1980s Madonna/early '90s rollerblading fashion splints to bed. (They're black with an 'athletic' mesh on the back. Very hot, I can assure you, in an early 90s kind of way.)

The funny thing was, after a week of wearing my splints to bed, my forearms felt WORSE, not better. I was then put into full-time splinting, save for showers and hand washing. That was last Monday.

At my appointment today, after a week and a half of breaking in my splints like a new pair of shoes, we determined that my forearms are, in fact, not any better at all. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that I've probably got a little bit more than bilateral tendonitis going on.

We've already eliminated pretty much everything that could have been aggravating my arms (save for typing. That's my job, even if I'm doing it a lot slower lately in these giant-- but sexy-- splints). So we've determined that I most likely have some scar tissue on my nerves and/or some nerve damage proper.


No knitting. As little typing as I can get away with (so brace yourself for a possible drought in the blogosphere). I can't even chop vegetables or do a SuDoku puzzle at lunch! (I love SuDoku.)

This blows.

The only upside to this (aside from being able to singlehandedly bring back some early '90s fashion... now where did I stash my fluorescents and ripped denim??) is knowing that this HOPEFULLY should not be permanent. After my nerves and tendons have calmed down a bit (OK, a lot), I should be able to do those pesky exercises and to work my strength up to the point where I'm able to do the things I enjoy in moderation. Plus, if the splinting, massage, ultrasound, arnica treatments, and/or anti-inflammatories don't work, I do happen to know from past experience what really helps with the tendonitis:

A 3 month holiday in Europe. Doctor's orders.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going to Extrem(ities)

My aunt offered to give me a pedicure yesterday. I was hesitant to accept her offer, partly because I never know exactly where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable interactions with family (i.e. do I really want somebody related to me to rub my nasty feet??), but mostly I was hesitant because I think my feet are pretty... shall we say 'rustic'. Let's just say they're not exactly known for their delicate and feminine features.

I warned my aunt that my feet have never experienced anything even mildly resembling a pedicure and that furthermore, they have been subjected to repeated callous-building activities such as hiking and cycling over many years. I was trying to be professional but honest about their condition, without going into graphic detail about the rough patches, the long-standing blisters, and the thing that resembled a hole through my foot. I secretly hoped that the talk-about-callouses would be enough to throw her off and to rethink the generous offer.
It didn't work, though-- her offer still stood. As she put it: "Dana, you're going to love your beautiful feet when we are finished with you." I was skeptical-- nay, dubious. And inside, alarm bells were clanging and I wanted to blurt out to her 'NO! SAVE YOURSELF!! RUN AWAY-- RUN FAR, FAR AWAY!!"

She penciled me in for 11:30 on Saturday morning. Not sure exactly what pedicure protocol entailed, I planned to ride my bike to the appointment. She quickly shot this brilliant idea down and reminded me that I needed to wear open-toed shoes to enable my nail polish to dry. 'NAIL POLISH??!', I thought- 'what the hell am I getting myself into?!' True, I used to own close to 200 (!!) shades of nail polish when I was in junior high and early high school and true, my toes were never au naturel for a solid 5 years, but that was nearly 10 years ago. A lot had changed. Open toed shoes? Nail polish?! This would be.... different.

Of course, it snowed yesterday morning on the way to the appointment. Luckily, I wasn't riding my bike, but I still couldn't imagine not putting on my socks after the appointment was over. It was cold. And I was afraid. (And as an aside... note to Victoria: it's APRIL. And you're snowing?! What's going on?)

The appointment itself was entirely unexpected. There were soaks and scrubs and files and creams and pumice stones and even though everything felt fabulous and luxurious, I was still tentative. In my mind-- try as I might-- I could not bridge the giant gulf between the pampering and the everyday treatment of my feet. I kept looking at my feet all clean and soft and pretty... and then thinking of them slipping into my rugged hiking boots. It seemed like such a sad waste of my aunt's precious time and energy to get my feet all gussied up for what- My bike ride to work?

I emerged from my appointment, toenails glowing a "Night on the Town" red (but kind of freezing in my open toed shoes) and feeling a strange mixture of satisfaction, guilt, and thankfulness. Satisfied and thankful to have my feet made pretty, if only for a little while, but guilty because I knew I would not be able to maintain any level of prettiness on my own. Unless I suddenly became afflicted with the 'make yourself more feminine' sickness, but I'm pretty sure I'm immune. What can I say? My feet were made for trekking, and no amount of scrubbing or polish will ever hide that fact.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Own Personal Jesus

Could the day get any better?

Not only did I just manage to sneak Depeche Mode into my post (still experiencing a little obsession of the teenage variety), but I also received a phone call from GOD'S MESSENGER herself just yesterday!

It looks like God-- or, more appropriately, Dr. God-- has accepted Marty and I into his select circle of chosen ones. In other words: we are that much closer to having a family doctor in Victoria! And not just any doctor, no-- the very same wonder doctor that we were hoping for, against all odds.

Now we just need to pass the 'first visit' compatibility test... Our appointments are booked for early May (because God has a pretty packed schedule, obviously), and you can bet we'll be on our most saintly behaviour. No "can you please perform a healing miracle on my disease-infested body" or "can you please teach me how to walk on water" here... no, siree. We'll just be plain, ordinary, everyday church mice: meek and with a touch of holy fear. Obviously.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home of the Afraid of Everything

Before I begin: Yes, I completely ripped the blog post title off from the now-defunct The President's Blog. Just giving credit.

And now....

Back in 2004, Marty and I ventured up to Alaska.

We had been dating for 7 months by that time, and this trip, in many people's eyes (including our own), was the true test of our compatibility. Alaska had many things to offer: stunning scenery, challenging hikes, and both flora and fauna we had never even dreamed of in our tiny prairie-raised brains.

But it also had its fair share of things that might put strain on any budding relationship: limited opportunities to bathe or shower, giant mosquitoes that wouldn't hesitate to bite you on the most private of body parts, and ubiquitous backcountry dangers that made it impractical and unsafe to spend any time apart. The fact is, in Alaska, sometimes the choice comes down to "stick together and live" or "go it alone and potentially die in the remote wilderness". It's the truth, and for two people who both generally believed that they required extensive alone time in order to thrive, the idea of spending 6 solid weeks together was a wee bit daunting...

Anyway, after driving thousands and thousands of kilometres northwest, we finally crossed into Alaska and were immediately alerted to some of the many things we should fear in that great land:

1. Forest fires. Half of the Yukon on the drive up had been charred by a recent fire, and we were warned that sometimes fires prevented access to "the only road back to Canada". We prayed that the road would miraculously still be open when the time came for us to return home.

2. Subhuman temperatures.

Sure, on the ground it was sometimes in the 20s Celsius/70s Fahrenheit, but on the alpine ridges, there were glaciers and icy rivers that necessitated the use of toques and mitts. We were warned to not freeze to death, for heaven's sake. That would only inconvenience the already-busy (and for the most part, volunteer) rescue crews, having to fetch our frozen carcasses from the top of a mountain. 'Amateurs', they would mutter as they strapped our blue bodies onto a rescue sled-- 'We told you not to freeze to death. Geez.'

3. Tsunamis/Earthquakes!

Alaska has a sordid history of intense weather events, including tsunamis, earthquakes, and oh yeah, the Exxon oil spill (wait- does that count as a weather event? No?! Sorry.) And even though it's beautiful (and encouraged!) to camp on a spit that stretches into the middle of the sea, it's also important to be aware that, in the event of a tsunami, there will be no hope of running to safety like the little man on the sign. You will be the first to die. Nice!

4. Sasquatches. Of course. Who doesn't fear the mighty sasquatch?

5. Mosquitoes. They are jokingly referred to as Alaska's state bird, but the authorities there were adamant that we stave off the dreaded West Nile virus by dousing ourselves in safe, all-natural DEET. Right... BUT WE DID IT! And then hiked for hours every day. And then didn't shower for a week afterward because there were no showers to be found in all of Alaska. So we were caked full of dirt, DEET, stink, sweat, and sunscreen. So classy!

6. Bears.

And even for the people who were well prepared weather-wise, and who didn't need to get back to Canada on the only road out, and who put no stock in make-believe things like sasquatches, and who had a 'live-free and die-hard' attitude in the face of potential tsunamis, and who wore DEET like it was going out of style-- as a god-fearing being, they had better be afraid of bears. They were everywhere. And they petrified me.

Some of you might be aware that in my pre-Marty time, I had hiked a total of zero kilometres and zero metres. There were many reasons for this, but the fact remains that this Alaska trip was a super huge deal to me. a) I was excited to put my new and still-fledgling hiking skillz to the ultimate test (in Alaska!!) and b) I wanted nothing more than to impress the love of my life with my madd trekking skillz. I was more than head over heels for Marty at this point (perhaps I was heels over head over heels), and there was absolutely no way I would jeopardize his returning love for me by being any of the following: slow, unskilled, awkward, unprepared, or afraid. More than anything, I didn't want to be afraid, but did I mention the bears? THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!

I suffered through a great many things in Alaska: cuts, bruises, aching muscles, collapsed arches in my feet, mosquito bites in every place imaginable (including at least 20 ON MY ASS!), up to seven days in a row without a shower (the stench of it all!), and even a first-time (and scorching!) case of hemorrhoids (not that y'all need to know that... I'm just illustrating a point). The truth is, I had a giant smile on my face throughout all of those afflictions-- Alaska was great, and I was having an amazing time! But the bears... I had an extremely hard time working through my all-consuming anxiety about bears.

We were likely the only people in the entire state of Alaska who were not enjoying the scenery from the safety of a giant, fully-equipped RV. No. We were tenting it... every. single. night. And most of those nights, I would be worried about bears. Marty had an amazing knack for falling asleep the moment he closed his beautiful eyes, but I would stay awake most nights, gripped with fear until somehow I exhausted myself into a fitful sleep. Waking up to giant, fresh footsteps (like the ones pictured above) a mere 15 feet away from our tent did not help, nor did the ubiquitous pamphlets and posters that detailed in excruciating detail what you should do in the event of a confrontation with a bear (i.e. remember to cover the back of your neck when you're curled up in the fetal position so the bear's powerful jaws do not BITE YOUR HEAD OFF! BECAUSE THEY CAN!) In the end, I survived (and for the most part, LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THE TRIP), but I must confess how deliriously happy I was to come home and sleep soundly, without fear of bears.

Moving to the island has been like a dream come true for this bear-fearing soul. Yes, I know that the island is still technically bear-country, but I like to think that it is bear-country in the same way that some chocolate bars could technically contain nuts or soy products. No big deal-- nothing to fear. Our hikes to date here have consisted of nothing but lush plants and stunning ocean views:

... and not once have I even been remotely afraid of a bear. Truthfully, they haven't even crossed my mind.

(cue foreshadowing scary music)

Yesterday, we jumped at the chance to soak in the first real sunshine of the year on the Coast Trail at East Sooke Regional Park. The weather was amazing, the views were delicious, and it was great to see Robertine again after giving her a mild anxiety attack when we finished our housesitting duties. (So sad!) We had a leisurely hike, choosing to sit on almost every sunbaked rock we came across (there were lots) and to simply stare at the ocean.

During one of the stretches we were actually hiking, we came across a HUGE pile of crap which was unlike any scat we'd ever encountered before. It was green, sludgy, and encapsulated in a jelly-like sac. (No photos to show, I'm afraid... who takes pictures of crap?) Upon closer inspection, we realized it wasn't scat at all-- it was a remnant organ (bladder? stomach?) of some sorry animal who had been taken down right on the trail. Tufts of fur and some (really pitiful) leg bones were off to one side, with most of the flesh eaten away. Surprisingly, me, the eternally-afraid-of-bears one, was not at all afraid at that point. Mildly disgusted, yes, but afraid? Not at all. I thought (rather naively, I might add) that some sick or old animal had simply crawled onto the trail to die and had then proceeded to be eaten by the crows and other non-threatening wild animals. We continued on the trail.

As we lounged on yet another rock a few dozen metres up, we gushed to each other about what a perfect day it was and how wonderful it was to be out on a hike. Then Robertine went completely silent and still. Barely breathing for a while, she stared intently into the thick forest and sniffed tentatively. A low and quiet growl came from her mouth.

Surprisingly, me, the eternally-afraid-of-bears one, was not at all afraid at that point. STILL. Who the hell knows what my mind was figuring then? That another dog-- a Yorkie, perhaps-- was hiding in the bushes, off the beaten path? That a chipmunk (the bane of Robertine's existence) was taunting her from a not-so-distant tree?! For some reason, it did not at all occur to me that something large and predatory, a cougar or even GOD FORBID A BEAR, was protecting what was left of its dead prey and stalking us for getting too close. Like I said, my mind has been completely wiped off all things bear or cougar-related since moving to the island. Blissfully wiped.

It wasn't until Marty, bless his heart, said something along the lines of us needing to keep moving so we could hopefully appease the jealous, hungry soul of whatever-it-was-that-killed-that-unidentified-animal-on-the-trail and let it know that we weren't at all interested in that leftover bladder that it hit me: THERE WAS A BEAR OR COUGAR ON THE TRAIL AND IT WAS POSSIBLY VERY UPSET WITH US!!!

Like a child who bears witness to a gruesome crime, my innocence was shattered. Suddenly I was afraid again. Very afraid. I did not want to die on that trail on such a beautiful day, or any day for that matter! I didn't want to curl up in any fetal position or to cover my neck with my hands! I didn't want to have anything bad happen to me, Marty, or especially Robertine! But most of all-- I didn't want to be afraid.

So I stopped. Consciously stopped being scared.

I was cautious for the rest of the hike, yes. But afraid? No. And sure, I felt more alert and more aware of any rustling sounds on the way back, yes. But I wasn't afraid-- not like I had been in Alaska. I figured: SCREW IT. Yes, I promise to be in awe of nature and to revel in the majestic and powerful creatures that roam in the forests. But no, I will not let fear of the unknown take control of me anymore if I can help it. It's simply too breathtaking out here to let the nagging 'what ifs' take hold of me. Screw it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Love List-- Are YOU Feeling the Love?

It's Wednesday, dear readers, and that means a couple of things for Marty and I:

1. The start of the Flames/Sharks hockey series. Yes, we'll be watching.
2. This year's edition of housesitting and looking after Robertine for a month is coming to a close. Her owner returns from Arizona tonight, and so we'll be packing up our things and moving on out.

We've loved taking care of Robertine, and it's been excellent living in a house so close to a beautiful beach. However, I've got a bit of a hankering to come home. I'm ready to be back in our tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Hence, my love list today is devoted to my home.


1. HEAT! We had a total chill the entire time we were housesitting. Granted, the weather has been cold and wet lately, but still. Turning up the heat did not help. Having a bath did not help, either, mainly because the water only trickles from the tap there and pretty much cools off by the time it gets into the tub (i.e. immediately). Our apartment, on the other hand, has glorious UNLIMITED heat included in our rent-- screw global warming, dear-- let's crank it!!

2. A tub/shower faucet with decent water pressure. Remember that Seinfeld episode with the shower heads and Kramer's flat hair? Yep. No more of that, either.

3. Our computer! The computer there did crazy things and erased e-mails and blog posts at whim.

4. Our bed. Big enough that it's not like sleeping in a crib for adults and totally free of dog hair.

5. Getting to sleep in on weekends for however long we feel like it... no getting woken up by the tinkling of a dog collar at 6 am or by our very brave part-time dog barking at anything that moves. (What a protector!)

6. The mundane routines of ordinary life! It was always so sad leaving for errands or ANYTHING and having those puppy dog eyes staring sadly, straight into your SOUL. Come on, Robertine, I was raised Catholic-- I have enough guilt already!

7. Living in Oak Bay. I don't care if it's a little bit (read: a lot) upper-class and snobbish at times (read: almost always). I'll dive right in and say in my toity fake British accent. "Oh, us? We live in (pause for dramatic effect), OAK BAY." I love it here.

8. Living on the ground floor with our own little private garden. This way, Marty is able to indulge his midnight gardener tendencies.

9. Being close enough to walk to work, without taking hours and hours out of my day. Speaking of which... it's time to go.

Spread the love, dear readers, spread the love. Go!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Friend, Indeed

One of my closest and dearest friends has the sweetest child named Dylan.

I can't explain why, but Dylan and I have been magically connected since before he was born. Even though kids are OK in my books overall, since his birth, Dylan has managed to wriggle his sweet little soul right under my skin (in a good way), and to fill me with such a warm and cosmic glow. (Not to sound like a Scientologist or anything...) He's simply amazing, and even though I don't live in Calgary anymore and I don't get to see him very often at all, he still holds a very special place in my heart. Seriously... it's hard to resist his cuteness or his charm.

I've asked permission of Dylan's mom, Carolyn, to pass this note along:


Hey everyone…

It has been another year, and again I will be walking for the Stroll for Liver on June 8 to honor my son Dylan.

I actually dread writing this only because the reality of the facts depresses me and sometimes living in an alternate universe where I don’t need to think about this calms me.

As most of you know, Dylan was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia when he was only 2 months old. Our world as we knew it crashed. How could this happen? I remember when we were at the hospital for those 2 weeks that nothing else mattered except for the health of our little one. I honestly don’t remember if I took a shower, ate and sometimes who I even talked to. I just wanted someone to tell me and know for a fact that he would be ok….and no one could…not even the medical professionals. That is because this type of liver disease is full of unknowns. No one knows what causes the disease, or what to do to prevent it. They do know though that it is not hereditary or contagious and cannot be attributed to any aspect of prenatal care. However, you can’t help but blame yourself because you carried this little being in you for 9 months and took care of him when he was born. The worst unknown is that there is no cure…YET!

Biliary Atresia is a chronic, progressive disease. Even with a successful Kasai (the major surgery he had when he was 2 months old to help with bile flow), 50% of patients will end up needing a liver transplant before the age of 5 and 80% before the age of 20. It is the number one cause of pediatric liver transplant. We pray everyday and hope that Dylan’s liver can hold out for a long time, and although we are extremely grateful that Dylan is doing well currently, one day his liver may lose this fight. We don’t know when this day will be, the doctors can’t even give us an estimate…it is a day-by-day thing and TODAY Dylan is doing wonderful. I watch him everyday amazed that he shines and teaches me about life. Sure I get depressed at times when I think of the stats but I can’t let that ruin the positive energy I try to give Dylan. My world is Dylan. I think I may even be a little obsessed with him…just a bit. And nothing hurts me more than to feel helpless.

That is why I am trying my best to get off my bum right now and do something about it. Without the money that goes to this foundation, no or limited research can be done to find a cure. To give you a little insight, cancer and heart disease currently receive 10 to 15 times more money each year for research. What hope does this give us that a cure will be found for liver disease? I remember that last year’s stroll for liver, our team ended up being the top in CANADA and we raised $13,000. OUR team from Calgary…TOP! And the total amount raised in all of Canada didn’t even reach their goal….not even half. What does that mean? Well first it means that there were a lot of generous people that support Dylan and his cause and love him, and second that means not enough is being done elsewhere to fund for this research. I cannot be ignorant to this fact…I still have very strong faith that a cure will be found in our life time….I have to.

The last thing I want to mention which really disturbs me is that even though transplant could be in the future ( I always say “could” instead of “would”, even though the doctors say “It is not if he will need a transplant, it is when”), it is not a cure....the 15 year life expectancy after transplant is 48%. Of course the thought of this makes our world crumble piece by piece.

Well there it is…the dreaded facts that I hate mentioning, but I thought it is important because most often if you see or talk to me, I will not tell you that, because it always brings me to tears, and at the same time I feel the need to remain positive and not think about that and be grateful for this day.

I can’t stress how important this is to us. The Canadian Liver Foundation is our hope for a cure. Nothing can be done without your help. Please support us on this walk by making a donation. If you would like to join us on this walk and help raise funds, you can join our team called “Dylan’s Dinosaurs” . This year our team goal is to beat last year’s goal of $13,000.

This disease is serious. The Liver Foundation not getting nearly enough money to fund for research is also serious. I cannot sit back and wait for a cure to magically appear. I will walk on that day. I will do anything for my baby…cuz he is my baby and I want him to live the life that we all enjoy.

You can help support me by making a secure online donation using your credit card. Click on the link below:

If you are having trouble viewing the above web address, copy & paste the entire URL into the address bar of your browser.

Thank you for your support and hope to see you there!



Now, I know most of you do not know Dylan or Carolyn personally. Some of you do not even know me personally (for shame!), but I'm hopeful that the spirit of giving and helping out is not limited to our own individual circles of friends.

Giving to charity is a very personal decision, of course, but if everybody who reads this blog found it in themselves to donate even a little bit, we could help raise at least 15 bucks (right? mom? dad?!! the one other reader who visits this blog??) KIDDING!! I'm sure we could do way better than that!

It's up to each of you in the end, dear readers, to help out in the way that makes you feel comfortable. I won't love you any less no matter what you decide, but maybe I'll love you just a little bit more if you help Carolyn meet and beat this year's goal... (Again kidding. Kind of.)

Thank you!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Doctor, Doctor-- Give Me the News

So it's been a year and a half-ish since Marty and I moved to Victoria. During that time, I think we've both needed to see a doctor twice. Nothing serious, of course, but both times we were forced to visit a dreaded walk-in clinic, seeing as we don't have a family doctor yet.

The other day I decided it was high time for us to look into getting a GP. But I didn't want us to have just any GP, no: I wanted us to have the most bestest GP in all of Victorialand. Ideally, this person would be an MD with a flair for integrative medicine; somebody who wouldn't necessarily push a prescription down our throats if ever we visited; somebody who would recommend things like yoga and tai chi as therapy. Yeah, I wanted us one of those GPs.

Luckily, Victoria has a list of "Wholistic Medical Doctors" that can be downloaded from the internet and direct one's search. Not so luckily, most of these doctors are flat out busy for the rest of their professional lives and have receptionists who merely laugh at you when you ask them if they are accepting new patients. One of the women I spoke with even went so far as to tell me that Dr. So-and-So would never be taking new patients, because everybody he has right now in his practice would be with him 'to the death'. (And presumably those patients will never die, either. Not even one of them. Under his magical care? NEVER!)

Anyway, after scratching off one wholistic GP after another, I finally found one who would be accepting applications for new patients the very next day! (This, I learned, was a once a year occurrence, too, so it felt very serendipitous to me that I happened to phone them that morning.) There were a few catches to this application process, however:

1. Only 40 applications would be handed out on a first come, first serve basis.
2. The clinic reserved the right to reject applications as they saw fit. (So getting an application didn't guarantee getting a doctor.)
3. Even applications that were accepted might not be accepted into Dr. Also-Magic's private practice... they might get stuck with a regular Dr. Joe Blow doctor from the same clinic. Ech.

Basically, there were no guarantees whatsoever. Did I care? Of course not. I was positively determined to land us our magical GP, and doing almost anything for the sake of the doctor who practices Ayurvedic medicine (!), nutrition (!), reiki (!!), and hosts meditation workshops every Saturday (!!!) seemed worth the chance.

I rode my bike to the clinic VERY EARLY the next morning to stand in line. I was not the first one there, or even the twentieth person there. I was still in the top 40 (thank god!), but man, were there ever a ton of people already waiting. Some had arrived at 6:30 for applications that would be handed out at 9 am. I felt so callous, seeing older-than-old women huddled over their walkers and mothers with young babies behind me in line. Ordinarily, I would be falling over myself to offer them seats, open doors, back massages-- WHATEVER THEY NEEDED, but that morning, all I could think was 'back off! I got here first!' Heaven forbid they get one of MY applications.

After an hour and some in line, they finally started handing out applications. I scored one each for Marty and I, but I noticed many people behind me weren't so lucky. After all that wait, they simply got told that there were no more applications to be given out. How insane!

We carefully filled out our applications, not wanting to sound too sick or too healthy. We wanted all of our concerns to sound like they were perfectly tailored to Dr. Also-Magic's skill set. I dropped them back off the next morning, and now all we do is wait. They say it takes up to one month to review all of the applications. Some will be rejected outright. Others will be offered a first visit to 'assess their compatibility' with the practitioners at the clinic. I am SO HOPING to be in the lucky few who not only make it pass the first round and the first visit, but who also make it into the LIFELONG PARTNERSHIP with Dr. Also Magic. After all, if we ever manage to get ourselves under his care, Marty and I are basically assured eternal life. See you all in the 30th century! (right.)