Sunday, February 20, 2011

They Can't All Be Winners

As I've noted here before, February 20 is the anniversary of the day I was offered the job at UNR (in 1997), the day of my very unexpected and grace-filled first communion (some months before I was baptized, in 2000), and the day when we learned that my mother's lung-cancer surgery had been so successful that she needed neither chemo nor radiation (in 2004). I believe it was also the day (in 2006?), when Rita Charon spoke at UNR, sparking my interest in narrative medicine. In any case, it's a day when many nice things have happened to me, a day I tend to expect to go well.

Today, alas, was a little disappointing. I finally booked the ninety-minute massage my sister gave me for my birthday, and was looking forward to it tremendously. I'm glad I got it -- I certainly needed it -- but I think my massage therapist was having a bad day, because she seemed very terse and untalkative, and also worked on me so fiercely that I'm still sore. (To be fair, she told me I should let her know if she was applying too much pressure; it felt okay at the time, and I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow.) I used to have long, warm conversations with my old massage therapist, who left to go to nursing school, and although I was fine not talking today, it felt odd that this therapist didn't even respond to my tentative openings. She wasn't exactly rude, but the interaction felt brisk and impersonal.

Also, halfway through the massage, I developed a stomachache that lasted a good four or five hours. It's gone now, thank heavens. I don't think the massage had anything to do with it. Still, this definitely wasn't one of my better February 20ths.

Better luck next year.

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