December 5th, 2008

Doctory Stuff

The rabbit seems to be getting better. She's eating again and earlier she wasn't. We've been doing a lot of the doctoring ourselves. For instance, sticking a syringe between her teeth and feeding her antibiotic. Yesterday the vet sent us home with a pack of gel that we had to inject into the hole where her abcess had been. Gross.

I'm not keen on any of that stuff. Doctory stuff. Stuff to do with bodies. Fastidious is one word. Impatient is another. I know we need to have bodies to participate fully in the life of this fascinating planet, but why do they have to be so fragile, squashable, prone to disease?

I underwent some hardening in late adolescence/early manhood. These days a job in a hospital would be almost the last thing I'd want to do. Bodies- doctors- diseases- yuk!  But then I had two. One lasted six months, the other nearly a year. First I worked with paraplegics in Sheffield, then I worked with the dying in South London. So, I've seen it all- up close- bed sores, cancers, hideous mutilations. I've even laid out corpses.  I never got used to it, but I suppose that experience has made it so I can sort of grit my teeth and cope.

I avoid doctors as much as I can. Not knowing about a medical condition is as good as not having it, I reckon.  But it looks like they've catching up with me. The doc saw the results of those blood tests I did the other day and has called me in for a chat. Not an urgent chat- so I don't suppose it's anything serious-  but clearly there's something out of joint. Probably cholestrol. My dad had to watch his cholestrol- so it would figure. "No more best butter," said Ailz last night, taunting me. Grrrr!

Kit Carson the Indian scout, was told by his doctor that he'd live a bit longer if he laid off the rich foods. His response was to order up a buffalo steak- rare- and a quart of whiskey. I read that story when I was a kid and I've never forgotten it. That's how you should treat the body.   Don't take it too seriously.  It's a vehicle, a workhorse- "dear brother donkey" as St Francis called it. Get what you can out of it, then move on. 

Of course this attitude presupposes a belief in the soul. Which I have. Well-nigh unshakeable, actually.