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Written on June 19, 2006, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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As a child, I was a cheerful, yet morbid, always trying to follow my imagination to the furthest extent it would go. I would concoct scenarios which saw me damaged (blind, deaf, amputee) tortured (held captive by humans, or attacked by animals, insects) or decaying. When I was ten I decided one day, watching the news about young Kennedy, that I had bone cancer. The fear plagued me for years. Then I met Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, and I found my salvation. I read this book fourteen times.

Yossarian the lead character develops a perfectly rational fear of death after his comrade Snowden dies in his arms on a bombing raid. In the chapter, The Soldier In White he runs through all the different ways he could die.

There were lymph glands that might do him in. There were kidneys, nerve sheaths and corpuscles. There were tumors of the brain. There was Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. There were fertile red meadows of epithelial tissue to catch and coddle a cancer cell. There were diseases of the skin, diseases of the bone, diseases of the lung, diseases of the stomach, diseases of the heart, blood and arteries. There were even diseases of the feet. There were billions of conscientious body cells oxidating away day and night like dumb animals at their complicated job of keeping him alive and healthy, and every one was a potential traitor and foe. There were so many diseases that it took a truly diseased mind to even think about them as often as he and Hungry Joe did.

Fnding Catch 22 confirmed my position on health and my philosophy on life. I have good reason to be wary of doctors (and dentists, where I go this afternoon) since I was drugged by the former and brutalised by the latter. However, as the body starts to show its age, I find myself re-appraising Yossarian’s resentment, even as I reach for the pills, and check into hospital at the end of this month to have cameras shoved down my throat to inspect the workings of my vocal chords, now showing strain after 20 years of tea, coffee, beer, wine, cognac and rock and roll.

I actually do have something wrong with me – aside from a painful tooth – and it has a name, Odynophonia. Speaking, especially at the end of a busy day, hurts quite a bit, and this probably means I’ll have to change the way I work, as well as other aspects of my lifestyle. So, cutting down on coffee and black tea, less telephone, less Skype, lots of steam inhalations, lots of water, and shutting up will be the order of the day.

Podcasting and blogging may be the only way I will be able to communicate…

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. La Sirena
    Posted 19 June, 2006 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    This is probably painfully obvious and redundant of me, but have you tried gargling and all the other natch rems like honey, lemon, HERBAL tea (boring, but beneficial)???
    I just don’t always trust medical science — I mean, I work for MDs — they don’t REALLY know what they’re doing and they have to work from a pharmaceutical/ surgical paradigm.

  2. Indigobusiness
    Posted 19 June, 2006 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    (Repaired my typos)

    Enjoyed the podcast. Great hearing Funky Broadway again, and what a cool version of Summertime. The track following suits me, as well.

    I’d probably never hear much of this music, if not for you. Keep up the good work, I’d say you’re on a roll.

    Dentists are EVILGo Ghana!

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